Many people love raw fruit, but my son and I avoid it. However, I do cook fruit. “Pink Lady” apples make a lovely apple sauce and thin slices glazed in butter are great with pork. I serve gooseberry purée with mackerel and bananas are cooked with chicken to make a “Maryland”. With duck the possibilities are endless although “Canard à L’orange” is the most popular.
One evening at the clubhouse on our Port the main course was duck with green olives or raspberries. On our table all the men chose olives and the ladies ate raspberries. It was the evening when our opera star friend sang in Russian. Some evenings you never forget!
“Pink Lady” are grown in the south of France especially in the area around Avignon. (Do you know the song ‘Sur le Pont D’Avignon’?) To produce them you need a region that has at least 200 hours of sunshine per year. Hot days followed by cold nights gives these apples their rosy glow. They are the first to blossom and the last to be harvested. This extra month on the trees makes them so juicy! Every crop is closely inspected for colour, sweetness and firmness. Only the very best get the “Pink Lady” label. It’s understandable that they are quite expensive.
This fruit growing region is also renowned for its strawberries from Carpentras and the famous melons of Cavaillon. At a restaurant in Avignon my husband ate his first quail. It was served whole complete with it’s head! I couldn’t have eaten it. In the fishmongers there are often tiny birds on the slab, they are usually made into pâté.
At home in my flat I usually end lunch and dinner with another glass of wine plus chocolate. A friend worries about this, but my heart doctor in France prescribed it to reduce my blood pressure. In Quimper hospital for the same problem they served me red wine with the two main meals. Many of my lovely friends gave me bottles of wine this Christmas so I send my grateful thanks to them!
Bon appetit, enjoy your meals!