Food Lovers in France

From the amuse-bouche to dessert, France is top on the list of 'countries to enjoy food'. This is the place to chat about food, recipes, restaurants and share information on a passionate topic: FOOD!

Le lunch club great idea. Would anyone be interested. If another started up in haut Pyreneese as I would be happy to host

Mine is 150 km away in Clermont Ferrand! But as we go there most months to shop and it's conveniently sited I drop in to get some beer.

@Terry Didn't know about Comptoir Irlandais but nearest one is 120 kms away so not much use...........

For those still looking for a "proper" cup of tea (not that I know what that is) it might be worth trying your local Comptoir Irlandais where I found Whittard's 1886 Blend and Whittard's English Breakfast which to my taste are very strong so maybe just right for UK tea drinkers! As a bonus you can resist the temptation to buy from their range of Irish whiskeys and beers!

Jane and Katherine....yes either or,,,,but we do like Maldon flakes.

The highest quality sea salt as used by chefs is fleurs de sel Guerande. I use the sel de Guerande gris for every day cooking and the flakes in my salt mill.
I hope this helps.

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Any advice on a French equivalent please?

We get a fairly decent cheddar from Intermarche

One thing I often miss is a couple of slices of cheese on toast made with a nice mature cheddar. Last weekend we did our shop in Leader Price near Tarbes , looking through the cheese section low and behold a “NEw” product on display, Mature Cheddar. Just had my cheese on toast and I have to say I was more than surprised ,it was stunning. Now I have to hope they keep it stocked asi will be back for more

Thanks Brian!!! Appreciate you taking the time to write this out. Wow, making it in August. I heard these puddings take a long time to 'gel together.' Thanks for sharing!


this recipe dates back to 1886 and belonged to a house maid serving in a grand Scottish house.But its origins date back to the 1700s this recipe contained things like Persimmons,Pawpaw,Quince and Pumpkin I,m not sure how these items were used though.

The recipe will make 4 x 2 pint bowls but you can divide as you wish.

1lb Sultanas,1lb Currants, 1lb Raisins, 8oz Chopped Peeled Almonds,4oz Pitted Prunes,1lb Crustless Stale Bread, 1lb Butter or Cooking Marg, 10oz Plain Flour, 1lb chopped Suet 2 Tea Spooons Baking Powder, 2 Tea Spoon Salt,1 Slightly Heaped Tea Spoon of Mixed Spice, 1lb Soft Brown Sugar(must be soft and dark) 8oz Candied Peel, 4oz Grated Carrot, $oz Chopped Dried Apricot, 4oz Glace Cherries,(chopped or quartered)8oz Cooking Apple 2 Table Spoons Maple Syrup or Black Treacle, 9 Large Eggs (12 if small) Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon and 1 OrangeQuarter Pint Brandy, Quarter Pint of Dark Stout

All Dried fruit must be clean and dried if you wash it.Soak prunes in boiling water till soft then chop do the same with apricots. Apples and carrot need grating. the stale bread wiz up to breadcrumbs and if you cant buy ground suet it will need chopping finely. Put all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl Mix well. Melt butter and add all the wet ingredients. Mix well but do not beat.The mixture should be soft and drop off the back of a spoon if too stiff add milk to get the right consistency.But do not make it too wet.

Divide into greased bowls do not fill above two thirds.

1 pint bowls will need simmering for 5/6 hours 2 pint bowls 7/8 hours

Cover Bowls with greasepoof and tie well dont forget to make a handle when tying You can also use muslin but greaseproof is cheaper.

Before reheating remove the old paper and recover (dont forget string handle)

On the day 1 pint basins will need anther 2.5 hours simmering larger 3.5/4

Best Made at least 3 months in advance they will keep for a very long time as long as kept cool and dark


I will be making a batch come August if anyone wants

The top of the range, spanking new Rayburn costs as much as some cars by the time you have various bits of outlet, plumbing and so on sorted. It is worth it but just accept it is a big investment.

I would really like to have a wood fired rayburn or similar to do cooking, heating, hot water plus a basic cooker for summer but we have inherited a fairly modern oil heating system plus woodburners and can't really afford to rip it out and start again. Will see what it is like with oil and wood for a year or so and then maybe, if it is very expensive to run will consider changing but in the meantime I have to get a cooker.........thanks again for all of the advice. I hope that at some point in the future I can be as helpful.

We have been using an Esse Ironheart wood fired for the last 7 ish years love to cook on it but not during the summer months not only is it a cooker but a heating stove as well, the customer service from the company leaves a little to be desired always told to go through a dealer but the dealers are rather lax to say the least all Brit companies but most cant be bothered, when i was on the road as an engineer back in another life one of my customers was Aga in Coalbrookdale in hindsight i should have had a wood fired Rayburn that would have covered all our needs cooking hot water and central heating but at the time could not find anyone to cover fitting and service in France

I believe the Stoves brand belongs to Dimplex...which I think is a Scottish group.\

Our rangemaster from the UK was 1700 squid....10 years ago....way more expensive in France...but then in many things are cheaper in France?

It is amazing how much cheaper cookers are in the UK compared with France.

Brian - I had the impression that French law requires them to honour their guarantees (within France). It doesn't, unfortunately, mean that they're going to do any such thing!

Do not for Pete's sakes tell them. I shudder to think of no goods being guaranteed any longer because French manufacturers found out that European law would oblige them to honour them!