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Franci

eG Foodblog: Franci (2012) - From heirloom tomatoes to zucchini blosso

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Can you just pass from Monaco into France and back without going through a border process of some kind?

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I go there just for fish (it's the only option unless I go to Italy)....

I love this statement.

Would you mind saying a bit more about why you moved to Monaco? It seems like such a glamorous place to live, and I'm enjoying seeing your life there (both the glamorous and mundane parts).

MelissaH

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Thanks for the videos, Franci! I love the second one and I'm going to save it. I want to try my hand at making my own. That woman is FAST!

I agree with Kim and Melissa. Your city looks so lovely and glamourous.

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Thanks Kim.

No borders, Darienne.

Sorry it is taking me so long to get back to blogging but between making dinner, going to the doctor and putting the children to sleep, the time just went too quickly.

I go there just for fish (it's the only option unless I go to Italy)....

I love this statement.

Hello Melissa. Maybe from the outside this seems glamouros but foodwise I don't think this is the place I've enjoyed most. I'm sure there are things I'll miss from here (the offals, good butchers, lemons from Menton, some variety of vegetables, fruit de mer) but reality is that I do not care about the glamour, I preferred the practicality I had in London: Bourogh Market was a couple stops from home, London's fish market in front of my house and Waitrose has better produce than Marche U. So, to tell the truth I'm impatient to move on.

We do not go out very often to eat. My husband prefers what we eat at home, maybe simple style but good ingredients. I'm sure in London or NY we would go out more often just to experience cuisines we don't know enough or food that is too troublesome to cook at home.

Tonight we had duck for dinner. A staple in the house because everybody likes it and it is simple to make

mondayducktocook.jpg

A small one for the children and a big breast for us

Mondayduckprep.jpg


Edited by Franci (log)

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Very beautiful, Franci. Thank you for sharing!

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The children's plate and then ours

Mondayduckforthechildren.jpg

mondayduckforus.jpg

In the morning my son starts school by 8:45 and I pick him up for lunch at 11:20. He goes back to school at 1:30 pm and comes back at 4:30. This leaves me with very little time to prepare lunch and to shop.

I do need to go to butcher and I would like to go to the market de La Condamine, another district in Monaco by the port, I'll see at what time I manage to leave the house.

It's 11 pm at my time, so time to sleep.

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The children's plate and then ours

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In the morning my son starts school by 8:45 and I pick him up for lunch at 11:20. He goes back to school at 1:30 pm and comes back at 4:30. This leaves me with very little time to prepare lunch and to shop.

I do need to go to butcher and I would like to go to the market de La Condamine, another district in Monaco by the port, I'll see at what time I manage to leave the house.

It's 11 pm at my time, so time to sleep.

Wow! Over 2 hours for lunch! Do some students eat at school, or does everyone go home?

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Granted it was 30 years ago, but one of my friend's did a year of study in Aix-au-Provence, and she said all the mothers took their children home for lunch. They also took them to school in the mornings and picked them up in the afternoons.

Is it the same way in Monaco, Franci? Also, is your child's school taught in French?

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Those are some lovely looking potatoes. Just pan fried? The duck skin looks crispy. Do the children eat the skin? The greens look perfect as well - just heated in the pan? So I take it you are mostly a daily shopper?

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. . . .

In the morning my son starts school by 8:45 and I pick him up for lunch at 11:20. He goes back to school at 1:30 pm and comes back at 4:30. This leaves me with very little time to prepare lunch and to shop.

I do need to go to butcher and I would like to go to the market de La Condamine, another district in Monaco by the port, I'll see at what time I manage to leave the house.

It's 11 pm at my time, so time to sleep.

That sounds familiar, my mother went through that when I was small (I'd been wondering whether you shopped every day, and how you managed it). Since your son's morning school is relatively brief, does it mean you don't need to make something like a merenda for him to take with him?

I know you've mentioned that, relatively speaking, the selection of groceries there is a bit limited, but I still envy you, and your food looks delicious!

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Morning!

Also this morning I got up at 6 o'clock. First thing, I put my coffe on. We also have a Nespresso machine but I do prefer my old bialetti and leave the Nespresso for a midmorning and afternoon coffee.

Tuecoffemorning.jpg

Wow! Over 2 hours for lunch! Do some students eat at school, or does everyone go home?

To answer also to Annabelle, if the parents are both working than the children can eat at school. Since I stay at home my son comes home. Also Wednesdays are optional days of school. And yes, the school is in French

Those are some lovely looking potatoes. Just pan fried? The duck skin looks crispy. Do the children eat the skin? The greens look perfect as well - just heated in the pan? So I take it you are mostly a daily shopper?

If you noticed Heidi, the potatoes for the children look nicer...I attended to them, while for us, I left for the doctor. They are oven roasted in duck fat. My son doesn't like the duck skin, he used to love fish skin but he is getting pickier by the day.

Is there a local cuisine in Monaco?

I'm just loving this.

I've seen a couple books at the local bookstore. It is a mix between Ligurian food and Nicoise. Some specialties are Barbagiuan, some little calzones stuffed with chards...but I do not know much.

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. . . .

In the morning my son starts school by 8:45 and I pick him up for lunch at 11:20. He goes back to school at 1:30 pm and comes back at 4:30. This leaves me with very little time to prepare lunch and to shop.

I do need to go to butcher and I would like to go to the market de La Condamine, another district in Monaco by the port, I'll see at what time I manage to leave the house.

It's 11 pm at my time, so time to sleep.

That sounds familiar, my mother went through that when I was small (I'd been wondering whether you shopped every day, and how you managed it). Since your son's morning school is relatively brief, does it mean you don't need to make something like a merenda for him to take with him?

Sometimes I really struggle to fit everything...I do not shop everyday, more every other day. I like the idea of having very fresh ingredients but for my mental health I know I need a little planning. When I'm very short of time or energy I call Manuela at the vegetable stall in Beausoleil and see if she delivers.

For my son I have to provide two snacks: one for the morning, one for the afternoon. Mornings I'm giving him only some vegetables: some cherry tomatoes, few slices of cucumber, because otherwise he is not hungry enough to have a regular meal at lunch. For afternoons I give him a small muffin or a cookie. I wanted to give fruit but from morning to afternoon most fruits do not keep well, specially when gets warmer, and the picky one doesn't like peel, doesn't like seeds etc. I'd like to cut sweets all together but with other children in school it's almost impossible. At least he is eating homemade sweets with the ingredients I'm fine with.

So, this morning, when the children woke up, after days, I had a fried egg.

tuefryingegg.jpg

My dauther spits out scones, muffins or cookies. But she LOVES smoked salmon, so I had a slice of salmon myself. I only buy Alaskan wildtuebreakfast.jpg.


Edited by Franci (log)

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Since I got up so early, I had the time to make a sauce for pasta. I defrosted some rabbit pieces I saved from legs and loins. Made the usual soffritto (brunoise of onion, carrot, celery), saute the meat, little white wine, some chopped tinned tomatoes and left to simmer slowly.

I decided to skip the Condamine market this morning. I headed to the Casino to take some pictures of caffes nearby.

I took a picture of the cafe' the Paris, in front of the Hotel the Paris. But the wheater was not nice, not much people around so I decided to go to the Metropole shopping center instead. You can see they are building the fences for the Grand Prix.

tuecasino.jpg

At the ground floor of the Metropole there is a Fnac cafe'

tuefnaccaffe.jpg

Next to it the very fancy Hediard

tuehediard.jpg

tuehediard2.jpg

teas

tuehediard3.jpg

coffees

tuehediard4.jpg

foie gras and preserves

tuehediard5.jpg

jellies

tuehediard6.jpg

There is also a Fauchon

tuefauchon.jpg

At the ground floor there is FNAC. So I decided to get in and see some book on Monegasque cooking

There is a nice book from Ducasse with many addresses. First pages dedicated to Formia...

tuefnacducasse.jpg

I quickly flipped through another small book. Some barbagiuan, torte de blette, some stockfish recipes

tuefnacmonacobook.jpg

Inside the shopping center there is also a Laduree and a Comtesse du Barry if you are interested in some caviar or foie gras. I wanted to take some pictures but I was left with 30 minutes...


Edited by Franci (log)

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I'm loving this, and it's great to get an insight into how "normal" people live in Monaco (if that's not insulting?!)

I got engaged there, so Monaco will always have a special place in my heart.

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Franci, thanks for sharing a little bit of your day-to-day with us. Great pictures, looking forward to what is yet to come. I have on my wish list to visit Monaco and watch a F1 GP there.

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I went back to the Beausoleil market. Just outside there is a newly opened Russian Gastronomie. There is a huge number of Russians around, so I'm surprised there are no more stores like this.

tuerussiandelisign.jpg

I got in to get some kefir to drink. Finally I have a place to explore more some smoked fishes, where I lack experience.

tuerussiandeli.jpg

I got inside the market to Manuela stall to get some cherry tomatoes, asparagus, cucumbers and few other items

tuemanuela1.jpg

Besides French, in Beausoleil you hear also a lot of Portoguese and Tagalog. All work force for Monaco. I'm surprised, given the huge Filipino population, it's very hard to shop for Asian ingredients. There are only a few little stores run by not sure if Bengali or Bangladeshi People. Sometimes I go to Nice where there are a few more options. I bet some of the men at the cafe' in the picture are Portoguese or Italians.

tuemanuela2.jpg


Edited by Franci (log)

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Thank you for putting all the work into doing a blog. It is always wonderful fo see what day to day life is like in other places.

I love the "duck...because it's easy"....part. Sad to say I never even cooked a duck breast. That's why travel (with food) is such fun. And reading about other places (with food) is such fun too.

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Next stop is Formia, I need to pick up my order and quickly took some pictures

They carry mostly poultry from Bresse. I don't buy a lot of chicken, only carcasses or wings for soup. My husband doesn't appreciate much chicken meat. This is the only place I can order carcasses.

tueformia1.jpg

Pork and lamb. My only complain is that I cannot buy here pork belly with skin on, unless I order the whole piece (4 kg)

tueformia3.jpg

tueformia4.jpg

veal and beef. Their liver is sold at 48 euros a kg. Not cheap. But after having spent 10 days in Venice, I must say their liver is vastly superior.

tueformia5.jpg

And this is going to be dinner. Riz de veau, sweetbreads

tuesweetbreadstocook.jpg


Edited by Franci (log)

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Your blog is terrific! when do ripe heirloom tomatoes begin to appear in your markets?

Is the beef/veal liver so expensive due to demand?

many thanks esp. for the fine pictures.

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Sad to say I never even cooked a duck breast. That's why travel (with food) is such fun.

Everything new is intimidating even when it is simple, right? Happy you are enjoying it.

when do ripe heirloom tomatoes begin to appear in your markets?

Is the beef/veal liver so expensive due to demand?

many thanks esp. for the fine pictures.

I cannot answer precisely, I'm not overall strict of buying in season but I generally don't buy tomatoes in winter. It has been only a couple weeks I've been buying cherry tomatoes. If I recall correctly around February... the black ones where the first I've seen. Sanremo that is only 40 minutes away by car provides most of the Italian flower market. The hills around Sanremo/Bordighera and Ventimiglia are full of greenhouses. The climate is very gentle here and in Monaco is even milder than Ventimiglia, which is only 10 miles away.

Back to lunch. I usually add asparagus tips to that sauce with rabbit but my son doesn't like them anymore. I bought the first trombetta of the season and added to the sauce.

tuetrombetta1.jpg

For the gardeners out there, if you have the chance to plant it, it is really a nice variety.

tuetrombetta2.jpg

tuetrobettasauce.jpg

I usually use this sauce to dress tagliatelle but I didn't have time to make them and didn't have any dry tagliatelle in the house. So mezze penne it was. The children ate it with gusto.

tuetrombettapasta.jpg

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Is the beef/veal liver so expensive due to demand?

many thanks esp. for the fine pictures.

Sorry, I missed this. It is calf's liver. Theirs is expensive because they only carry the best meat around, all AOC, Label rouges. At marche U the liver sells at 31 Euros.

Sometimes I order all the lamb offals (lung, liver and heart) and that is much cheaper, 11 or 14 a kg if I recall. So, yes, demand surely influences the price.

I get a whole veal's heart for 4-5 Euros.


Edited by Franci (log)

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thank you. I find the various prices interesting. Im curious about the cost of a poulet du Bresse. I had them some time a go in France cooked by a French family and it was the best chicken ive ever had.

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thank you. I find the various prices interesting. Im curious about the cost of a poulet du Bresse. I had them some time a go in France cooked by a French family and it was the best chicken ive ever had.

Maybe the tags are a little small to read but the poulet de Bresse is sold at 21.90 euros a kg. So, a chicken of about 4 pounds is going to cost roughly 50 dollars. My Chinese parents in law, used to shop for live chickens in chinese establishments, couldn't believe their eyes.

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Wow! I wonder what they cost in 1970, when I last had one Im sure it still tastes like Real Chicken. Ive wondered why the Red/White and Bleu hasnt been smuggled into some high-end free range place here.

Chicken (of a sort) on sale is 99c a lbs, so 4 dollars for one you can do 'Beer-can' on your webber. If you choose the rub and finishing sauce carefully, its not bad, just not French. Waverley Root said it tastes like teddy-bear stuffing. I wouldn't know.

thank you. the markets look wonderful. I also like seeing the insides of other people's refrigerator if they are not from the US. Just to see how routine stuff is sold and packaged around the world.

Thanks.

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