Everything tastes better here.
It is not the preparation – though the way the French prepare foods does make for great flavors – it is the quality of the food items. Everything: apples, beets, chicken, cod, turkey, zucchini.
I attribute the better flavors to several things.
• The food in the market is fresh, most often locally grown.
• The food is raised using few chemicals.
• The animals are raised using fewer hormones.
Fresh and local seem to be the keys to the good flavors here. In one very important sense, the French never forgot what community-supported-agriculture proponents are promoting at markets in the states: Buy local.
We have seen the ads and signs reminding people to buy their Christmas turkeys and we have heard that the supermarkets macy have only a short supply because the long distance truck drivers want better pay and thus may strike/boycott the turkey delivery system. The other thing we heard is that the turkeys here will be more like those sold in the US which I interpret as more white meat, less flavor. Savourez la vie! Taste life (and good flavors)!
As cookbook author and French food expert Patricia Wells writes in The Provence Cookbook, “I live more than half of each year here, much of it spent touring markets, shops, restaurants, farms, in search of the freshest and finest of the season… Vendors laugh as I gasp when I see the first-of-season fresh white shell beans – cocos blancs – a signal that I can add Provençal vegetable soup, or pistou, to my weekly repertoire.” (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004, p. xiii.) Also visit Patricia Well’s website at: http://www.patriciawells.com/.