tête de veau

tete a veauTête de veau is one of those delicacies you don’t find outside of France too often. (and when you do it’s more often than not something best skipped.) As the name implies it’s the head of a veal calf: boiled, braised, and roasted until the meltingly tender flesh literally falls from the skull. Often the meat is then moulded into a terrine and sliced before frying, so you get that idyllic interplay of a crispy exterior enrobing a layer of buttery soft veal. At Restaurant l’Entre Pots in Pezenas they take it further, pairing the tête with grilled squid, which mirrors the texture of the terrine and manages to create a complex dish that tastes of both land and sea.

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a lumpy little mushroom

France’s biggest black truffle market takes over the town of Richerenches in Provence this weekend. A seductive delicacy – and quite possibly one of my favorite things on the planet – black truffles are an exotic treat due in part to their elusiveness and exorbitant price, but it’s the unmistakably musky, hypnotic scent that drives us gastronomes wild. (Although the erotic and healing properties of truffles are probably completely anecdotal, their singular reputation contributes to the continuing allure.) On November 17th the Brotherhood of the Black Truffle brings together trufficulteurs, restaurants, and fungus aficionados to revel in the season’s first winter truffles with demonstrations by talented truffle-hunting dogs, free tastings, and a giant truffle omelette. I can almost smell it across the Atlantic.

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hairy crab season

Hairy crab is a seasonal delicacy that happens to be winding down while I’m in Hong Kong. Prized for sweet meat and delicate roe, the small crustaceans are imported from a single lake in the Jiangsu Province and command premium prices. Nevertheless I’m on a mision to taste the last of the hairy crab before time runs out.

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