July 12, 2005

Stage 10- Born to Rhone Deux Nestled beneath the impressive Mont Blanc, Europe's rooftop at 15,771 feet, is the Rhone-Alpes region which borders Switzerland and Italy. The area extends out toward the Rhone wine areas west of Lyon. It's capital, Lyon is the second largest in France and a mecca for gourmands. The region itself offers 24 microclimates allowing for a wide variety of agriculture and food production. So with the chicken farms of the Bresse and the cattle ranches of Charolais, wild game (guinea fowl) of the Dombes, fish from the Savoy lakes, fruits and vegetables of the Rhône valley and the poultry of theForez region are all within easy reach and supply Rhône-Alpes battalion of grand chefs. There are a total of 62 Michelin-starred restaurants of which five have three stars and 11 have two stars. The 10 Beaujolais crus and the wines of Côtes-du-Rhône, along with a wide range of cheeses including Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage (AOC), Reblochon (AOC) all pairing well with the region's specialties. Today the start of the race shifted to a different starting point due to a farmer's protest. They were protesting the reintroduction of wolves in the Alps. So naturally my mind wandered to what these farmers where growing and what the organics looks like here ? Organics is still a relatively niche market in France, representing only 0.5% of total retail food sales. More and more supermarkets are outlets for selling organics. Biocoop is a smaller version of our Wild Oats or Whole Foods. It has over 230...
Stage 11 & 12 - Hills & More Hills Stage 11: Courchevel to Briancon; 173km/107mi Stage 12: Briancon to Digne-les-Bains; 187km/116mi The biggest news from today's race is that Manuel 'Triki" Beltran fell on a hill climb suffering a concussion. One of the strongest climbers on the team he has dropped from the race. Did we all see that handsome Frenchman who shared the podium with polka dot jersey winner Rasmussen. That's Morrocan-born and 14-year pro (now retired) former best climber Richard Virenque. He won the TdF KoM seven times! Hmm, right and there was that doping scandal, but isn't he just yummy? A cooking holiday in Provence is on many food lovers lists. There's no better way to experience local culture than to taste it. Provencal cuisine uses the best of natural products delectable olive oil, twenty aromates (fragrances) (fresh or dried herbs and spices), sixteen types of fruits de mer, forty-six species of fish known to the region's shores and wines such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape and fresh goat cheeses from the surrounding mountains. Offering a backdrop of biking, wine cave touring, along with a salt tasting in St. Rémy, a visit to an escargot farm, and lessons in blending pistou, this 7-day trip from Bike Riders Tours surrounds you in food, sights and comfort. Cost (2005): $3,680 pp Epiculinary offers a four day trip where on the second day you are biking to your cooking lesson where you may prepare a tomato, olive and onion tart pissaladiere, chicken sautéed in olive oil, rosemary and red wine, tapenade with...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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