Here’s to your festivities!
The celebrations for the end of the year are an opportunity each time to prepare some special meals. So the shopkeepers suggest some exceptional products, rare and expensive, but what delights are in store for those who know how to serve them at the table.
“Les Grandes Halles” de Lyon are meeting places for the people of Lyon. Here we find all that we want and the shopkeepers give advice to their customers.
For starters, there are seasonal products, like oysters:
The best season is from 1st September to 30th April, the months with an ‘r’ in, according to proven traditions. Our ancestors who were certainly more used to hardships than us, had some knowledge perhaps less eclectic but more precise to help with eating the oysters at these times in relation to the time of the season, the time of the reproduction of the product; that allows the product to replenish itself during the summer months, the oyster beds recharge themselves and it is true that when winter arrives people associate winter with oysters. There is a festive side of the oyster and from the joy of Christmas to New Year’s Day, these are the festive times.
You have the oysters from the Atlantic coast, with, let’s say, a tidal area and the oysters from the Mediterranean area where there is not exactly a tide but where the taste of the sea is more pronounced.
To accompany them, a little wine?
Yes, sure. Ah, the wines, they are good from Alsace a bit dry from Gros Plan, from Muscadet.
And there are some products which are not at the height of their season but which are associated even so with New Year’s celebrations.
Among the most appreciated dishes are the truffles, the mushrooms which have such a fine taste and are so aromatic, so rare also since they only grow on the roots of oak trees and it is almost impossible to cultivate them.
The best are those which grow in February. We produce them for the celebrations but even so it is not the height of the season. It is January and February when they are at their best.
From the point of view of taste they are best at the moment, but for the celebrations we, we are obliged to have them. We have them from about the beginning of December.
The best way to eat a truffle is to eat it in a mixture with eggs, beat up the eggs slice the gills of the truffles into the omelette-like mixture and put into melted butter. And stir it without stopping, without stopping, then you have the omelette-like mixture.
Fresh truffles, how much do they cost? Last year it was between 5 and 6000 francs a kilo, this year I don’t know yet.
At that price they are not given away! Not to mention that obviously they are not to everyone’s taste.
Well yes, but that’s right? Yes it is not comparable but? There are people who don’t like it, it’s like caviar, there are people who like it and people who don’t like it.
In that case you could make it cheaper. There are some more humble vegetables.
Particularly the Chinese artichokes, the artichokes, the chestnuts and the mushrooms, we have the festive vegetables here.
A bit further on the poultry seller praises the products from Bresse, a poultry raising region near Lyon from which all the French try to find their poultry.
It is ideal to eat good poultry, high quality poultry so you must opt for the “Bresse”. And then you are going to find all the festive poultry such as the “Bresse” capon, the fattened chickens from Bresse, the turkey unlike the others you can eat through the year, these dreadful turkeys industrially raised, when you eat a good farm turkey who has run outside, a goose, a goose is very good also.
The poultry from Bresse, is poultry is born on the farm, which has been given total liberty throughout its life, who finds the majority of its food naturally, and then at the end of its life, this poultry from Bresse in general eats cows milk which is mixed with? You make a paste with? You mix a little white maize which you have ground, you make flour from the white maize, you mix it with full cream milk which you have given to the poultry during, in general, the last month of their life, that makes their skin finer, more supple with beautiful flavours, so that is distinctively the poultry from Bresse.
As everyone knows, it is not a good meal without cheese.
There are some good Saint Marcellin, there are some good cheeses in the Lyon region. There is the Saint Marcelin with the characteristics of the grape, the Saint Marcellin, the Saint Felicien. You have the Charolais, pure goat, Charolais mixed, you have the Pyramides, you have the Mont d’Or also for the festivities, and you have many goats’ cheeses from the region.
You can make a good (cheese) board for 150, 200, 300 francs. 300 francs you can have something good.
Like the other things, (the cheese, let’s drink to it).
Principally a red wine or a Gogondas, or St. Joseph or some red wines from the regions as well.
Has that given you some ideas?
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