Rennes, France

Opening any guide book of France, you won’t find much information on Rennes. This is because the capital city of Brittany suffered great damage during World War II and much of it had to be rebuilt. A fire in 1720 also destroyed most of its timbered houses, sparing a few.

17426269_1150631371732514_7486358943135413803_n.jpg Continue reading “Rennes, France”

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Salon International de l’Agriculture

The day we went to Salon International de l’Agriculture, it was pouring down with rain. Anticipating a large crowd – being that it was a Saturday – we opted for an early start.

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Hall 1 was the livestock sector, meaning pigs, sheep, cows and beef cattle.

There were demos on how to cut and cure meat as well as animal competitions on the ground.

Hall 2 was all about crops and plants.

But Hall 3 – Food products from 13 regions of France – was where we spent most of our time. Starting with these Langouille sausages from Loire-Atlantique. Continue reading “Salon International de l’Agriculture”

March in France

We just got back from a short but fantastic trip in France and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! We started our journey in Paris, went to the Agriculture Show at Porte de Versailles, then rented a car and drove around Brittany and Normandy. Along the way, we enjoyed beautiful scenery, delicious local cuisine, and a moment of silence at Omaha beach. Given the time of the year, we’ve encountered a wide spectrum of weathers – from rain to high wind, from cloudy overcast sky to amazing rainbow at sea, and finally balmy spring days in Paris.

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First of all, I would like to say that France has definitely changed since I was there 4 years ago. There were presence of armed guards and heightened security everywhere – bag checks at key landmarks, museums, cathedrals, even major department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché or Le Grande Epicerie.  Continue reading “March in France”

Big John’s PFI, Seattle

Who would have thought that rummaging through an old dimly lit warehouse could be so much fun?

At Big John’s Pacific Food Importers, you’ll find aisles of specialty food items such as Hazelnut Spread from Italy made with Arcacia honey and Piedmont hazelnut; Cream of Almonds from Sicily; or Crème de Calisson from Aix-en-Provence.

Shelves of olive oils from France, Italy, Morocco or Spain. Continue reading “Big John’s PFI, Seattle”

Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

If you’ve been to Kyoto, chances are that you’ve been to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺). It is one of most visited places in the ancient capital of Japan.

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The Golden Pavilion has three levels, each carrying a distinctive architecture style: shinden (11th century aristocracy) on the first level, buke-zukuri (warrior residence on the second, and Chinese Zen (Buddhist temple) on the third. Continue reading “Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto”

Root Vegetables Farro Salad

For someone who get most of her produce from an outdoor farmers market, I have to admit, this time of the year in the Pacific Northwest isn’t all that exciting. My favorite vendor of wild mushrooms and other foraged food is on a three-month hiatus. And there aren’t many choices of green vegetables, if any at all, to choose from.

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But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a delicious healthy meal. I made this salad over the weekend. I love the nutty flavor and the chewy texture of the farro and the natural sweetness from the caramelized root vegetables. I highly recommend it. Continue reading “Root Vegetables Farro Salad”

Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto

Kitano Tenmangu (北野天満宮) is a Shinto shrine located in northwest Kyoto. It is built in 947AD to honor Sugawara no Michizane.

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An important scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period, Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道眞) read poems at the age of five and wrote Chinese poems at the age of eleven.  Continue reading “Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto”

Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.

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For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”