Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
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NewsletterDecember 2007

Thanksgiving Walk

Thanksgiving walk in France

Here is a photo taken during our post Thanksgiving walk in Burgundy. See below for more information about Burgundy.

Culinary Adventures

Recently thanks to my wife’s viewing habits I discovered the TV series Les aventures culinaires de Sarah Wiener (The Culinary Adventures of Sarah Wiener). Sarah Wiener is an Austrian woman who took a culinary ‘Tour de France’ and had the good sense to take along a film crew. What is really nice about this show is not the just recipes or the preparing of the food, yes, that was good but many shows do that. What really made this show stand out was that Sarah not only showed you how the food was cooked but where the food came from and how it is produced.

Case in point her show on cooking le bar en croûte. I couldn’t find a translation of what a Bar fish is in English. This site has a Bar fish recipe and it says to use a whole sea bass. Not only did Sarah fish for and catch (!) a bar she also investigated how sea salt is made (A bar fish is cooked covered in sea salt.). This included visiting a salt works and selecting the salt she would use to cook the Bar fish!

Sarah in another episode made a Boeuf Bourguignon. In her typical style Sarah went to a cattle market in St Christophe en Brionnais. Where interestingly enough my wife went with her father, now a retired cattle farmer, when she was younger. There Sarah helped pick out a heifer to be used in her Boeuf Bourguignon (!). Before that Sarah partook in a wine harvest so she could see how the other main ingredient – wine is produced.

Each show ends with Sarah cooking the given dish, and then locals judge the results. Unfortunately I don’t think Sarah’s show is in English. It’s a shame because as I said she goes beyond most cooking shows I’ve seen. Sarah explains and demonstrates not only how meals are cooked but also where the ingredients come from and how they are produced. This second point is very important when it comes to food in France. Ingredient producers are as important as cooks!


I recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Amateur Traveler hosted by Chris Christensen. Chris and I spent most of the show talking about Burgundy, what to see and experience. This included of course food but I also talked about places to visit, e.g. colza field. For more information see Episode 114 - Burgundy and the French Countryside.

Fun way to Learn France

I just discovered a fun book to help learn French. Les portes tordues (The Twisted Doors) and it’s a mystery! I’ll leave it at that and let you discover it on your own as I did! For more information please see the The Twisted Doors website or buy it at

Relaxing Vacation

La Maillerie - Looking for a relaxing place to stay in Southwest France? Then you might think about La Maillerie. It’s a three-gite complex nestled in the Perigord Vert, in the triangle formed by the Dordogne, Charente and Limousin regions. Accommodations are spacious and comfortable, with private terraces equipped with garden furniture and a BBQ for those long summer days which beg for outdoor cooking.

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