Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aix-en-Provence

It has been four days since we have arrived in Aix-en-Provence and I am feeling a bit winded from the non-stop activities. It feels nice though being able to come home to a host family and to my own room. It is a very simple room but the simplicity is nice so that I don't feel overwhelmed and can relax better. I really like my room and my host mother is very nice but I feel like I really haven't had French food except for pastries and sandwiches and cheese.

When we were in Paris, we ate at certain restaurants but only once do I remember eating at French restaurant and that was for lunch. I had a salmon n spinach tart (kind of like a quiche) and a rhubarb tart for lunch. It was delicious. On our free days, I remember eating crepes because they were street food. The last day I believe we ate kabobs (gyros in the States) and baguette sandwiches once in a while. We also had some Moroccan food.

Now in Aix where you would think the food would be cheaper, we are having picnics with bread, cheese (which is very good), fruit (also very good and I even got to eat the much prized strawberries here) and sausage (a new experience for sure) but all these things don't make for much filling. I guess its good that I usually have a our host mom make us dinner. However, she has made Vietnamese food. On our first night here, we ate a frozen "lasagna" dinner, and last night we had "sandwiches." So not what we would imagine to be French food but in a sense it is French food because it was eaten in France. In addition, paninis and pizza seem to be very common food here in Provence; being so close to France there is quite a bit of an Italian influence in food. The pizza we ate tonight since it was the day off for our host mom was at a good price and they had quite a following when we arrived at the pizza stand.

This begs the question, what makes food French? I mean the French have become as much as a melting pot as Americans. There South Africans, Middle East and even Asian descended people here. Even my host mother is part Vietnamese, something our host-brother Emmanuel likes to claim as well. I had thought that being in southern France, we would have more sea food but that is not entirely all there is to Proven├žal food; however part of the lovely ambience of Aix is that there are fish, food, and flea markets every Saturday. Something I find very close to home and not just the farmer's markets but also the flea market as that was something very common in the small town my mother grew up in.

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