Monday 30 September 2013

Oktoberfest 2013 seen from up in the air: the non-beer side of it

This year the famous Oktoberfest takes place for 180th time in the beautiful Bavarian capital Munich! A friend of mine asked me few days ago why Oktoberfest starts (and takes place mostly) in September? Good question I have to say. But there is also a good reason for it: the difficult Munich weather! In 1810 and the following years the celebration took always place in the month of October (usually in the middle of the month). However in 1829, four days after the official opening, the first snow storm arrived and everything had to close down! Since 1872 this big beer party has been moved to the last 10 days of September (+first October days) so one could enjoy better weather& more pleasant temperatures....

This huge celebration is known of course to most of the visitors for the ...German beer! Every year during 2, 5 weeks (this year between 21.09-6.10.2013) around 6 millions liter of beer are sold&drunk there! However half of the surface at the fair ground is dedicated to having fun like a child: big wheel, carousels, it! These are all there waiting to be enjoyed the whole day&evening (recommended before the drinks:-) So this year I enjoyed the "Riesenrad" and one carousel-ride, which made me feel like a happy kid again;-)

Saturday 14 September 2013

Moselle colours in early September: between Filstroff and Colmen

Its AGAIN mirabelles-prune-time... So today I am very trilled to share with you my latest reportage for the gourmet-travel page TravelGluttons! Enjoy the read below+if you want to see the second part of my article just clck here.

Even if the golden "mirabelle" plum is not bigger than a golf ball, it has already won, years ago, the reputation of the unmistakable symbol of the French region Lorraine. Located at the three-borders-area (Luxembourg-Germany-France) this northeast region of France with its capital city Metz is also the biggest producer of the aromatic plums. 80% of the whole world production takes place here – we are talking of some 15,000 tonnes annually! Holy fruit paradise…
You might start wondering what they are doing with all these plumes, right? This tiny fruit has a very versatile use. It is of course the main ingredient for making the famous local gourmet food (for the locals) and souvenirs (for the visitors): fruit jam (la confiture de mirabelles), plum brandy (eau de vie de mirabelle) and the not-really-transportable, but to-be-eaten-on-the-spot (or, if available, just-right-out-of-the-oven) queen of all pies: la tarte aux mirabelles.
Why queen of the pies? Because it's not just another pie with fruit inside, it's a real visual/ gastronomic/taste-buds-using masterpiece! The edges of the pies are the only way for you to know that there is something else on the plate other than fruit. The fresh mirabelle plums are cut in two and gorgeously arranged on the top. Nothing else, the rest of the work is for the oven: to turn some of the fruit sugar into a yummy caramel crust. Some of the best tarte aux mirabelles I have tried looked so beautiful that one does not want to start cutting them.
But there is much more in Moselle/lorraine than mirabelle-prunes, have a look below for a colourful like a rainbow harvest in the garden as well as for some unusual and unexpected encounters...And in case you wonder: my first "tarte" with damson plums tasted A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! thanks for asking;-)

WISHING you all a good weekend with these perfectly imperfect potatoes, which make me smile every time I look at the picture:-)

Saturday 7 September 2013

Summer fruits in Jakoruda (market and garden)/ Летни плодове в Якоруда, от пазара и от градината

One of the reason while I love summer (not only beacause of all the sunshine, warm temperatures and all the green nature around us) IS the fact that this is one of the reachest in fruits season! So while discovering the mountains at home I also ENJOYED the fresh, yummy and juicy summer products: watermelons, apricots, tomatoes, .... name it! The birth town of my grand-mother Jakoruda (where we start our mountain hikes from) has a very busy market every Saturday. Today I am taking you there, before we pass by our house at the end:-) The beautiful apricots are from our garden, which is vere well taken care of my parents& a helpful neigbour. They were good subject to try my new lens, 35mm macro!