At the risk of disappointing: this is not a recipe blog. There are already millions of recipes out there and one I warmly recommend is cleverly and simply written by my friend Elizabeth Lingjærde. The recipes are healthy, colourful and super delicious. What I will share with you however are my tweaks around famous French dishes and how, living in Norway, I manage to make them taste as amazing as in France.
As you read on you will notice that I talk a lot about local markets. This is because that's where the fascination for fresh produce and passionate people all started for me. One of the first things I always when I arrive in a new place in France or elsewhere in Europe, is to check in the local newspaper where and when the food markets are taking place. Even if you don’t speak the language, you can ask the newsagent to show you the page and translate the 'marchés' section for you.
Going to those markets is always the highlight of my stays and I can guarantee it will be yours too when you go. The vibrant colours, the happy screams of the grocers selling ‘slow’-grown fruit & vegetables, cheese, irresistible hams & saucissons, local fish and fresh flowers, the strong smells, the villagers that are so easy to talk to, the musicians, the whole occasion repeated almost every day in different villages is a feast in itself. A celebration of all that is good and happy about France.
My tip is to get there as early as possible and buy from the stands where the queues are longest. The locals always know where it’s worth the wait. Watch them refuse this or that tomato, this or that potato and do the same. Even if you are reading from your Norwegian/French dictionnary. And don't let the salesman intimidate you. It's a national sport to tease tourists. But they're good losers too, so fight back and don't accept that bruised tomato!