Friday, August 22, 2014

Food of Europe: Tarte Tatin, Crepes and More

I haven't posted any more pictures from our meals in our little inn here in the Alps because, frankly, we don't find the food all that good. We leave this morning to head back to Geneva to meet our bike tour, so things should become a little more interesting in the food department.

Meanwhile, however, we have been enjoying some variety out on the road as we cycle. The day before yesterday, we stopped for lunch at a small place on our way up to the Iron Cross Pass (Col de la Croix de Fer). I had my first galette of the trip there, with ham and local cheese and eggs. I could hardly believe how yellow the yokes of the eggs were.

Yesterday, we got on our bikes outside our hotel's front door and rode up to the Col du Lautaret, where we stopped to have a bite to eat before riding on up to the Col du Galibier. As usual, Mark passed on lunch, but I was hungry. I've found that my sleep pattern is adjusting okay to the time change, but my metabolic system is lagging. I haven't felt much like eating so far at breakfast because my body thinks it is midnight. 

The place we stopped was just at the roadside, and they served a variety of food. The omelets looked amazing, but I knew I shouldn't eat anything too heavy, so I opted for a plate of "frites" (French fries) - something I haven't indulged in for quite some time. As long as the wind didn't blow too hard, we were comfortable sitting outside.

The paper napkin was, um, interesting.

Later that afternoon, we stopped on our way back to our hotel at a little place in a village called La Grave La Meije. Their terrace offered a fantastic view - a bit like at Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon back home in Utah, only on steroids.

The view from the terrace

The village

While there, I had Tarte Tatin (featured in the lead photo above), an exclusively French creation that I hadn't had since I was in France on my mission 30 years ago. It's basically an upside-down Apple pie. Mine was served with vanilla ice cream, creme de Chantilly (a very light whipped cream), and caramel sauce, and it was good.

Mark opted for the chocolate banana crepe, also with creme de Chantilly. He assures me it was good.

Now, a word about breakfast. The same fare has been put out every morning here at our inn. It is a "continental" breakfast, a type that we ran across on our cycling trip two years ago. If I didn't have braces, I could have eaten the granola, which looked pretty good. Or I could have had salami and cheese, but that doesn't appeal to me. I have had pain au chocolat every morning, but they unfortunately are not all that good here; same with the croissants. So, what I've relied on to give me enough energy to get through the morning is Quaker Oats instant oatmeal that we brought from home. Not very French, eh?

I cannot each French bread, either (with the braces), because of the tough crust. But perhaps that's just as well. As we head out this morning, we are going to go looking for something a little different from breakfast in Bourg d'Oisans. Then, it's off to Geneva!

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