Category: Food

Exploring natural cider in France

A few years ago, I moved to the westernmost tip of France, in Brittany. The region’s name, Finistère, roughly translates to “Land’s End.” Though not as wild as my native Northwest—big farming has done a number on the landscape—Brittany has much to offer in the way of quiet beaches, crashing waves and some of the most spectacular storms I’ve ever witnessed. I’m convinced that rainbows are born out here: they sprout on the horizon with nearly every cloudburst.

Brittany is also one of France’s traditional cider-making regions. One of my favorite producers is La Ferme de Kermarzin, a micro cider farm reviving traditional methods: no pesticides, no added yeasts, no filtering. Like natural wine makers, La Ferme de Kermarzin puts respect for the fruit first. The result is a surprising natural cider that encapsulates the crisp, bitter-sweet terroir  of Finistère. Read more about French natural cider in an article I wrote for Sprudge Wine.

Photo by Jean-Marie Heidinger

Harvest in Provence

A few years ago, a friend decided to plan, organize and carry out her wedding with the help of friends and family; no expensive dress, no professional wedding planner, no caterers. In late August, a group of us convened in Provence, where a zealous sun had left the riverbeds chalky white and the parched garrigue exhaled odors of warm thyme and rosemary. The southern fruits were ripe and I tasted my first hand-plucked purple fig. 

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