Wikipedia defines le marron glacé as "a confection, originating in southern France and northern Italy consisting of a chestnut candied in sugar syrup and glazed. Marrons glacés are an ingredient in many desserts and are also eaten on their own." What Wikipedia fails to tell us is that the taste of a quality marron glacé is absolutely heavenly and very much a Christmas season delicacy in France. Below is how Michael Paul, author of Sweet Paris: A Love Affair with Parisian Pastries, chocolates and Desserts, describes le marron glacé:
Who can resist these glazed crystallised chestnut confectioneries candied in sugar syrup when cavorting in the French capital?
Here are two videos regarding les maroons glacés: the first, with it's wonderful animation, is from Karambolage, a franco-german programme which screens on the Arte channel in France (beneath the video you'll find the transcript of the episode); in the second video, monsieur Corsiglia reveals les secrets de fabrication des marrons glacés:
Bon, Noël approche et Corinne Delvaux en profite pour présenter à nos amis allemands une confiserie qu'ils ne connaissent pas : les marrons glacés.
Having explored les marrons glacés, Karambolage looks at the actual use of the word marron (beneath the video you'll find the full transcript):
Bon, maintenant que vous savez tout sur les marrons glacés, Elsa Clairon se penche sur l'utilisation du mot marron, assez fréquent dans la langue française.
And to conclude our exploration of le marron glacé, there's a lovely blog, parisbreakfasts, which is always very interesting, and which, in December last year, featured a lovely post dedicated to le marron glacé. Le voilà!
Another festive season treat is le sauternes, a delectable sweet wine from the vignoble de Sauternais, the Sauternais wine region (which is a sub-region of the le vignoble de Bordeaux), to accompany your fois gras or roquefort cheese. Whenever we visit our local bottle shop we always take a moment to gaze adoringly at the honey-coloured bottles reposing in their lovely wooden crates. You can purchase a bottle of Château d'Yquem sauternes 2000 for a lavish $999.00 if you like, but the average price for a 375mL bottle of sauternes is $30 to $50 and it is well worth it. Below we have posted three videos for you: the first, of course, is from Karambolage (students are familiar with our obsession with the programme; remember, it's a Franco-German programme, thus the references to the German language) which explains just about everything there is to know about this nectar of the gods; the second video is a segment from the 1998 series, Floyd Uncorked, presented by the late, great, flamboyant, totally unbeknown to the French and most of our younger students, Keith Floyd, who, with the help of wine expert Jonathan Pedley, samples this famous wine; and the third video is an episode of a very interesting series by Wine Sense TV, which visits several wineries in the Sauternais - watch out for monsieur Lurton's wonderful pronunciation of the word "honey" at 20:35. Les voilà:
Nils Trede est un médecin allemand qui vit en France et apprécie tout particulièrement les bonnes choses...
Et pour finir, what is Christmas like in France? To tell us, voilà deux videos: the first is the delightful segment dedicated to France in Rick Steves' European Christmas; and the second, is by the charming Géraldine, from Comme une Française (you'll find the film which Géraldine refers to, Le père Noël est une ordure, ici). Merci tout le monde et joyeux Noël !!!
It's been some time coming but the French Centre now has a Blog. Le voilà!