Traveling has many perks. One of these perks is immersing yourself in the culture of a particular place through its cuisine. On our trip we will have the opportunity to explore France’s cuisine everyday during lunch. This will be our time to explore beyond our itinerary and to experience French culture through food. France is known for their thousands of bakeries and hundreds of cheeses. Whether you decide to eat at a formal restaurant or more casually at a cafe, or even to buy your own food at the local supermarket, there is no shortage of things to try. Le Puy in particular is renowned for their delicious green lentils. Referred to as the “Pearls of Central France,” they have been grown in the region for over 2,000 years and they have a unique peppery flavor that is credited to the area’s volcanic soil. In addition to tasting the lentils of Le Puy, you must try authentic, French bread. France takes their bread seriously--they hold an annual bread festival and hold bread competitions, specifically contests for the best baguette and the best croissant. A well-known French dish called Croque-Monsieur, meaning “Mister Crunch” in French, can be found on almost any cafe menu in France. This dish combines the two loves of French cuisine--bread and cheese. Slices of ham and cheese are lathered in France’s infamous béchamel sauce and grilled between two pieces of bread. Bechamel is a rich white sauce that is a mixture of butter, flour and milk and has been referred to as the “mother sauce” of France. A slightly different version of the Croque-Monsieur is the Croque-Madame which is just the addition of a poached egg. These two sandwiches are quick and easy options, while still getting a taste of authentic French cuisine. France is not only known for there mister crunch, dishes such as quiche lorraine and crepes are wildly popular as well and can be a great vegetarian option. Quiche Lorraine is an open egg pie that can be eaten hot or cold. Baked in a pastry crust, it can be filled with different things such as meat and spinach! Crepes are another easy, yet delicious meal that is a staple of French food. Crepes present endless possibilities--are you in the mood for sweet or savory? Or both? Crepes can fulfill any craving. Hungry for a good soup? Soupe à l'oignon gratinée or French Onion soup is the perfect meal--an ancient, timely and hearty recipe. The soup is usually served with a side of toasted bread lathered in olive oil and topped with melted cheese. Overall, France has so many different foods to try and so many options of places to try them. You can do a quick google search for the restaurants, cafes and supermarkets in the areas we will be staying. Not only can you look at the menus but you can review their prices too--definitely an encouraged suggestion before we embark on our trip. By doing this, you can get a better idea of how much spending money you would like/need to bring. So, this month, be prepared to not only bring your hearts, but to bring your appetites as well!
Hello everyone! I’m so happy you’re here. My name is Tatiana Belanich and I’m the writer for the Le Puy Pilgrimage blog. I’m a junior at St. Joseph’s College Long Island campus and a double major in Journalism and Religious Studies. I am also an intern with ACSSJ and will be participating in the pilgrimage this June. I hope my articles will be fun and informative, but most importantly a reminder of the mission of this trip. St. Augustine once said, "The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page." There is so much beauty to be explored and so much goodness to be experienced if only we would step out of our comfort zone. I hope you will follow us on our journey as we take these steps to respond to the stirrings of our hearts and attempt to read the many chapters the world has to offer.