This post is for any serious bread bakers out there and especially for my friends over at The Fresh Loaf where I post occasionally. It is about the typical rye bread of the Swiss Valais. This wonderful bread has its own AOP status (appellation d’origine protégée), a certification which guarantees that everything used to produce it comes from…

Over 20 years ago and not long after we got married, Michael and I rented a small apartment overlooking the ancient fishing port in Santa Margherita Ligure. It was our introduction to Italian living and we fell in love not just with “Santa”, as it is known by the locals, but with the entire Ligurian region….

I’ve written about this region before and probably will again because it’s one of my favourites. From our  small village on Lac Leman, where the occasional palm tree grows, we rarely see snow but we can get a serious hit of winter in just over an hour in the nearby Jura. This geographic area is shared by…

  On a trip to Canada this November I was surprised to learn Kouign Amann was having a moment. It’s one of my two favourite French pastries (brioche feuilletée is the other) but this was the first time I had ever seen it in North America. Even in France, this delicious and deadly treat (just look at one…

This past weekend thousands of Swiss cows participated in La Poya, the annual ascent to their high summer pastures in the Alps and once again mountain alpage meadows are, to quote that famous song, alive with the sound of music. The music of cowbells and mooing. In the Swiss-Romande, or French-speaking part of Swtizerland, this age-old transhumance procession is cause for celebration after a long winter…

    One of the exciting things about my new home in the Swiss Chablais is the mind-boggling array of world-famous cheese produced all around me. This is where raclette, Switzerland’s most iconic melting cheese comes from and I have recently discovered a beautiful mountain farm I can hike to that produces an excellent version of it. The regions of Emmental, Gruyere, Abondance,…

For the first time in 15 years I don’t have a vegetable garden to tend. Instead I have two small planters filled with some fresh herbs I can’t live without (lovage, parsley, chives, basil and coriander). While I miss Petraia’s amazing orto, to be honest I don’t miss all the work that went with it. The organic produce I can…

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