Couscous in France: It’s a Long Story

To look at all the Maghrebi/North African restaurants in Paris, you might be tempted to think the food they serve appeared only recently in France. It’s not hard to visualize this scenario when you consider the exodus of pieds noirs and Harkis (local men who served as soldiers for France) that occurred as Algeria fought…

An Ancient Mediterranean Taste: France’s Boutargue

The Egyptians who fled to Marseille from Egypt after the Napoleonic debacle there  (1801) brought with them a hankering for batarekh, now called boutargue or poutargue in Provençal. Happily, Marseille happened to be a place where they could find batarekh, a caviar-like product made from the pressed and dried roes of grey mullets (Mugil cephalus)….

Rediscovering Rabelais

The world of food constantly and consistently offers opportunities for discovering convoluted linkages between the darnedest things. Take, for example, my initial goal of writing about melegueta pepper, a spice originating in Africa. A nice addition to some of the material on Africa appearing on this blog, I thought. I started with a foray into…