I hope that you and yours are well.
Here, we are spoiled with chocolate delights – beautifully crafted eggs, bells with wings (you can read about that below) as well as cakes galore. The French are gaga for chocolate, and it’s estimated 8.1kg is consumed per person each year! I of course, do my bit. I consider it my duty to try to fit in as best as I can. There are loads of chocolate museums in France, and the salon du chocolat trade fair in Paris is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate. It even has a fashion show in which the outfits are created from chocolate.
Bread Man of course does a roaring trade at Easter. Alongside baguettes, boulots (oval shaped loaves that are a tradition in my region), big rounds of chunky country bread and golden flaky croissants, he offers sweet treats that are simply irresistible. Especially his little Easter nest cakes. They’re made to look like birds nests but with almond and chocolate flavoured ‘straw’ on a soft, sweet bed of meringue. Decorated with cute chocolate or sugar birds, and chocolate filled eggs, they are a great centrepiece for an Easter table and even the most sweet-toothed will be satisfied with this little concoction.
When Bread Man arrived this week, he tooted the hooter of his van as always as he reached the village. It’s the signal for us to be ready to collect our bread. I stood at the gate and looked along my little road, all the way up the hill and all the way down, I saw my neighbours emerge to stand at their gates or on their doorsteps to await Bread Man’s arrival.
“Are you getting the Easter nest cakes” called “new-lady-across-the-road”. We haven’t exchanged names yet.
“Yes” I called back “et vous?”
“Of course” she said.
Next door to her Guillaume the Goat Man (he keeps goats) called “me too” and down the bottom of the road I could see Madame Bernadette was smiling, we all know she can’t resist Bread Man’s cakes.
Wherever you are, whatever you have planned, I wish you a very Happy Easter and a very bon weekend,
Bisous from my little pigsty,
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Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream – ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online, and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life
Read the whole newsletter here – or get a sneaky peak at a little of what’s in it:
Weekly virtual Visit to France: Wander the richly furnished rooms and gorgeous gardens of the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte
Bun meet brioche! How to make French style hot cross buns
Discover 10 famous French inventions including a hairdryer that we think might quite literally blow your socks off!
How to make chocolate mousse for National Chocolate Mousse Day – April 3!
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