A Travellerspoint blog

Another good week made even better by the food that I ate...

semi-overcast 8 °C

I have had a relatively calm week (that really only means that I haven’t left Besançon – but there has been plenty to do here, too). I spent an inordinate amount of time last weekend pulling together my plans for Christmas break. Between trains, planes, and hostel reservations, there was a lot of going back and forth. But when it was done, I had coordinated a two week speed-tour of the UK and Ireland (specific destinations to be revealed at a later date…)! So, of course, that was big news during my weekly Skype date with Mom, Dad, and Eva. Then a couple of days later, I got a call from Eva, pretty much to the effect of “So, what would you think if I came over and met you in the UK, and we spent break together…?” Needless to say, we spent the next two hours giddily searching for transatlantic plane tickets on our respective computers with Skype up in the background. So in just over a month, the Kammerer sisters will be reunited, and Lucy and Ethel-type (mis)adventures will undoubtedly ensue!!!

Last week, I also started an English tutoring job that was advertised at the CLA. It turned out that my “student” is a young (but already established and quite successful) musician from the area who wants to improve his English for travel, interviews, and collaboration. The group is called Carbon Airways, and it is a brother-sister electronic duo worth checking out! They are on Youtube, iTunes, and Spotify!

Friday night, Nicolle and I went downtown for an international music/dance concert. But first, we went to check out the restaurant that had been recommended to us by the man at La Petite Adresse. This restaurant (only slightly bigger, but equally charming – a very friendly owner/maître d’/chef, and perhaps seven or eight tables) was called Le 100 Patates and serves only enormous gourmet baked potatoes. Deciding which one to get was an incredibly hard decision, and I will most definitely be going back to check out some of the other choices. I ordered La Tartiflette (based on a traditional dish with the same name from the Savoie region), which had lardons (bacon in little thin strips), onion, Reblochon cheese (Ben, that's "re-blow-shon"), and crème fraiche. It was so delicious, and SO much food!!!


After dinner, we waddled down the street to the university café where the concert was held. We got to watch traditional and pop performers from Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Algeria, France, Spain, Italy, and some other countries that I have forgotten… It was very cool – all of the performances were fun and interesting, but a couple were really incredible. A girl (I think that she was from Ukraine) sang three a cappella folk songs (in Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian) which were just breathtaking. There was also a duo (a guitarist from Algeria and a guy (I missed what country he was from) who played a kora that he had made himself) that was also pretty impressive.

This past Saturday was an ESN field trip to a local chocolaterie called Le Criollo. We got to watch a little bit of their fabrication process, and then taste some really delicious and unique chocolates. One, called “La Croquine Comtoise” (my favorite) was a little ball with a thin shell of dark chocolate and a liquidy center of praline magic. The only bad part is that you had to pop it all in your mouth at once because the center would pour out all over you if you tried to savor it and take small bites. Another, “Le Doubs Frisson” (The Doubs Shiver), was also dark chocolate on the outside with a thicker praline center, and the addition of cardamom, pepper, and ginger for a super fresh, almost spicy taste. The last one “La Faïencine” had the same spiced praline center, but a white chocolate exterior topped with an edible decoration giving it the appearance of a faience glaze. Not my favorite, but still pretty yummy!

From: http://www.lecriollo.com/

After those chocolate samples, our appetites had been awakened, so we went over to Gabrielle’s room, where we made some traditional ramen that her parents had sent over recently. It also came in a pouch like the ramen in the US, but the noodles were a bit different, and the flavor was entirely different – the one we made was a just red chili base, and she added garlic, onion, and mushrooms. The perfect way to warm up (and clear out the nasal passages) on a chilly day!


Later that night, the four of us went to the art cinema because it is currently showing a Korean film called A Girl at my Door. It was a very interesting (and sometimes pretty heavy) modern story about all kinds of social and personal issues (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, alcoholism, homophobia, etc.). But I think that it was well done and worth a watch!


In other news, I am continuing on my confiture and cheese exploratory mission. I recently bought a confiture de châtaignes (chestnut!), which is all right, but generally just a sugary spread with a bit of nut flavor. It’s pretty good on a toasted baguette dipped in coffee… Also delicious on a baguette – or a little slice by itself – is Coulommiers (again, Ben, "coo-low-mee-air"), a soft aged cheese very similar to brie, but with a slightly nuttier flavor.


For those of you in the Omaha area, happy first snow!!! I am a little jealous (but really only a little)…

Posted by NKammerer 11:59 Archived in France Tagged chocolate concert cinema cheese ramen tutoring christmas_break kammerer_sisters_unite carbon_airways le_100_patates tartiflette le_criollo confiture

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Wow! I wasn't expecting to hear from you again so soon. This was a very nice surprise on a harried day!

I love your Lucy and Ethel reference for you and Eva touring in December and January. I can't quite get my head around Eva traveling alone to foreign countries, but having you on the other end makes it a little less scary for me.

Your baked potato photo looks really yummy!


by Judy Trout

I went to the chocolate website, but everything was in French (of course). Somehow though, I found a Google maps tour of the factory/store. Holy vats of praline! Anyway, I can't believe among all the other amazing food you've been eating, you have also had a classy baked potato. You make our new food discoveries look pathetic, like horseradish cheddar. That would sound so funky if you weren't eating soft, aged cheeses that no one can pronounce. I always enjoy hearing about your new adventures food and otherwise!!! I'm counting down the days until Europe…35! I am equally excited and nervous to see you and fly across the ocean, respectively :D

by Eva

I can't tell you how excited we were to hear Eva is spending Christmas with you!! Way to take one for the team Eva!! Gotta love sisters!! Always taking care of each other and if it means flying over the ocean to breathtaking beautiful countries to do that - that is just what you do!! I could see myself doing the very same thing for one of my sisters!! Love it!!! You guys are going to have the time of your lives - so jealous!!! Eva will come back home loaded up with even more culinary inspiration after experiencing all the fabulous places Natalie takes her too. You guys are going to have a ball!! Can't wait to hear all about the trip! So happy for both of you!!!

Love you!

Aunt Chris

by Aunt Chris

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