It's been so long since I've had a chance to just sit down and blog a bit. The last two months have been quite hectic and I'm still recovering from my near mugging experience. In the meantime though, I squeezed in a holiday before starting a new job, but my blogging time has been severely limited in the last month or so.
The holiday was spent with my folks and we got to see some amazing places in France that I'd never been to before; Monet's Garden in Giverny, The Bayeux Tapestry of William the Conqueror's invasion of Grand Bretagne in 1066, La Mémorial de Caen, the Point du Hoc of the D-Day landings, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery there, Mont St Michel and various megalithic sites near Carnac in Brittany.
All in all, it was great to have a break from the routine, especially before being plunged back into the routine of 9 to 5. Getting out and about in the different regions of France always introduces one to new spaces and places; not to mention different regional specialities in the all-impotant food and drink department.
This trip was very much about Normandy and Brittany, which is very much crêpe and seafood country. As I have a new appreciation for fish soup, I was well pleased with the versions I tasted in Brittany.
To drink is apple juice: cider, Pommeau and Calvados. Even breakfast starts with Calavdos. I also got to sample some excellent beers from Brittany, my favourite being the Lancelot Cervoise which has a noticeable ginger flavour. Although the real beer highlight of the holiday was enjoying a bottle of real Belgian Trappist beer; Westvleteren - a truly rare experience. Thanks Jan.
Yeesh am I talking about alcohol again? Well then, I might as well go the whole hog;
It was in the Honky Tonk Pub in the small port of St Goustan, that the barman introduced me to Unchillfiltered Whisky, or Whisky as it should be. Apparently the chill filtering process began because consumers did not like the fact that Whisky turned hazy or cloudy when water was added, much like pastis does. Thus began the process of chill filtering to appease the market. Purists believe that chill filtering removes some of the flavour, and until the fortunate introduction I had, I thought that Unchillfiltered Whisky was all but extinct.
The two Whiskies, Te Bheag and Poit Dhubh, I tasted were remarkable and I am now a convert to them, although if forced to, I'll still have a wee dram of Lagavulin.