PARIS—Sidney Delourme gets really passionate when showing pictures of his ambitious project. For now, it is just a huge rooftop in Paris overlooking rails and old towers with the Montmartre hill in the background, but his drawings show plans for green and wooden spaces.The 31-year-old is developing a huge urban farm in the heart of Paris, which is often cited for its lack of green space compared to its large population size. A study by MIT’s Sensible City Lab published in January found that Paris is the least green city among 10 major cities studied.
We were only seven project developers…Today, we can estimate that there are anywhere between 200 to 300 projects under development
People like Delourme want to change that. With his working-partner and co-founder Sarah Msika, they are in the process of securing further funding to turn the rooftop of a former railway site into an innovative urban farm covering 7,000 square meters (1.7 acres).
The duo intend to plant purple basil, chocolate mint, ancient lettuce, and edible flowers in the farm. The facility will have many innovative features, including a greenhouse that gets its heat from a data center located below, hydroponics cultures—a method of growing plants in water rather than in soil—and space for permaculture. Plans are also in place to include a store to sell some of the produce, as well as areas for educational activities [ . . . ]
Continue at: Urban Farming Flourishes in Paris | urban farming
French recipes Four hearty traditional dishes that owe more to the farmhouse kitchen than to haute cuisine, including poule au pot and duck à l’orange
Poule au pot (pictured above)
The story goes that France’s King Henry IV declared that every family in France should have the means to eat chicken every Sunday, and from this, the poule-au-pot was born.
Poule-au-pot is chicken simmered in water with vegetables and aromatics. The broth can either be served separately or with the chicken and vegetables. A spent hen – a chicken bred to lay eggs – is traditional for this dish. Tougher and more gamey-tasting than chicken bred for meat, such a hen would require a longer simmering time than is indicated below, at least two hours, to become tender.
Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr 25 min
1 tbsp lard or oil
450g beef chuck or top round steak, not too lean, cut into large cubes
6 small onions, or shallots, peeled
150g lardons or streaky bacon, diced
1 tbsp flour
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 bottle red wine, ideally a light red burgundy or red hermitage
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 bouquet garni – thyme, bay leaf and parsley tied in a bunch with string so it can be easily removed before serving
Salt and black pepper
12 small mushrooms
Parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Heat the lard or oil in a large pan on a high flame and fry the meat until browned on all sides, then add the onions and fry until those are also browned.
Meanwhile, in another pan, sweat the bacon in some oil or lard for a few minutes [ . . . ]
More recipes at THE GUARDIAN: Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoulet | Food | The Guardian
I am, by nature, suspicious of food cliches. I don’t think Grandma’s cooking was always better. Certainly, my grandmother’s wasn’t. She hadn’t met a packet she couldn’t open and regarded the notion that she should cook from scratch as a calculated insult. Likewise, the good old days were nowhere near as good as now: choice was limited, quality was poor and “abundance” was a word for spelling competitions, not a descriptive term to be applied to food stocks.
I have long bridled at the insistence that the food cultures of our European neighbours are so much better than ours. It ignores the realities of history. Yes, trying to find a good meal in Britain outside the home (and inside it, for that matter) immediately after the second world war was as tricky as finding an honest banker in London’s Square Mile. Then again, during that war we industrialised food production to help fight a war of national survival, losing purchase on both cookery traditions and kitchen skills.
It seems all it takes to soothe me is a good selection of cheeses and a recently picked fig
And what’s so good about those robust food cultures anyway? They tend to be inward-looking and small-minded. Two weeks in Tuscany sounds like a fabulous idea. Then the reality slides in, like ink seeping slowly across blotting paper: day after day of the same bloody pasta dishes, the same rustic salads and anything for dessert as long as it’s tira-sodding-misu or something “inventive” involving pears and almonds. By day five, what you wouldn’t do for a bit of Thai food doesn’t bear thinking about. We eat more widely and thrillingly in Britain specifically because of the weakness of our indigenous food culture [ . . . ]
Continue at THE GUARDIAN: The cliche is French food is better than ours. The trouble is, it’s true | Food | The Guardian