French Food for the Holidays? These 4 Podcasts in English & French Will Help Get You Through

Anne-Fleur, Frenchly’s podcast reviewer, serves up 4 podcasts for the Francophile who wants to cook French this Holiday season.

By Anna Fluer

The holiday season is upon us and I am struggling to come up with an exciting and somewhat traditional meal for Christmas Eve. I will be hosting my parents for the very first time in a while. On top of that, Christmas is the easy part! My household is going from a 3 person family to 6 (my parents are traveling with one of my sisters) for two whole weeks. So I need serious help in the form of inspiration for menus that are as tasty and healthy as they are celebratory. So I did what I typically do when I am looking for ideas and information: I opened my podcast app and searched.

What I love about gathering information this way is that I am able to consider many options at my own pace while hearing a story at the same time. There is no huge stack of books to pore over; just me and my headphones. I selected my four favorite podcasts for you: three in French and one in English. We will talk about food, and since we are Francophiles, I added a podcast dedicated to wine.

Get ready, you are going to get hungry!

As a reminder, here is what the headphones next to the titles mean: one headphone, like this: 🎧  is for shorter and more tractable French and up to three headphones like this:  🎧  🎧 🎧  for longer and more complex. 

The Earful Tower, Oliver Gee 🎧  

What it’s about

Finally a podcast in English? Yes! And one I really like. Oliver Gee is an Australian expat in Paris who has been taking his audience through France and Paris with his “ Earful Tower” for the past 5 years. He talks about pretty much everything with his guests–people who make the city of lights … shine. It is both a fun podcast and very instructive.

What I like about this show

I love Oliver Gee’s sense of humor. He has lived in Paris for a while, and incorporates jokes and more from both his native Australian and French cultures.

An episode not to miss

There are tons of episodes you should not miss here but since we are talking about food and wine, you should absolutely listen to “Le Meurice : Inside the Kitchen.” Oliver Gee stayed at the iconic hotel Le Meurice in the center of Paris and asked to interview the head chef, Amaury Bouhours. Not only is the interview truly fascinating to just talk to the chef alone, but half of it is recorded in the actual kitchen of this legendary place. You’ll learn about what it’s like to run a restaurant with two Michelin stars, about his cooking background and of course, about French food.

 Rue de Rivoli, the street of Le Meurice, the iconic palace hotel in the center of Paris.

Gudden Appetit (RTL Originals), Mathieu Lopez 🎧  🎧 

What it’s about

This podcast is the most straight to the point tool you’ll find to gather exciting recipes of French classics. In less than four minutes, Mathieu Lopez will share a recipe for you to put together delicious dishes for your guests … without having to take the day off!

What I like about this show

I like the variety of foods covered by this show: he talks about appetizers, desserts and everything in between. The host also covers different kinds of food and gives options for vegetarians as well as meat lovers. Gudden Appetit is published weekly, on Sundays, and already has over 30 episodes brimming with 30 possibilities as each show focuses on one specific dish. Mathieu Lopez also offers the recipe in the descriptive notes of each episode so there is no need to stress over taking notes while listening.

An episode not to miss

I am a French woman living in the United States, and as cliché as it may sound, I miss a lot of the foods I grew up with. Especially foie gras and stinky cheeses. Some of my favorite recent episodes cover just that–French foods I long for: foie grasChristmas cookiesorange and ginger bread,  as well as my favorite kind of pasta, which is not so French, but nonetheless, alla Genovese.

Foie Gras, a French holiday tradition

Les Mains dans le Raisin, Julien 🎧 🎧 

What it’s about

The name of this podcast literally means “hands in the grapes,”which is a sort of a pun for being caught in the act. “Les Mains dans le Raisin” is a podcast about wine. In it, we follow Julien, a young winemaker in the Beaujolais region and Julien introduces us to wine personalities, scientists and other wine enthusiasts and aims to better understand his profession. This podcast is somewhat immersive and you’ll hear winemakers cut the grapes as well as people clinging to glasses as they cheer, just as if you were there with Julien. The lexicon may be a tad more complex than the other podcasts of this selection, so if you decide to give it a try, look up things like levures (yeast), tanins (tannins), AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), or even robe (color).

What I like about this show

I like this podcast because it has no specific agenda and instead follows the real questions of a new winemaker asking how it’s done and done well. In “Les Mains dans le Raisin,”  you’ll hear about the impact of climate change on the grapes as much and you’ll also learn about how to taste wine … which is harder than you may think!

An episode not to miss

This podcast is fairly new and only four episodes have been published to date. My favorite episode is this one where Julien explores the impact of global warming on winemaking. It is  truly fascinating.

Grapes and winemaking in Burgundy, France.

Fait Maison, Céline Ghelardi 🎧 

Full disclosure, I consulted for Céline as she was working on her concept. 

What it’s about

Céline Ghelardi is a French expat who lives in Ohio. Pediatric nurse by day, she has a passion for cooking and baking. Her passion is so strong that she passed the CAP Pâtisserie, a French certification all bakers must obtain to sell their goods. A few years ago, she became a cooking advisor for an e-commerce platform, Guy Demarles (the French equivalent of Bon Cook) and had an epiphany: this is what she wanted to do, cook and help people cook what they really want. Her podcast is very new (the first episode was published this week) but I think it’s very promising. In under 15 minutes, Céline introduces French classics, like savory and sweet tartes (pies) or apéro dînatoire de Noël (there is no real word in English for this: it’s an appetizer turned into a meal. Sort of.) and deep dives into  step-by-step instructions to recipes with real chef tips. Her modo is that homemade food always tastes better and is better for your health. She has told me that she wants to disabuse people of the notion that homemade food is very time consuming or more difficult to attain.

What I like about this show

I have been nurturing the fantasy of becoming a cook and hosting guests at a small café. While it probably will never happen, I worked on my CAP as well (the degree I mentioned above) and listening to Céline’s passion is truly inspiring. I really enjoyed that she digs deeper than sharing just a recipe and also shares very accessible tips to make the results of the recipe stand out.

An episode not to miss

The first episode focuses on tartes, and walks you through the making of a tarte Bourdaloue, a pear and almond delicious treat. I dare you not to make one this holiday season after you listen to this!

Anne-Fleur Andrle is a Boston-based French-American podcast producer. She hosts a French Morning show called, French Expat, where she documents the journeys of French-speaking expats around the world. She is so passionate about podcasts that she created a podcast about it, called Génération Podcast, and has a weekly curated newsletter with French podcasts that she thinks are not to miss. She also consults for various organizations to help ramp up their podcast footprint

Source: French Food for the Holidays? These 4 Podcasts in English & French Will Help Get You Through – Frenchly

French regions compete to replace Paris as wine ‘capital’

Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and Rome have all been making their pitches to be the new home of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) after it announced they were leaving their Paris offices.

The OIV plans to settle into its new headquarters by 2024.

The OIV is one of the world’s most prominent wine organizations and has 48 member states, including most major wine-producing countries, except the US and China. It produces annual reports on global wine production and consumption.

Such an international scope gained the OIV the monicker “UN of wine” and its headquarters as “wine’s world capital.”

Mayor François Rebsamen of Dijon, where the OIV offices would be located if Burgundy gains the nod, revealed they have solid funding brought by the region’s support.

The decision will be finalized with a vote of all of the member countries.

However, it’s France who would choose which of its cities to propose for OIV approval.

Word has gotten out that the French government is leaning toward recommending Dijon.

A French government proposal for the location is expected to be made at the next OIV General Assembly on July 12, a spokesperson said.

The OIV member states are given a reflection period and may vote in October 2021.

Source: Econo Times

U.S. Imports Of French Wine And Spirits Soar

After French drinks export shipments to the U.S. dropped significantly in 2020 due to tariffs—whose five-year suspension was announced this past Tuesday—exports have been rebounding strongly in the first four months of 2021. In this calendar year through April, U.S. imports of wine and spirits from France leapt 25% and 13% in volume terms respectively, according to French government agency BusinessFrance. French beer and cider also registered gains during the period.

Provence is now the single-largest region among French wines exported to the U.S. and increased 15% through April in volume terms, driven by ongoing growth for rosé (+17.5%). But the fastest-growing wine region is the Languedoc, which soared 86% year-to-date. Gains were recorded nearly across all segments as vermouth exports to the U.S. rose 41% year-to-date while Champagne surged 48%. Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon together comprise over two-thirds of the Champagne market in the U.S.—according to Impact Databank—and bucked the trend last year by registering volume gains during the pandemic.

With the exception of vodka (-37% year-to-date), imports of French spirits also recorded impressive increases through April. French liqueurs soared 47% in volume terms, while the largest segment, Cognac, rose 49%. After crossing the 5-million-case mark last year, Hennessy Cognac became one of the 10 largest-selling spirits overall in the U.S. market for the first time. Hennessy and Rémy Martin, which is also growing strongly, comprise well over three-quarters of the Cognac market in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.—Juan Banaag

Source: Shanken News Daily: Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

French winemakers set candles and straw ablaze to save vines from frost

fires at vineyards

French winemakers have lit candles and burned bales of straw to try to protect their vineyards from sharp spring frosts, with the forecast of more cold nights this week raising fears of serious damage and lost production.

Temperatures plunged as low as -5°C overnight in wine regions including Chablis, in Burgundy, and Bordeaux, which could hurt shoots already well-developed because of earlier mild weather.

Outside Chablis, known around the world for its fruity, acidic white wine, a deep orange glow from tens of thousands of candles hung over the rolling vineyards in the early hours.

Winemaker Laurent Pinson said he had put between 300 and 600 large candles – burning cans of paraffin – across many of his 14 hectares of vines.

“The harvest is at stake over a few nights – one, two or three nights – and if we have no harvest, that means no sales, no wine for consumers,” Pinson told Reuters. [ . . . ]

Continue at source: French winemakers set candles and straw ablaze to save vines from frost | Reuters

This extraordinary $16 French rosé proves that 2020 was a good year for pink

Wines

RECOMMENDED | Also, another exceptional French rosé, a Loire white, and two juicy reds from Chile and South Africa to savor.

April 2, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

Spring is here, and the weather is warming, if inconsistently. Let’s welcome rosé season. And here’s some great news: From my initial tastings of 2020 French rosés, the vintage was outstanding. Here are two examples that could almost convince me that I don’t need any others for the summer, they are so good. A caveat though: Shipping woes from the pandemic — even before the Suez Canal incident — have slowed the arrival of wines from Europe and elsewhere. Luckily, there are plenty of this week’s recommendations in stock, including an amazing Muscadet from France’s Loire Valley and two juicy, spicy reds from Chile and South Africa.

GREAT VALUE

Domaine des Herbauges Eléon’Or Rosé 2020

(Extraordinary/Sublime)

Loire Valley, France, $16

One of my favorite activities of spring is tasting through the new crop of rosés in anticipation of dinners on the patio or cool refreshment after a trail hike. This beauty suggests the 2020 rosés from France will make our summer of 2021 especially delicious. The blend is grolleau noir (an obscure Loire grape), gamay and merlot. The color is a bright pale pink that somehow seems to refract light into flavors of strawberries, cherries and candied raspberries. Stock up on this, even as you explore others. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent

Continue reading “This extraordinary $16 French rosé proves that 2020 was a good year for pink”

France’s lockdown vice? Cheese

French households feasted on cheese last year as they turned to home cooking and sought gastronomic comfort during coronavirus lockdowns that shuttered the restaurant trade.

The amount of cheese purchased by French shoppers for at-home consumption increased by more than 8% in 2020, compared with just 2% the previous year, according to figures from farming agency FranceAgriMer and market data firm Kantar.

That was part of a shift in food consumption in many countries last year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, with households initially bulk buying staples like pasta and flour, and later settling into home-eating habits with extra purchases of products like butter.

In France, mozzarella saw the steepest rise in demand among major cheese categories, with a 21% volume jump, followed by a 12% increase for raclette – a winter favourite eaten melted with potatoes and cured meats. Continue reading “France’s lockdown vice? Cheese”