Happy May Day! May day is such a strange conflation of traditions. The maypole (above) is not celebrated in French culture but rather comes from celtic and northern Europe. May 1st is a public holiday (the first of four! May holidays in France) celebrating International Worker's Day, or Labor Day. French people were amazed at my ignorance that May 1st celebrated an American event - the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicgo where labor protesters were holding a general strike campaigning for the 8-hour work day. In France, this holiday is conflated in France with the spring ritual, started in the early 20th century, of giving lily of the valley.
At Pour le Goût, May means something of a rebirth. I am introducing a new format on Pour le Gout. With a focus on the cuisine of the South of France, every month posts will be organized around a theme, with a post each week. I will also have a post per month on a wine and / or place to eat on the Cote d’Azur. In addition, I’ll post related links, resources and photos on the Pour le Gout Facebook page.
May is a busy month on the Côte d’Azur. As I write this, the sky is positively black with rain. It’s hard to imagine that in two short weeks the 65th Cannes film festival will start with it’s trail of celebrities and fans. Concurrent is the Monaco Grand Prix and with these two events, the super-rich descend, their private jets desending in a line overhead toward the civil Cannes/Mandelieu airport. Helicopters are in constant rotation from the airfields directly to yachts moored offshore. May is the Glamour Month.
For us, the regulars, the full-time residents, it’s a more humble time. Though it’s hard to tell now, the sun has been consistenly warmer and the trees are turning green and there are flowers everywhere. I am thinking again about outdoor meals and fresh foods. I decided to dedicate this spring month too all things green – aromatics and green salads. We have been spending a lot of time in the garden at Tiny House, cleaning up from years of neglect and construction. Last weekend we planted our herb garden and green salads. I can’t wait to start snipping herbs for omlettes, quiches, salads, pastas, pizzas, soups and roasts.
Coming up this month will be posts on herbs de Provence, and growing herbs and salads at home plus a post on Côte de Provence, France’s largest wine growing region in acreage, plus a trip to Eze’s famed Chevre d’Or.