Bonjour, Paris! Bonjour, Provence!

…and Avignon, Bonnieux, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Sablet, Lourmarin, Bioux, Saignon, Gigondas, Lacoste, St. Remy, Gordes, Les Baux, Goult, Lioux, Silvergue, and L’isle sur la Sorgue.



Spring air

intoxicates one quickly

through the pastis.


Young artichoke

reminded us to seek joy

with open stomachs.


(this is my “Haiku Friday”, – a tribute to The Blissful Adventurer who is much more adept at poetry than I am:-))

Anyway, this is just to say The Two Pigs are giddy with anticipation, and are about to step into a fairy-tale that is Provence in April.

We cook and travel low-tech, so there will NOT be any updates on the road for the next two weeks. I won’t be bringing along IPhones, laptops, or IPads; only the appetite. After all, I am a pig, not a bird; pigs don’t tweet :-).

The hope is that the extra lag time will result in more thoughtful posts, as I will have had a chance to internalize our culinary experiences.

So, in just a few hours, we will be hopping on a plane to Paris, and our sidekick (The 3rd Pig) will stay at home and guard my blogging laptop:

À bientôt (Till later),



Countdown to Italy

Many of you know that this blog was started in anticipation of our upcoming Italian trip. The time has come to say good-bye for the next 3 weeks, as we eat and drink our way through Rome, Amalfi coast, Napoli, Matera (Basilicata), and Puglia.

It is important to mention that I am seriously indebted to the following individuals for their help in shaping this food itinerary: fellow Chowhounders, Michael Housewright and Antonello Losito of Southern Visions, and Katie Parla.

Trips are most often defined by cultural and architectural landmarks; ours, to a great extent, by food & wine experiences we seek. Of course, our travels will include some very renowned museums and fabulous ruins, “Pathway of the Gods” hiking trail, three UNESCO heritage sights, and an outside classical music concert at Villa Rufolo, Ravello (just to name a few).

When we return at the end of September, expect detailed accounts of:

  • Rome’s “holy trinity” (of traditional Roman pastas – carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe)
  • Artisanal bakeries
  • Farmer’s market trips for picnic fare
  • Daily perfect tastes of gelato
  • Artisanal food culture off the beaten path in little mountain villages of Montepertuso, Atrani, and Nocelle
  • Quest for the world’s best pizza in Napoli
  • Adventures in the sea urchin country (Savelletri, Puglia)
  • Humble and amazing cucina povera in Puglia (one of the best places in the world to be vegetarian)
  • How burrata, mozzarella, scamorza, etc. are made
  • Centuries-old olive trees and olive oil press in action
  • Surviving multiple appetizer courses and still managing to eat at least a pasta and a dessert (by the way, I have NO idea how that is going to work)
  • Results of the wine revolution in Campania, Lazio, Basilicata, and Puglia
  • Southern Italian pastry eating contest

And many, many others!


Jeff & Natasha