Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Alsace and Lorraine: Food, Folklore and FUN, FUN, FUN


So I lived in Northern Lorraine (Moselle), just on the cusp of Alsace. I heart this area, due to it's rich history from the wars and the mixture of German and French culture. If you took notes in History class, you remember that Alsace and Lorraine (Moselle) have been "spoils of war" ; therefore, these regions have gone back and forth between Germany and France over the past century and a half. Since its liberation from the after WWII, the area has remained French. In addition to the cultural mixture of the two countries, a specific Alsatian culture exists, including a German dialect, architecture (as seen in the above buildings), and cuisine.

Alsace's cuisine includes tarte flambée (below) So delicious! It's basically a super-thin crusted, creamy pizza (sans tomato sauce).

Alsace also has YUMMY white wines that are served in glasses unique to their region (the wine glasses always have green stems) :

Below on the right is my responsable (the lady who took care of me all year and bitched at France Telecom and other French companies with horrible customer service). She and her husband took me out for a nice last dinner.
 I ate a copious salad that was dressed with foie gras (duck liver), more duck, smoked salmon, shrimp and other stuff I can't remember.

After the meal, I had my first Irish coffee and it was so delicious! Okay that's the last time I saw "delicious." So, you can assume, if I am showing a picture of food or drink from now on, that it was delectable.
During the meal, as a present from all the English teachers at the high school, I received these two gifts of crystal after the dinner: a perfume bottle and a powder glass jar. Crystal and glass are also typical products from this region in France.

Here is a tarte aux citrons (I guess it's like a Key Lime Pie) that I discovered my last week from a patisserie in Sarrebourg called Antoni.  

 I also bought macaroons. Num num num (an onomatopoeia for the sound you make when chowing down). 

Here is my last lunch with a colleague in Sarrebourg...

...we ate Quiche Lorraine! Of all my 7 months in Lorraine, this was my first Quiche Lorraine at a restaurant. Is anybody else thinking of the song "Quiche Lorraine" by the B52s, or is it just me?
In an unrelated meal, here is French onion soup that I ate at....

... a touristy, ridiculously cute Alsatian restaurant (Le Gruber) in Strasbourg. Good food. Horribly slow service.

More food from another meal: a tarte with tomatoes and mozzarella that I ate at L'epicerie in Strasbourg:

Okay, in addition to architecture and cuisine, Alsace has traditional costumes. Here is an example of the typical Alsatian folklore fashion. The first picture is from a Hansi postcard done by Jean-Jacques Waltz.

During my last weekend in Strasbourg, I bought this print bellow by a Belgian artist who mixed traditional Alsace costuming with Roy Lichtenstein motifs.
The gallery puts the paintings in pizza boxes for protection:
A Swiss banker just opened this art gallery near the Dome in Strasbourg about 3 weeks before. Therefore, they have no website and I can't remember the name. Yet, the prints were affordable and pop-culturally creative and witty. If you go to Strasbourg, I highly suggest finding this place.

To conclude, I will leave some pictures from my last weekend in Strasbourg with my German and Austrian buddies who are also fellow Murray State Alumnis (**GO RACERS!!!***).

With some random Alsatians that we met at a Kebab restaurant:
Alors, c'est l'Alsace. 
I hope that I can return next year to teach more English. Fingers crossed!


  1. How great! I love the church pics, don't you love how no matter how small the town in france it always has a gorgeous church?
    So how's America?

  2. I'm pretty sure you had a great time. Those food look really delicious. And wonderful photos to top it all.


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