Thursday, July 30, 2009

Read My Hips

I don't need a passport to satisfy my sweet tooth. The Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia where I live has no shortage of excellent pastry shops. My favorite is Bredenbeck's Bakery which has been in business for over 100 years. Their recipe for apple raisin tart was brought over from Germany by the original owner and passed down for generations. They make a killer pound cake, pretty petite fours and always offer FREE samples.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Armagnac: The Original Viagra

Most Americans have no idea what Armagnac is, let alone how to pronounce it correctly. (Arm-NYACK) I admit, I didn't know much about France's oldest brandy until I visited the region for which it is named. Armagnac, located in southwest France, is the historic Gasconne province that gave us D'Artagnan, The Three Muskateers and the brandy that is credited with curing impotence, memory loss and the plague. Well, that's what made it a hot seller in the Middle Ages.
These days, Armagnac's mystique is still going strong as a seductive after dinner drink and a tantalzing ingredient in southwestern French cuisine. Like French kisses? Try a bise francaise, prunes marinated in Armagnac, filled with foie gras. Or simply dab Armagnac behind your ears and see what happens. Photo courtesy of BNIA/Michel Carossio