June 15, 2011

The Romans Did Everything

It was a beautiful evening on the coast, but we would learn later that it was the calm before the storm.  We journeyed 30 minutes South to check out the coastal town of Ste. Maxime.....explore a bit and have dinner.  Here are a few photos.....


After walking the back streets and checking out the shops, we see there is an Italian Fair on the waterfront.  Among the vendors are the Parmesan guys from, you guessed it,  Parma.  We have bought from them before...their cheese is OUTSTANDING......bio (organic) and aged.  We bought the 24 and 36 month.  Older than that,  the texture was a bit powdery.  125 Euros later, we thought we had purchased what we needed! 

Then we come upon the truffle booth......can't get past without making a purchase.  I bought a couple of jars of the truffle/mushroom spread that I will use on some blinis the next couple of weeks.  We are having a great time discovering what we love best.....FOOD!

Time to move on to dinner.  We head down the coast and this is where the Romans come in.  You know they were everywhere here in the South of France.  Julius Caesar came over from Italy (on the Aurelian Way) around 45-50 BC.  Frejus was a big Roman enclave, but here, between Sainte Maxime and Frejus, is a small unique site.  I guess you would say it was the first fish farm.  Yes, way back then, the Romans had the idea to farm raise fish (a vivier). 

Look very carefully in the center of the picture and you will see, underwater, the walls to contain the fish.  They used the natural calanque on each side to construct the ponds between them.  If you focus, you will see 2 connecting walls.

It is getting dark now so we turn our thoughts to dinner. Nous avons faim!  A little further down, we stop at a restaurant on the water.  Great setting....casual...and the food was exceptional.  
X had the gambas and I had the whole grilled fish of the day.  Have a photo of his but I dove into boning mine before I realized that I had not taken a photo.  C'est dommage....it was great and their sides were outstanding...a couscous.  Here is Xavier's shrimp...
 And our wine was, of course, rosé......from Rocquebrune s/Argens....our neighbor!

Headed back home as raindrops started to fall.  It was the night of the big storm.  Made it into the garage as the deluge began! Perfect timing.