Instants de Délices: Wonderful Violet ice cream
I expected something violet, or purple. . . or pink. . . .
The common violet (Viola odorata) you all have seen in woods or gardens exists in several varieties, some of which are used as medicinal herbs or as base for some culinary specialities; the Viola odorata var. parmensis (Parma violet) gave its name to “parma”, a delicate blue.
The mess begins with colours, but then. . . . this flower is a symbol of Toulouse (not Parma!), la Ville Rose (The pink city, related to the bricks constructions), and in Toulouse, you can find candies which are deep violet, perfumes, syrups, etc. . . for which the violet is the base ingredient.
. . . . and it gets really messy when you look at the main picture, and I tell you this is a violet (and liquorice) ice cream!
Well, “Instants de délices” is a sort of a fast food located at one entrance of the old city, and if like me, you do not like fast foods, but love ice and ice cream, you may try this place just for ice cream and pick some exotic, “off beaten path flavour” they offer; there is a choice of about 80-100 flavours/perfumes. . . . and the ones I tried (Violet, of course! and liquorice) were excellent and not as “pharmaceutical” I feared! The employees told me, the violet ice cream is totally “natural” and the process makes it white. This ice cream is a creation of famous chef Philippe Faur who created a very famous “foie gras” (fat duck liver) ice cream and who runs a restaurant in St Girons, south of Toulouse.
I enjoyed my ice cream a lot,, and, impressed, I had a look inside where I could see the numerous stupa like bells under which the ice creams are stored (picture 3).
Here is a link to violets of Toulouse.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Market: For a wonderful picnic
For a wonderful picnic. . . . .
. . . . . Buy food in the market!
This time, when I passed in Albi, the market was open, and, even not busy at its fullest, there was some choice in butcheries, cheese shops, at fruit sellers stalls. . . . In Central France, if you want to go for a picnic, the best choice is to buy “produits du Terroir” (local products, literally land production), and those you get at some specialised shops or at the market.
For a tasteful picnic, you will first need local ham, here dry ham, from swine which grew up outdoor and was fed organic (well, more or less!); ask for jambon du pays, the expensive one, preferably, so you do not risk to be deceived, or better, ask to taste, the butchers generally agree to give you a mini-slice.
Then, you will certainly try the dry sausage (saucisson); it is NOT salami, but real sausage, dried in the cool air of the mountains; not too hard, not too soft, choose a medium one; take about one saucisson (200-250 grams) for 4 persons; if you do not finish, you can keep them for several days in a cool place but not in a fridge. A piece of saucisson with whole wheat bread is a king’s meal in the south France countryside, and people working in the outdoors, far from home or village (shepherds, masons, peasants. . . ) have their lunch with that (and a bottle of local red wine!).
Of course, a French meal cannot go without cheese, and in Albi you have plenty of choice of local goat cheese; not only have they beautiful names, but also shapes and colours, smell. . . again, try them, you may not like the old dry strong ones, and prefer the more creamy young cheeses; there is for all tastes.
And for desert, sample some fruits; in summer, peaches are juicy and excellent.
So, then walk in a bakery, buy baguettes and if you like red wine, your meal will be perfect; plain water does well, also (but. . . no sweet drink! No, no, no!) then, find a nice place on the river banks, or, like I did, last time, in the St Salvy cloister; sit on a stone, cut your bread and saucisson. . . . . Enjoy!
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Salon de Thé: Fast Service and Quality food
A nice resto in front of the Cathedrale. Fast service, and quality food. You won't do it for the "amount" (because the daily menu is not the type of dish you will order if you are realy hongry) you will do it for the view!!!
Favorite Dish: Large choice of day-to-day menu, very tastfull, but unfortunately not if you are realy hungery. As I was :-D my Satisfaction rate will lower as it should, bearing this in mind!
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Brasserie Du Musee: Lovely Cafe Near the Cathedral
A nicely decorated cafe very close to the Cathedral. The waiter and owner were extremely sweet. There is plenty of outdoor seeting with views of the church.
Favorite Dish: I had a lovely salad Nicoise, and my friend had a tasty omelette with eggplant and tomoato. If you feel game, you can try their rabbit. Their coffee was very pleasent and they offer very nice desserts.
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Stephane Laurens: Great meal
I had the plate of the day and dessert for 11euro 50. This was the best meal of my holiday. It was chicken pieces, mushrooms, onions in a lovely sauce gravy.
Temporalite: Must visit here
Share the same bricks with St.Cecile Cathedral.
Feel like You are in the medieval ages.
Favorite Dish: forgot the name, but it was a dish with small octapus...very tasty
- Family Travel
- Wine Tasting
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