A surprising sweet touch

Earlier this month my wife and I were hosting two of our good friends from Toronto, Rob and Darlene, which accounts for the distinct shortage of postings on Radio Free Daglan at the time.

But aside from all the fun we had, the visit provided a lot of material for future postings about fine food and truly enjoyable meals. Today I’ll take a look back at one of our lunches, which included a nice bit of sweetness in a surprising place.

We had driven to Beynac (famous for the castle once owned by Richard the Lionheart) for a Wednesday lunch at one of our favourite restaurants in the Greater Daglan Area, La Petite Tonnelle. (I’ve reviewed dishes served at this place several times.)

As I often do, I started with the smoked salmon plate. Then, for my main course, or plat principal, I chose the gambas (or large shrimp) from Madagascar. Of course they were awfully good; that’s not the surprise.

On the plate with the shrimp were two accompaniments. In the photo below, you’ll see one on the upper left which appears to be wrapped in nori, the roasted sheet of seaweed used to wrap sushi, and one on the upper right which appears to be wrapped in something caramel-coloured. Here’s the plate:

Plate of shrimp

The surprise is the wrapper around the veggies.

As it turned out, the mixture in the tube on the right was a macedoine of cooked vegetables — small, uniform cubes of various steamed vegetables, like carrots, zucchini and turnip. That was quite good in itself. But the surprise was the wrapper, which turned out to be a tuile of melted or carmelized sugar that crackled into nice bits as you cut into the tube of vegetables, and added that nice (and surprising) touch of sweetness.

That little trick alone could help convince more people to eat their veggies. And what about the sticky rice inside the nori roll? My friend Rob had the same accompaniments with his main dish, and came to the same conclusion: gloopy rice thing — no; sweet veggy thing — yes!

This entry was posted in French food, Life in southwest France, Restaurants in France, Restaurants in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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