The lemons at the Cours Saleya market don’t look like other lemons — they are fat, irregularly shaped and juicy, with the leaves still clinging to the stems. Instead of looking unnaturally shiny, the skin seems straight out of an oil painting. What is their secret? They come from the nearby town of Menton, between Nice and the Italian border, whose sunny, dry microclimate makes it the perfect setting for lemon trees. Seventy producers in the Var valley and the Menton area produce 1400 tons of citrus fruits, 70 per cent of which are lemons whose qualities are recognized by chefs such as Paul Bocuse and Joël Robuchon. Menton lemons are harvested from December to May and sometimes later; they keep remarkably well. The town celebrates this zingy fruit, whose zest and juice enliven any dish, with a two-week annual festival in February, complete with parades, fireworks and exhibitions.
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The small artichokes known as "violets" here are in season from November to May. I love to cook with them!
Linda's sole comment as we exited the parking garage was "The experience of a lifetime"... and that's an understatement. We so enjoyed our experience with you. You are a treasure.
I likewise appreciate your extra effort to find monk fish. It was a special treat. As for the lemon tart... out of this world. Lucky Sam gets the leftovers.
Yes, we stopped at the cheese shop for a hunk of Roquefort Carles Artisanale. Yes, we stopped at the bakery for a baguette à l'ancienne and a tourte de blettes. Now we have everything we need to sustain ourselves until we depart on Saturday.
Be advised that you are on our permanent list of "Things to See and Do in Nice". We plan to enroll EVERY time we are here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you !!! Tell Sam we think you're a rock star. He probably already knows that. The Michelin stars are in the mail.
John Corry, California, USA