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!
Charlotte and I wish to thank you and your husband for hosting such a wonderful class yesterday. We both very much enjoyed the whole day and found it a tremendously enjoyable and relaxing experience. We would certainly recommend your class to anyone who is seriously interested in learning about where to obtain the best ingredients for a meal in Nice and then in learning what to do with them. I must say that you far exceeded our expectations and that your hospitality in your lovely apartment was much appreciated. The menu you put together for us was spot on and we enjoyed very much cooking and even more so eating the results.
Bernard Starkmann, London, England