a très french day

Since arriving in Toulouse, I’ve taken loads of pictures and am trying to get ahead on blog posts before the daily grind of classes start up. I’m in my last week before my month-long TEFL course begins, during which I will be in class from 9am-7pm Monday through Friday. No more day time adventures or Netflix binges. But that’s quite alright because I miss having a routine and am also excited to meet the people in my class. Anyway, here’s a post about an especially French day we had!

Around the corner from where we live, there’s a square called Place du Busca and in that square you can find our favorite boulangerie, perfect for an afternoon treat or hangover croissants.

Even the pups eat good in France!
Even the pups eat good in France!

They bake loafs of bread, trays of croissants, and baskets of baguettes but what I like most are the rows of pastries and whole cakes you can choose from. And this is a given, but you can get a great espresso here too.

pastries

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An antique market along Allées François Verdier

Later that evening, we wandered north along the canal for dinner.

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Daniel and I have eaten so many amazing meals so far, but one thing we had heard a lot about and not tried yet was Gascony cuisine. This style of food is “one of the pillars” of French cuisine and typical of this area, the Aquitane and the Midi-Pyrenees. There’s an age-old tradition of cooking in duck fat that, given the long life expectancy of Gascons, is a classic example of the French Paradox.

Anything “simmered” or “fried to a crisp” are things I can get behind, so we hit up Au Gascon! Located on a side street near Place du Capitole, this quaint restaurant was the epitome of traditional southwestern French cuisine. On par with our previous dining experiences, Daniel and I fumbled through the menu and with the language but somehow successfully ordered a bottle of wine, a goat cheese salad, cassoulet, and a duck roast. What followed was one of those endorphin rushes released by food so good it makes you want to cry and laugh at the same time.

My dish, the cassoulet, was a simmering pot of white beans and a crispy, but also super tender leg of duck. Daniel also had duck with a rustic potato side dish.

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All of this was washed down by a wine from the Fronton area, which stretches between Toulouse and Montauban. Centuries ago, noble knights made Fronton their wine of choice, but lest you think me some wine snob, you should know this particular bottle was chosen for its price (only 9EUR!).

A knocker spotted on the walk home
A knocker spotted on the walk home

Filled will food, wine, and sights, Daniel and I walked back home hand-in-hand and for the 100th time said, “can you believe we live here?”

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