Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lyon, France

I originally was not going to visit Lyon. However, after learning that it is the ‘gastronomic capital of France’, I simply had to check it out!

For my first night, Cser Jean-Marie took me and another friend to a restaurant in Vieux Lyon (old Lyon). Apparently, Lyonnais cuisine is centered around pork. I ordered a three-course menu. The entrée (appetizer) consisted of pig brain, nose and foot, which I could not believe the French would eat! The brain tasted like jellyfish. This dish tasted good with a sauce similar to mayonnaise. For the plat (main dish), I ate blood sausage with apples. The sausage was cooked so well that is was very soft and tender. The apples were also soft and its slight sweetness complemented the saltiness of the sausage. Lastly, for dessert, I ate a praline tart, which was rich but satisfying!

For my second night, Jean-Marie cooked for me and his friend. Since I had mentioned the previous night that I have never eaten rabbit before, Jean-Marie decided to cook a traditional rabbit dish. The rabbit was tender, having been cooked in white wine for 45 minutes. Also in the rabbit dish were potatoes and mushrooms. For dessert, Jean-Marie made a banana cake; the recipe was from Madagascar. The cake was filling and not too sweet (which I believe constitutes excellent dessert).

Lyon is also famous for silk makers and traboules. I visited several of the latter, which are passages that lead into a courtyard and out into another street. Many of these courtyards and buildings contained Renaissance-era helical and rectangular staircases.

One last highlight was the visit to the Basilica de Fourviere, from where one can see the Saone River and Presqu’ile (center of Lyon). Furthermore, the basilica is quite ornate within, with columns containing statues of hens and angels and Medieval mosaics on the walls.

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