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My culinary tool box

by Feb 17, 2020Almonds, Food & Drink, South French Lifestyle

I am packing up my suitcase for a culinary week in France and will take with me:

Nut Cracker, Waiter’s Knife, Oyster Knife, Truffle Slicer and Stainless-steel Wine Goblets.

But why all this effort?

Well, I’d like to admit it: I enjoy eating and drinking very much (I also like to cook). In a country like France you don’t have to be ashamed of this – that’s quite normal here. I would even go one step further and claim that these hobbies are one of the keys to French culture.

Back then, hanging out in a stone hut far from civilization with only rudimentary equipment, the challenge arose to professionally approach the unfamiliar culinary delights. First it was about improvising and then learning. Here you will find our culinary toolbox for a windy surf and turf region.

Almond shells on table

Nut Cracker

Initially, a hammer or even a sledgehammer was to be used for the region’s hard-shelled almonds. Result: Most of the almond seeds broken ☹

This cracking process is slow, loud and unprecise. The resulting almond seeds are not a nice sight to the to eye, bad for roasting and sometimes unusable.

Waiter’s Knife

Our pocketknife’s corkscrew was tortured for many years in opening more bottles of wine that most swiss army knives will ever see. Result: blunt blades from cutting the capsule (i.e., removing the metal cap on top), deformed corkscrews and crumbling corks. ☹

Oh no, again time to buy a new pocketknife always these cork crumbs in the glass. Yuk!

Oyster knife with oyster

Oyster Knife

A pocketknife and a work glove had to serve for opening oysters for a long time. Result: bloody hands and broken oyster shells. ☹

You can’t serve the oysters in their shell anymore; you end up with brittles of shell in your mouth and inflamed cuts on your palms.

two hands full of truffles

Truffle Slicer

A regular (and sadly rather blunt) knife was often used to slice truffles. Result: Time-consuming cutting, in which slices ended up much too thick to allow the full celebration of this specialty’s aroma. ☹

Such a shame for the money and what a loss in truffleling potential for the next days.

Wine goblets and a case of oystersd

Stainless Steel Wine Goblets

Again, wind and/or a happy celebration and it happens: The wine glasses tip over and fall onto the rocky ground. These circumstances, and especially their combination, made us pay a lot of tuition fees in the form of broken glass. ☹

You will spill the wine anyway but who would like to have glass shards in their feet and constantly having buy new glasses in addition?

Over the years, juvenile culinary recklessness turned to the conclusion that proper tools (as always) pay off!

Because you are surely reluctant to bring along such many metal items with you to your vacation, you will find this basic culinary equipment in all our accommodations. And of course, we’ll also teach you how to use it.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

PS: Why a hammer and a pipe wrench are not suitable for properly opening a lobster is a different story.

Oyster knife, wiater's knife, nut cracker and truffle slicer