A taste of Italy – classic pizzas

As I often travel abroad alone when working, a pizza is a convenient but tasty solution to grabbing something quickly to eat whilst on the move. Indeed its history, as Nicola mentioned in a recent post, began as humble street food in the back streets of Naples. The essence of Italian pizzas is ‘less is more’. In my view the best pizzas are thin based, cooked in a traditional wood burning oven, lipsticked with a rich, deep-red tomato sauce, and topped simply with fresh ingredients. Whilst I think some of the enormous americanised cheese-filled crust experiences available in the UK have their moment (usually after 2 a.m.), they don’t come close to the authentic Italian.

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The Essential Autoroute Playlist

It’s not too long for me to wait until I begin to spend sizeable chunks of my summer traversing the French autoroute network, so allow me (if you will) to indulge myself a little and spend the next few moments reminiscing about some of my favourite cross-channel musical moments. So why not grab a quick glass of rosé, a crusty baguette and a healthy helping of morbier before sitting back and imagining yourself topping up the driver’s tan…

1. Nino Ferrer – La Rua Madureira

Nino Ferrer was a French-Italian singer who shot to fame in the late sixties on the back of a number of bossa-nova inspired singles. The street in the title can be found in the centre of Rio De Janeiro and the lyrics contain other references to the area which inspired the music itself.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZw8OWbQjaE]

 

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5 Top Tips for driving in France

I’m delighted to be able to introduce a guest post from Michael Smith from Sanef Tolling UK.  Since 2008 Sanef UK have provided télépéage tags for UK residents planning on driving in France, as well as any more information you may need about driving abroad.

Apart from driving on the right hand side of the road, driving in France is largely the same as driving in the UK. In fact, most Brits enjoy driving in France! The roads are looked after privately which tends to mean that they’re not as hard-going on your suspension as their British counterparts!

Once you have acclimatised to being on the wrong side of the road, there are still a few road customs and laws that you should be aware of. Here are five of our most popular tips.

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A taste of France – Moelleux au Chocolat

It’s 10p.m. on February 13th. Is there anybody in the UK who doesn’t know its Valentine’s Day tomorrow? In my own personal efforts to avoid the truckload of guilt placed at my doorstep for not making an overblown romantic gesture to my loved one, I find myself at the front doors of one of the leading supermarkets.

I take my place in the middle of this last minute pilgrimage, surrounded by other like-minded souls. A number of glances are exchanged. Knowing looks, all of them, before the communal stampede to the chocolates and cards.

As it happens I’m in Valentine credit. My girlfriend forgot last year so by my own estimations I can either (a) make slightly less effort than I might normally do, or (b) make a bit more effort to increase the credit in the bank for any potential future absent mindedness.

My guilt at even having had the aforementioned consideration leads me onwards to the home baking section, as I have now consequently decided to have a go at making a chocolate cake. Or as it’s known in a considerably more fancy fashion, ‘Moelleux au chocolat’, or rather more literally ‘Marrowy with chocolate’. Maybe its better placed in our alternative menu?

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