Sunday, February 2, 2014
Quest for vinegar good excuse for trip along Côte Vermeille
Our first stop was Banyuls sur Mer where we hoped to buy some red wine vinegar from the local shop that sells all the vinegars made not far from town, up in the hills. Of course the shop is shut until April. Even the local shop that sells all the local products was shut until next weekend.
By now it was almost 1:45 and we hadn't had lunch. Not that we were terribly hungry, but we knew that by 2 pm we wouldn't find anywhere open for lunch. Luckily, we found a place right on the beach, where we had some champignon omelets and a glass of wonderful pale pink French rose. Satisfied, we returned to the car and drove farther north to Collioure.
Our next stop was the big fishing port of Port Vendres, where several boats had just arrived. We stopped at the wonderful fish market, where the local fish is beautifully presented. Part of the market is for shellfish and a huge local food section. Here we found the red wine vinegar we were looking for. The market also has a sizable take-away section. We succumbed and bought some Coquilles Sant Jacques in a puff pastry and some fideua, a dish typical of the Valencian region. It originated in the 1920s in the city of Gandia when thin noodles like vermicelli were used instead of rice in the popular dish paella. This one had scallops, shrimps, clams, squid, mussels and fish with some saffron. Delicious.