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When in France, eat the specialty of the region

Posted by Sheryl Julian  July 28, 2009 04:43 PM

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aiolijar.jpg
Friends who rent a house in France had lunch on aioli day in a little village in the south of France near Arles. The garlicky mayonnaise was the center of attention, but so were snails (below), another regional specialty.

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Apparently you get lots of steamed vegetables (including a big potato; potato slathered with aioli!), the snails if you order them, so your plate starts to look like this:

aiolibowl.jpg

Then you add a big piece of cabillaud, a firm white fish in the cod family.

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If you can't get there, steam the fish yourself, grab a few snails from the garden, and pop a big potato in the oven. Here's an instant aioli.

Quick aioli
Makes about 1 cup

1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup bottled mayonnaise
Black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

1. On a cutting board with the end of a blunt knife, mash the garlic and salt until they form a paste.
2. In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in the garlic mixture, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if you like. Sheryl Julian

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Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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