About the food of Monaco

Monaco. Photo by Senet.

Monaco sparkles. Built right up on the scrubby, rocky, Mediterranean coastline, she’s bustling with luxurious yachts, zipping Ferrari, and more Formula 1 fan-wear than anyone can sport in a lifetime.  This is a place where you can pay $40 for a beer and $1,200 for vodka (just head over to Jimmy’s Bar, according to  Stepping the World).

Incredible.

It’s hard to believe that all this flashiness can be built into a teeny tiny country like Monaco. She’s the second smallest country in the world, measuring in at just 0.76 square miles. In this compact bit of land, there lives almost 36,000 people. I’m no math whiz, but this seems like a lot of people such a microscopic parcel of land.

Panorama of Monaco, photo by Tobi 87

I’m wondering if perhaps some of the people live out of sight – perhaps in a maze of underground hideouts for superheroes?

In any case the food matches the glitzy lifestyle. It’s as if you took French food and Italian food and dusted it with diamonds or, better yet, gold.

Literally.

(Just look at the giant gold flecks adorning these jumbo scallops).

Insanity.

Even with amid this opulence, the simple flavors of Provence come through with lavender infused sauces, roasts, and spice rubs that are so fancy they confuse me into speechlessness (just like a man who is too handsome renders me quietly perplexed). There’s also tapenade [Recipe], made with a healthy splash of cognac partially due to tradition and partially because …well… why not?

Prince's Palace in Monaco. Photo by Niels Mickers.

There are gorgonzola gnocchi and petits fours, as well as a happy assortment of north African food, like couscous and lamb tagine. In the hot summer sun, people enjoy socca [Recipe], an olive oil fried crepe made with chickpea flour.

And then there’s the Galapian [Recipe- a tart so grand you’ll have dove birds fly around your shoulders, a la Snow White, as you eat it. .. and you’ll likely burst out in song. Made with almonds and candied melon, it is so grand as to be confusing.

So grand, in fact, that you yourself just might feel gilded.

Maps and flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

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Comments

  1. I’ve been to Monaco once, we were in France and drove one evening to see the famous Casino, it was unreal!

    I will be looking forward to your virtual adventure!

    • How very cool! What did you eat while you were there?

      • We went to a nice bistrot and I remember having oysters on the half shell that were OUSTSTANDING! Then we had a bouillabaise type dish.

        it was a fun day, and the casino with those amazingly well dressed people inside, just like the movies! Awesome experience, although I am not into gambling at all. Just watched in complete awe…

  2. Yes it’s tiny. If Monaco were in Tulsa it would go from about 15th and Cincinnati over to Andolini’s on Cherry St and down to about 25th and Utica, with Utica Square thrown in for glamour. In New York, it would be that tiny bit of Manhattan between the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. By the way, that bar is Jimmy’z and it’s a world-famous nightclub. http://fr.jimmyzmontecarlo.com/

  3. So what will you do?…this is pretty racy stuff…not exactly “family style”

  4. Just wait ’til tomorrow – it’s a pretty great menu ;)

  5. Jessica Bennett says:

    I was there once too, for work, and went out to a fancy dinner one night with clients. It was the kind of restaurant where they give the women the menus without prices next to the items. I ordered an appetizer with white truffles. I figured since the client was paying (he was beyond wealthy and would barely notice the bill total), another person at our table also ordered that dish, and when else would I ever be able to try it, I should order it. Yes, it was delicious! For dessert, I had a grand marnier souffle- also delicious. I don’t remember the main course, but I’m sure it was good too.

  6. Very small indeed, without mentioning the many empty apartments almost all year round of the rich and famous who live elsewhere. Makes you wonder even more where all the citizens fit?

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