Chris Slade describes the son et lumiere presentation at the abbey of Bon Repos called "Le Pays de Conomor" in Brittany, which takes place during the first two weeks of August.
It is exactly 200 years since Nicolas Appert, a Frenchman, invented the process of conserving food by heat sterilisation before placing them in a hermetically sealed container (originally glass bottles, but more recently in metal boxes) and went on to create the first conserving factory in the World. The invention changed the lives of so many people, including sailors for whom the invention meant less chance of scurvy and other maritime ailments.
How many of us today can deny the contribution that the humble "boîte" makes to our own lives, always there in the cupboard when we need a snack or a meal in a hurry and do not have the time to shop or cook? Pretty much anything is available, from the most humbe ingredient to the more exotic, and with a range of prices too!
My wife and I have become rather fond of Conserverie La Belle Iloise, founded in the 1920"s, and based in Quiberon with outlets all over the region – we visit La Turballe, Le Croisic and Le Pouliguen for our regular "fix". They have a superb and constantly evolving range of high quality seafood-based conserves, along with recipes, including Soupe de poissons, various chowders, mackerel and lentil salads, as well as the traditional mackerel in Muscadet and Sardines in olive oil. The shops generally have a few taster products to try. I generally grumble when I see the price, and you generally need to buy in packs of at least 3, but. as my lovely wife reminds me, I have generally forgotten about this when it is served up for lunch.
Joyeux anniversaire, and here"s to the next 200 years!