Every sumner for the past 15 years, I have spent at a week or more in the South of France. My favorite region there is the Langue D’Oc Roussilon. This is where the majority of France’s wine grapes are cultivated. The heavy red wines of the region simply don’t go with long lazy summer days and meals eaten at seaside cafés or in a garden in full bloom. In the South, the French drink according to the season. In the summer, that means Rose. This summer, I will be in the Langue D’Oc for a week and a half in August staying here. I am already anticipating it! The owner is also the chef of the petite restaurant, and he has agreed to let me observe him in the kitchen. You can be sure I will blog about it!
The origin of the name Langue D’Oc is interesting. The region has it’s own distinct language, Occitan, which is closely related to Catalan. In Occitan, the word for eye (œil in French) is oc. Langue D’Oc literally translates to “language of eye.” It is the land where people say “oc” instead of “eye.” Sadly until well into the 20th century, the French did not allow Occitan to be spoken in school and speaking it anywhere was discouraged. They considered it to be a “vulgar language.” It is now severely endangered. While there are street signs in both Occitan and French in the larger cities, one would almost certainly never hear a word of it spoken in public or at home. I have heard it spoken but only in very rural areas. You can read a concise but interesting history of Occitan here.
At my home in Ohio, nothing says summer to me as much as a relaxed summer dinner with family and friends, sitting outside until after dark drinking chilled Rose. There are some really good and affordable Roses available now. Check Trader Joe’s or The Anderson’s.