Coming from the French word terre for “soil,” the word terroir originally described the special characteristics of a region, or piece of land, which gave different varieties of wine, coffee and tea their individuality. (Soil, climate, position, regional traditions….)

The immensely likeable monk at the Ermitage de Domanova, Frère Gérard, welcomes visitors with open arms. Within minutes of biting into our baguette, he not only ambled over to say hello, but joined us for a glass of vin doux. Noisette, his guard-cat (see inset), meowed a greeting from his perch on the first floor window sill.

Asparagus has been around for many hundreds of years, cultivated originally by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and many ancient herbal textbooks mention it as both, food and medicine

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