Our first trip to Europe was a backpacking trip to France made two years after our marriage. It changed our approach to food and drink forever. In France, we learned to love full-bodied, tannic red wine and strong, smelly cheese. We learned that baguettes should be eaten within a few hours of being baked, that a well-made croissant for breakfast is sheer heaven, and that a meal should always be a celebration. As vegetarians, France can be challenging at times, but many of our favourite meals come from the French bistro tradition. These meals evoke for us the image of cozy restaurants with colourful tablecloths, flowers and candles, a basket of bread, and yummy wine by the jug!

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