I made a pan of sweet bread the other day, a unique fougasse that I had eaten only once before, two years ago while on a family trip to the South of France. The orange‑blossom‑scented, sugar‑topped bread called Fougasse d’Aigues Mortes, was long only available within the ancient walled town of Aigues Mortes but has since travelled farther afield through the Occitanie region as part of the traditional 13 desserts of Christmas celebrated in the South of France. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since and probably mentioned it at ad nauseam, because my brother found a recipe and passed it along so I could make it chez moi. It filled my home with the sweet scent of that happy holiday and tasted exactly like it did in the summer of 2019.
It got me thinking about other taste memories – we all have them – and the adventures, not to mention restaurant reservations, that get us there. Here are some of mine, to inspire you to start cooking some of yours. Until we meet again fougasse, France is just a sheet pan away.