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French Rosemary Almonds inspired by Provence, France

Mr Filbert's French Rosemary Almonds Packet

I squeeze the brakes on my old-fashioned, silver bicycle, bringing myself to a gentle halt at the bottom of a quaint and delightfully tranquil valley, in the heart of wonderful Provence. It takes me a moment to fully comprehend the natural beauty of my surroundings: the warmth of the sun is countered perfectly by a refreshing sea breeze, cooling my skin as I take in this scene. Nestled in between the plush and weathered hills, is a small ancient abbey, surrounded by acres and acres of staggeringly beautiful fields of light-purple lavender and rosemary, stretching on for mile after mile.

The sun is up, my straw hat is pulled down low to shade my face. However, there’s nothing to prepare my senses for the strength of the flowery, earthy aromas flowing from the ground. It is a most outstanding combination, strong but not over-powering, flowery but not sweet, earthy but not bitter. Pausing for refreshment, I reach into my backpack and withdraw a simple snack of freshly-roasted, lightly salted almonds, bought from a vendor in Arles just this morning.

As I indulge in my snack, the delicious combination of salt and slight sweetness of the nuts, and the powerful scent of the rosemary causes a thought to cross my mind: how well these two flavours would dovetail together, especially when given a little Filbert’s twist! Chuckling slightly at the elegance of this idea, I jot down a small message in my notebook, the name of a new recipe: French Rosemary Almonds.

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