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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 

Hold your own Grand Aioli

Hold your own Grand Aioli

The flyers appear suddenly, tacked onto telephone poles and taped onto windows in cafes and bakeries. "Aioli Monstre de Cotignac" or "Grand Aioli de Tourtour," they read. Fifteen euros. Bring your own dishes.

They're the markers of summer in the south of France, clarion calls for the grand aioli village feast -- a Provencal institution, but really an excuse to gorge on the freshest of summer vegetables, all dressed up in the thick, garlicky homemade mayonnaise called aioli.

In Provence, a grand aioli is a festive happening, a communal get- together. The food is simple to prepare in quantity and is served at room temperature, which makes it ideal for a summer party in a Northern California park, backyard or even cul-de-sac.

Mmm, sounds tasty. I must try to make my own aioli sometime, it doesn't look that hard on Iron Chef.

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