Friday, July 9, 2010

Some More Franchouillard Truths

In case you missed this post, please go read it to catch up on it.

7) They don't eat snails and frog legs every day.

(And before you ask: I've eaten a dozen snails. I have yet to try frog legs)

Being in Burgundy, a good number of restaurants prided themselves in serving the famous escargots de Bourgogne, but snails are reserved for once-in-a-while dinners.

They are served fully dead in a wonderful garlic butter sauce.

8) The same goes for foie gras.

Foie gras (literally, fat liver) is not a light dish, nor is it cheap. It comes from either goose or duck liver, goose being the preference for its rich taste. Because of this special status, feasting on this gastronomic treasure is associated with special occasions, like Christmas time.

Some foie gras, served atop fig bread with a drop of fig jam and a glass of sweet Juraçon wine...gosh. My tongue quivers at the thought of that sensational mélange of culinary nirvana!

Ahem. Let's continue with the list.

9) The Rooster is a symbol of France.

Yes, really.

After all, the territory they currently reside in was referred to in Latin as Gallia, their ancestors were the Gauls, their most famous leader was de Gaulle, and they refer to their country as La Gaul. The prideful and cocky Gallus domesticus really lucked out here. And why not? The French tend to strut as they walk on their two feet. The Rooster suits them comme un gant (like a glove).

When I think of French chickens, I think about those of the Bresse variety. They have white plumage, a bright red comb and blue feet, just like the colors of the French tricolore.

They are raised in the Bresse area. Bresse is technically NOT a région nor is it a département. But it does exist. It ranges somewhere from lower Burgundy to some part of the Rhône-Alpes.
These chickens are raised in the open and fed a special diet that gives their meat a distinct flavor. This means that they are not cheap.


10) They think their country is shaped like a hexagon.

Very often in news reports, you will hear the broadcasters say l'Hexagone this and l'Hexagone that.

Oh, yeah. I totally see the resemblance. Can't mistake that.

11) They don't all have B.O.

I'm not saying that people with body odor don't exist. I admit that I sometimes stood next to someone who reeked so badly that I felt that I would pass out on the spot.

The French, however, take pride not only in their sense of dress but also in their cleanliness. My ex-boyfriend ALWAYS smelled great. So did all of my co-workers, friends, room mates...

I noticed that when I had the rare chance of encountering someone with body odor, it was either a teenaged boy who still had not discovered the joys of using deodorant, or an elderly person who had earned his right to not bathe frequently, or a tourist from some other European country. So, no worries. The French smell great. Particularly my Ex.

Barb the French Bean


  1. That don't eat me..was quite hilarious :D

  2. I never could eat snails or frog legs... but I have managed to develop a taste for foie! I used to think it was disgusting, but I'd only tasted some of the cheap stuff from here in Spain. The first time I tasted a foie de canard in a good restaurant in Liège I thought it would just melt in my mouth with a fireworks display of taste! I've had many more delightful samplings of the stuff since then. Sadly I still don't know which is the good stuff to buy! Not that it's easy to find in Spain... and it's blood expensive!

    A note on the Hexagone: people from the rest of France get quite pissed off about the fact that for most of France (and the rest of the world) France is the Hexagone! Completely ignoring Corsica, not to mention all the DOMs and TOMs spread out across the globe! :p

  3. Ah, yes. I learned that la Corse is represented in the form of a triangle. I know this because one of my dearest friends is of Corsican descent.

    As for the foie gras: the "good stuff" usually comes from small-scale production farms, and their products are often bought in fairs that crop up during the months of November and December, and they only last for a handful of days. The Périgord/Dordogne areas of France are well-known for foie gras production. :)

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Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb