Many venture to France searching for l’amour. Hand holding and whirlwind romance – that sort of infatuation. I, too, entered France under the premise of falling in love. In fact, I already have. It’s a different kind – underappreciated, polygamist and likely more common in these parts, but valid all the same. My love is for baguettes, escargot, wine (vin) et much more (beaucoup plus).
This month, I am completing an independent study on culinary journalism in Aix-en-Provence, France (pronounced “X-en-Provence”). It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours, and my tally of food discrepancies is expanding at a rapid rate. No promises that the list will halt here.
– Baguettes are made to be broken. In other words, breaking bread is less of a cliché and more a practice.
– Drink wine (vin) like water. One pays for both; might as well indulge. Who cares if it’s with breakfast on the plane?
– Toasting etiquette is strict. It is considered both rude and insulting if one does not acknowledge each toastee directly in the eyes during the ritual.
– Baking soda is nonexistent; the French use yeast instead.
– Neither eggs (l’oeufs) nor milk (lait) are refrigerated. The milk is vacuumed-packed and does not need to be kept cold until after the container is open. The egg discrepancy is still unclear.
Still so much to learn, and so little time. Let the list grow on and on…