Gastronomic Proportions

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

While I've only been living in France a little over a month, I feel like it's high time that I posted about food. France is famous for its gastronomic expertise. There are so many foods to choose from that it's hard to decide what to even write about on here. But I thought it would be more entertaining to write about some of their foods that I have tried, and some of my foods that they have tried! (Thursday night is Texas night at Chez Germain. Even if it's not a "Texas specialty," Sylvie says it is because I am the one cooking it.)

First, I don't know what I was thinking when I imagined myself shedding tens of pounds when I got here. I drive everywhere, and we eat cheese and a baguette with almost every meal. (People literally walk around carrying baguettes all the time. It's not just in the movies.) Thank the good Lord for the Nike Training Camp app that will prevent me from gaining even more weight while I'm here!

One cool thing about living with a family is that you truly get to experience "home style cooking" of the country you're living in. Like any other family, of course, they make certain things while others may eat differently. Denis is from Lyon, so we tend to make a lot of specialties from there. Sylvie's father is Italian, so we also eat a lot of Italian food too. 

A few weeks ago she made an Italian dish that was sort of like a roast. What was different was that you cook the meat with the bone, and then you eat the marrow by spreading it on a piece of bread and putting a little salt on it. I am very much a texture person, so I thought for sure that I wouldn't like it at all. But it was seriously delicious! Since it spread quite nicely, the texture was more like butter instead of fat, like I thought it would be. The flavor was very rich, but it was the perfect end to the meal.

In January, the French celebrate the New Year with the Gallette des Rois (or King's Cake). Similar to the cake that we eat around Mardi Gras, there is a toy hidden inside, and whoever gets the treat is King/Queen for the day. There are two types of Gallette des Rois, and the one Americans are more familiar with is found in southern France. Paris, of course, is in northern France, so we ate the more traditional cake that is made of puff pastry and almond cream. You eat it with friends and family throughout the whole month. And in order to be fair with who gets the toy (sometimes you can tell where it was baked into the cake), the kids hide under the table and blindly decide who gets each slice while an adult cuts the cake and passes it around. 

Apparently February is the month of the crepe. I asked Sylvie why, and she had no idea! Only in France...She made some crepes for some friends who came over this past weekend. I waited to have mine after dinner, and I asked her what I should put on it. She said anything sweet really, so I put a little bit of peanut butter and some Nutella. Both her and Denis were shocked that I would put peanut butter on a crepe! It was almost offensive. (Kind of like when Denis put mayonnaise on an avocado, BLECH) They were even more appalled when I told them people usually add bananas to this. Apparently, she even told her coworkers, who all now think I'm some peanut butter obsessed American. It probably doesn't help that I ate almost half (a small) jar in almost 3 days.

Their first "Texan" meal was enchiladas. Now, I know I could have gone all out and made everything from scratch, but ain't nobody got time for that. I thought maybe I could go to Carrefour (basically Wal-Mart) and search their international section for some enchilada sauce and tortillas. All they had though was a box-kit from Old El Paso. The enchiladas turned out to be okay but were not even remotely close to what I've been craving. Friends and family, I love and miss you, but Tex-Mex is what breaks my heart every time I leave. Tomorrow, I'll be making jambalaya! Hopefully, it goes over just as well as my other meals have with the kids.

Now go eat a breakfast taco for me.

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Maria Parsley on

Assignment accepted! How fun, I love that you are all sharing food culture. Yummo :D

Olivia on

I just had French king cake!! We went to a French bakery in Houston and they had French style and New Orleans style out to sample. Both were delicious, when you get back you'll have to tell me how it compares to the real ones in France!

Jamie on

I had chicken mole enchiladas twice this week. I did think of you the first time I had them! The second time I introduced my forensic facial reconstruction classmates to Tex-Mex. Most of them were from out of state and two of them were even from out of the country.

Trading food experiences is fun!

Keep on cooking and keep on writing. I love your posts!

Perle on

Food is always the first thing you miss while away :D

She doesn't know why we eat crêpes in February (2nd)... It's just what we do for the chandeleur (also available in English ;) )

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