What with me, our mum and my sis it seems blogging is well and truly in the genes! I'm sure she will make you as jealous as I am reading this post! Hope you enjoy.
A Rosbif in Frogland
It has been a long and turbulent love story between us Brits and the French. Most of the English find the French arrogant and too proud. I've been living in France for the last eight years, so they must be doing something right for a Brit born and raised to stay their side of the Channel.
The French themselves are indeed arrogant and too proud, but once you dig a bit further they can be a warm people. They have a right to be proud too. Their health and social care is amazing, they have 5 weeks holiday a year, 10 days of which you have to take by law during the summer months! But the best thing the French have to be proud of is their food.
They have such a respect for anything and everything edible it can be quite breath taking. I'm not talking about the Cordon Bleu part of French cuisine, but the everyday stuff. I can spend hours in a French supermarket.
The array of fresh fruits and vegetables, all loose and so you can choose the best.
The cheese counters are to die for.
The fish counters are always beautifully presented.
The bread aisle smells heavenly.
Lest we forget the wine section. Take a look at those prices, no wonder the French gulp the stuff down as if it were water!
The supermarkets even hold mini festivals called Foires, in the entrance of the supermarket where they pay particular attention to a certain product. The most appreciated is of course the Foire aux Vins (the Wine Festival). The French come in their thousands to pick up a good deal on the crème de la crème of French wine (and of course have a little taste).
However, even though these huge hypermarkets are everywhere and offer extremely competitive prices, all French towns, however small, have
a grocery store
and a bar tabac.
The French love nothing more than coming out on an evening, usually around 6.30pm, picking up a freshly cooked baguette, popping in for their meat for that evening's dinner, swinging by the grocery store for a bottle of wine to go with it all and last stop at the bar for a packet of Gauloises and an aperitif before heading home to some good wholesome home cooking.
Another thing I take my hat off to French for is their food legislation regarding regional specialities. Cognac can only come from Cognac, as Champagne can only come from Champagne. Coulommiers cheese is from.....you guessed it Coulommiers. This protects the regions' own creations and means that there can be no inferior quality products trying to pass themselves off as the original. So look out for the AOC logo.
Last, but by no means least, the markets. Now these are the real gems of French cuisine. Nearly all French towns have a weekly farmers market. The best thing about the French markets is the stall holders will always let you taste before you buy. They are confident with their produce that they are sure once you have that slice of cheese or cured ham you just can't resist.
So there you have it. The reason I've stayed so long. Bon Apetit and Cheers everyone!