Saturday, August 21, 2010

A moment of pride

I guess that everyone has heard, at least once in their life, many marvelous things about French food.

I live in France. I can't have any product containing cow milk, and I am not a bit fan of mayonnaise or other sauces.

And I am not a big fan of French food either.

After living in the South of France for more than two years now, I still can't be impressed by the quality of French food. First, I find the choice of French foods quite boring. Second, they use butter or cream everywhere, even with dishes that I don't think go well with any milk products.

All this makes me feel very proud of being Italian.

I have been accused of generalizing my experiences around the world to the few places I visited in each country. True, I didn't travel very much in France, but I did travel a bit. And it doesn't matter if you are in Montpellier, in the South-West (where I have to admit they have a bit of Spanish influence on their food), or somewhere else, you still find similar things to eat.

Where is all the fantastic French food I heard so much about?
Is it only in 5 stars restaurants?

I just got back from traveling with my mom here and there in France. And my mom was surprised too about the lack of variety that you could find when eating in a French restaurant or in a Brasserie. Sure, in France they have great wines (which I don't drink) and great cheeses (most of which I can't eat). But what about the rest? What about regional typical recipes? Of course they exist....but why is it so hard to find something characteristic here and there for a reasonable price, without having to go to one of these restaurants where they serve you a portion that makes not enough even for a single bite?

And if you are vegan, forget of traveling around France. Big cities, such as Bordeaux and Paris have vegan and vegetarian restaurants, but with these exceptions, somewhere else vegan and vegetarian options (except for a salad) are difficult to find.

Italian food is amazingly popular here! We are in France! The kingdom of French cuisine!!!! and what do you see? plenty of quite expensive Italian restaurants always full of people. It doesn't make sense, does it?

And a last thought.
Young people here eat quite badly. I am always amazed when I hear comments about how badly Americans eat. Go to a supermarket in France and check out what people buy, especially young people. Pre-made food, lot of junk food, lot of fatty food. Go near an University place, and check out what students get for lunch............huge sandwiches filled with sauces and various things and then a layer of French fries.....

I think that by coming from Tuscany, I am just very very spoiled in terms of quality of life!

No comments: