Fancy French Food and Faux pas du jour
Because I’m not a foodie, I failed to take my own pictures of the food we ate. So, all of these photos have been hijacked from other food sources, found by the way of Google images. I hope you, my readers, will visit the Food network and other great sites if you want real food information.
So, I decided to only report on the foods that I found distinctly different than what we, in the U.S., have as a regular cuisine.
So, there’s FOIS GRAS pronounced like (fwa-graw). It is the round thing on the plate below. Fois gras is a liver pate’ made from goose liver. They can shape it in a tube and serve little slices of it. It’s smooth tasting and fairly good. I would spread it on the little toasts or bread. Ours was served as an appetizer.
A beef filet: This, of course, is not so unusual for us, except that we rarely indulge in red meat–except moose! So, I enjoyed it. One difference is the ordering. We always ordered “medium well”–thinking a little pink, and then it would come looking like this:
Cheese course: After the main course, there was a cheese platter. All through out the meal, you could get that good, crusty French bread. I do not recall the names of all of the cheeses. In a general sense, you could categorize the cheeses as “strong and stinky”. I mean that in the best possible way. (The food editors are flocking to me at this very hour for my delicate food vocabulary…)
Thankfully, Will is not a big eater, and I was not particularly starving most of the time, so it worked well for us. The restaurants were nice enough to let us split our meals and even served them on separate plates, usually without a splitting fee! (yeah!)
So, during one meal in a fairly nice restaurant, I happened to do the unthinkable. Are you ready for this? I ordered a cup of tea after the main course, before the cheese! I know. I know. What havoc! It just is not done here. If you order tea or coffee, you are saying that you are finished with the meal. I was just saying, “O.K. I survived the raw salmon appetizer and the raw beef; now I need a cup of tea in order to proceed..” So, we finally cleared up the confusion and got the rest of the meal. Oh, I’m such an embarrassment to my country…
During another meal, we had vegetarian pizza. I thought it was lovely. The pizza parlor was sort of a pub style of restaurant with the little tables close together. When we sat down to eat, they separated our table from the one next to us by about.. four inches. I was kind of surprised to find that they placed another couple right in with us. Since we were so snuggled in there, we got to know this lovely couple from the U.K. and enjoyed a great meal with English (the queen’s English, no less) conversation. Delightful!
On another dining occasion, we met a neat couple from the states and joined our tables together and shared our various experiences.
Speaking of meeting people, you know me.. I can’t go anywhere without meeting people. We were inside of a castle (I’m going to give the full castle report in the next post, so don’t get upset that I’m not giving you the pictures yet), and anyway.. we were inside this castle, and I was looking at the paintings on the wall and I made a goofy comment about this picture of a woman who was so broad in the shoulders that I said, “I think she could bench press 200” loud enough for this one English guy to overhear.
He instantly attached himself to us, even though he was traveling with his wife and another couple. I could tell by his comments that he “needed some fresh air” from his traveling party and was willing to tour the castle with us rather than endure five more minutes with the entourage. So, we had fun entertaining this guy and let him take pictures of us all around the castle. (generous, huh?) So, you’ll be seeing some of those in a few. We had a great symbiotic relationship for a little space of time. His last words to us were: Now you MUST visit the castle in … ? (somewhere about an hour from London) Like we’re professional castle chasers or something! Either way, it was a fun time.
So, that’s my food in France. Yes, it is great food, but I must admit, I love my own cooking just fine. I like my fruits and vegetables in abundance. I like beans (which I didn’t even see one bean) and rice (no rice either). I think I’ve had enough cheese for the month. And I like whole grains in bread. But it’s always so good to take risks and try new things, and I think we conquered that goal just fine.