Quotes

Sep 29, 2017

More Than I Bargained For: Le Chèvre Fleur

THE STORY:

I ask the woman at the counter for a little of this chocolate, a little of that, some milk with caramelized almonds, some dark with raspberry. It costs 5.5 (about $6) per 100g. When she is holding a few pieces, I ask her, "Is that 100g?" She makes a face and shakes her head in a gesture that means clearly and emphatically "Non!"



Sep 22, 2017

Social Climbers: Fontiennois

THE STORY:

When Pippa sits next to one of France's top gymnasts, she's excited to meet one of the best in the country. When Anthony climbs next to some of France's top rock climbers (the women's and men's national teams have worked out at his climbing gym), he's excited to be climbing near some of the best in the world. This is one of the few areas where the French really excel on the world stage.



Sep 15, 2017

That Old Chestnut: Vache de Chalais

THE STORY:

It's that time of year again -- for chestnuts, roasting on an open shopping cart. It's also the time of year for marrons confits or marrons glacés, both of which are ways of saying candied chestnuts. They're very sweet (very), very festive, and very French.


Sep 8, 2017

Collection Collectors: Cabrinou

THE STORY:

To own just one Picasso, one Monet, one Modigliani is a pretty unattainable dream for most of us. So it's pretty jaw-dropping when you realize how certain people have managed to amass extensive collections of hundreds, even thousands, of some of the world's greatest works of art. Luckily for the rest of us, the French government has managed to collect several of these collectors and their collections.



Sep 1, 2017

Sadistic Site: Cellier

THE STORY:

I love that after even five years in France -- five years of pretty intensive trying-to-see-everything -- there are still surprises. And big ones. Really massive ones. Like the Château de Vincennes, which I had never visited, despite the fact that it's a short metro ride away, at the edge of Paris, just minutes from Anthony's office. Turns out, it's chock full of history and only slightly sadistic as a place to bring castle-weary children.


Aug 25, 2017

Frog in My Throat: Morvan

THE STORY:

Let's jump right into it: Why are the French sometimes called "Frogs" -- both lovingly and disparagingly? There seem to be as many reasons as there are, well, frogs in a pond. But the most likely has something to do with the frogs the French eat.



Aug 18, 2017

English Forgetting: Gour Blanc

THE STORY:

I cry out dramatically when squirted in the eye by an orange I'm cutting. Gigi comes rushing in and I I tell her, "I've been attacked by my orange!" She sighs, "Oh Mom, I thought it was a real misery that happened to you." Which is an approximate translation of what she was evidently thinking in French, which is "J'ai cru qu'un vrai misère t'es arrivé" (literally: "I believed that a real misery arrived to you"). As I flail about dramatically with acid eating through my eyeball, we laugh at how unnatural her sentence sounds. It's not French, but it sure ain't English.



 
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