Remember the Roast Chicken Flavored Potato Chips? That was five years ago, already! Anyway, we’ve been traveling recently and road trips mean coke bottle gummies, ice cream bars and even more unhealthy food alternatives like crazy-flavored potato chips. We couldn’t help but notice the usual suspects like BBQ, plain, Roasted Chicken Chips (Lays are good!) but there seemed to be a new kid in town: Cheeseburger Potato Chips! We couldn’t resist.
These are…perplexingly excellent. They taste EXACTLY like a McDonald’s cheeseburger, and while I haven’t eaten one of those in so many years I don’t even know how many, I liked these (I almost hate to admit it) and was happy they didn’t give me a stomach ache like the real cheeseburgers did. So, there you have it. It does make me wonder, though, why there aren’t typical French meal flavored chips. Wouldn’t it be fun to have Croque-Monsieur chips, Cassoulet chips, Steak-Frites (in pepper sauce) chips and Tete de Veau chips? Confit de canard chips, boudin noir chips, moule frites chips, rabbit terrine chips…
Many of my experiences in France teeter on the insane if not singularly absurd, which is reason enough why I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I’m not sure if these events would happen in any other place than France – perhaps, but I like to imagine that it doesn’t.
The meeting I had last week was one of those strange but entertaining days where what would appear to be a boring hour or two, was instead, filled with some appeal. The actual content of the meeting was not interesting at all, but if not for the office’s medieval armor and weapon collection, which took up a good half of the office, I would’ve zoned out like I’d do in my high school history class. (Not history’s fault, the teacher’s!)
The medieval collection of armour, weapons and war paraphenalia was authentic, the real deal that a medieval soldier supposedly sported as he battled it out with medieval enemies. There’s a mace resting on the shelf of the radiator but I was hoping there’d be a different kind of mace; you know, the club with a spiked ball on a chain! (I know, I’m complaining!) In any case, the display was unexpected, weird and cool, just like my France.
We saw this cheesecake in the market yesterday (in L.A.) and were pretty sure “Bakery de France” isn’t in France. So we checked: it’s in Rockville, Maryland! Not knocking it, though; we just thought it was sort of funny and that it looks pretty good.
Me: WHY can’t we find corn on the cob in France? I want to bbq some during the summers!
Him: We can find it, cherie. Didn’t you see them in all the fields around? I’ll just go pick some for you.
Me: What??! No, dude. They might be the GMO, pesticide ladened, industrial, poisonous varieties.
Him: Anyway, corn on the cob is pig food.
Me: Yet. French people eat canned corn.
Him: Yeah, so?
Me: Canned corn comes from CORN. ON. THE. COB.
Him: Corn on the cob is for pigs.
…and people wonder why I have to make fun of France. Back to corn. Did anyone notice that canned corn is labeled differently? I remember when canned corn always had instructions to rinse the corn before consuming it. I always did that, never realizing that it was probably because of the Bisphenol A (BPA) inside the can (or dirt). These cans still have BPA but the labels to rinse them first have disappeared! Weird, but I guess it alerts consumers that there’s something wrong with the corn. And, as most evil industrial minds reason, the solution is to remove consumer information so they don’t know there are risks. Yea, keep them in the dark! It’s like the law that was just passed in the U.S. where salmon does NOT need to be labeled that it’s genetically modified so people won’t know that the salmon they’re eating is not only bad for them, it’s also potentially dangerous to their health. écoeurant.
French people over the age of 45 or so, who’ve tried to study English, will all be able to say “My tailor is rich.” Some might not be able to say much more than that, but by God they can at least say that and that might come in handy…some day! I’ve met many people who’ve proudly recited this line to me. I never know how to respond.
This most absurd and utterly useless phrase is the very first lesson from a book called, L’anglais sans peine (English Without Pain). It’s a book that a lot of French people owned, and I recently found it at my in-laws! My dad in law can’t say too much more than “my tailor is rich.” How many more times will we all laugh when he says that to me? I don’t know.
The book is pure gold in its datedness, silliness and just plain wrongness and it’s something I must share here, albeit in little blog posts.
Here’s the cartoon that goes with lesson Number 1: My Tailor is Rich. From where the author pulled this out of, I can’t say.
Could banks make it even easier to loath them? Not only do they rip you off with their fees for this, that, and the other, and interest rates here and there making you, the customer, pay to use your OWN money – but then comes this advertising spot for French bank, Caisse d’Epargne.
Should they be able to get away with this kind of flagrant insult? They’ve recently come out with a series of spots featuring a new campaign with the tagline “Avec Caisse d’Epargne vous avez de la chance d’etre jeune” (With Caisse d’Epargne, you’re lucky to be young). And like practically all French pubs (adverts/spots) people are making out. (Don’t argue with me about this point, even the French hedgehog makes out with a sponge.)
Back to the commercial for Caisse d’Epargne: I don’t care if people are making out in these spots nor do I care that they are specifically for young adults. That isn’t the point. Did you notice that the people have dog heads!!? I wonder, do I have to even tell you what is wrong here?
Ok, Ready? Caisse d’Epargne treats their customers like . . . DOGS. ba dum chhh!
French scientists have figured out the best way to pour champagne…Oui oui, a whole study (lab tests and all) was dedicated to the pouring of bubbly. I wonder how long they spent on this so-called study? *sigh*
“The scientists at the University of Reims say pouring bubbly at a slant, as you would a beer, preserves more of the tiny gas bubbles that improve the drink’s flavor and aromas…They say the study matters not just to Champagne drinkers but to glassmakers. They note that the industry is researching a “new generation” of Champagne glasses specially designed to control the release of carbon dioxide, the gas that gives the drink its sparkle.”
I know you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, so I thought I’d pop in and tell you: I’ve been eating these potato chips!
Nevermind that the French don’t have pepperoni pizza here, at least with the same name. When I first came to France I simply didn’t think they had pepperoni pizza as a choice. What a fool I was. They call it “chorizo” here but since I’m from California, I imagined the Mexican chorizo, which is a spicy ground sausage but it’s more like the Spanish chorizo, which is actually pretty close to pepperoni. So. Will the French realize what this is? I guess the picture helps. But oh the mysteries of life continue en France. Oh well. Anyway, these chips are good but it’s only the first chip that tastes like pepperoni pizza. After that one, the rest tastes like bbq (aka paprika in France) potato chips. (NOT knocking those, of course.)
I couldn’t resist posting this hilarious video. (Click on the image to watch the video.)
Carla Bruni Asks for a Finger Up Her Butt, in Seven Different Languages
France’s first lady is tres embarrassed that an old, raunchy episode of a talk show called Eurotrash has surfaced online. Now the French government is scrambling to get it yanked from YouTube. Here’s what they don’t want you to see.
Apparently the French government fought to remove a longer version of this video—in which Carla showcases a pair of “hot international sex guides” that teach international tramps how to say phrases like “Do you like my titties?” and “Put your finger in my bottom” in seven European languages—from YouTube. Eurotrash hosts Antoine de Caunes and designer Jean-Paul Gaultier (in the hot pink sailor suit, obviously) ooh and aah at the multilingual promiscuity of “Italy’s most elegant export.”
The yanked version apparently showed Carla discussing celebrity affairs with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. The Daily Mail reports Carla is “shocked and dismayed” at the video’s “sudden reappearance.”
I wonder if growups will want to stay in these Barbie rooms. I don’t want to think about that.
From August 6th until September 2nd 2010, two rooms at the hotel will be entirely re-decorated exclusively with Barbie furniture, accessories and other items. The Plaza Athénée brings to life the secret dreams of little girls.
Family Package includes one Barbie room and one Deluxe room for the parents (adjoining rooms) from 1,600 € or one Barbie room and one Deluxe suite from 2,500 €. Daily continental breakfast included for both children and parents. The Barbie room is not suitable for children under the age of 36 months and for teenagers over 16.
For more information +33 1 53 67 66 67
or go visit the website.
The following massacred French recipe was committed by the folks at that omnipresent family cafeteria/restaurant in France, Flunch, not me this time around.
We strolled by a Flunch yesterday and saw this huge sign for a new offering: The American Galette. While you’d think it would resemble a French sandwich américain, with its nonsensical bratwurst, grilled veggies and fries inside a baguette – surprisingly, La (chouette/nice) galette américaine sort of makes sense (in a Frenchy way) sporting basically a burger and its fixings inside a galette (a savory crepe usually made with buckwheat flour). Is it any good? I dunno but I think it needs fries inside!
This is a guest post from Why Travel to France contributor, Patricia. (Thanks, P!)
I thought readers would appreciate this funny, French item I found in a supermarket the other day. It made us laugh out loud but somehow I’m not sure any French person would notice it. It’s an ironic twist on air fresheners: a foot! Just guessing, but I have a feeling who ever came up with this item, was another marketing exec who had no idea that some consumers (like me) might see it as “funvertising.” I mean, using a foot to freshen a car … is brilliant, isn’t it? I love it. Frenchies, you are priceless, and you made my day when I found this Smelly Foot Air Freshener.
Maybe the tagline should be: Rafraichissez l’intérieur de votre voiture avec un pied qui pue...
Wait a minute. Do French people LIKE the smell of feet? I didn’t think of that.
Now the stereotype has been confirmed – by a French poll that completed the character assassination by labelling the capital’s inhabitants “snobbish” and “self-regarding”.
“We find them to be hard working and cultivated,” the political magazine Marianne said of Parisians in an editorial published alongside the survey.
“But we consider them to be above all way too arrogant, aggressive, flirtatious, stressed, chauvinistic, snobbish, and self-regarding than other French people.
More than 70 per cent of those questioned thought Parisians were more snobbish than other French people, while more than 65 per cent thought them more aggressive and arrogant. However, many of the French questioned did not think any of these characteristics were particularly negative, with 68…
After years of complaining about the lack of pancakes in France, I’m at it again but this time to moan about pancakes attempting to infiltrate the palettes of French people all across the Hexagon. I have mixed feelings about this, obviously.
These were part of a freebie bag handed out from a road toll booth leaving Paris. It looks like the packaged brioche company, Pasquier, is testing out a revolutionary new product: pancakes.
To be fair, these pancakes were not horrible, but I wish they had been giving out free wine.
France’s reputation for culinary genius has traditionally set the standard to which all other countries aspire. It has always been synonymous with outstanding cooking, with its kitchens as important a part of Gallic culture as its art and language.
Not any more, according to a devastating investigation behind the kitchen doors of restaurants in Paris.
Rather than master chefs and fresh ingredients, restaurants in the world capital of haute cuisine are increasingly relying on microwave ovens and deep freezers to feed their customers, it found.
Industrially produced ready-meals, “flavour sprays” and untrained catering staff are all part of an unsavoury mix which is dragging down standards in French cooking, according to a documentary shown on France’s Canal+ station at the weekend.
It sought to prove that such deception is becoming increasingly common. Using hidden cameras and even searching dustbins, investigators found numerous restaurants trying to pass off third-rate food as the real thing.
It’s clear that who ever was responsible for this anti-smoking ad for teens in France was in search of shock value. The article from the telegraph says it shocked France, but I doubt that. It’s definitely in poor taste and has a lame sexual innuendo but I believe people here would just do their Gallic shrug and unexcitedly say, “Pffff.” I’m sure these anti-smoking ads will not in the slightest deter teens from smoking, in any case.
Here’s an excerpt from the telegraph:
The adverts, presented earlier this week, show an older man in a suit pushing down on the head of a teenager with a cigarette in her mouth, in a position that suggests oral sex. Another version of the advert shows a teenage boy in a similar position. The accompanying slogan reads: “Smoking means being a slave to tobacco”.
“The campaign trivialises sexual abuse – worse, it implies guilt on the part of the abused,” read one angry comment on the website of “Droits des Non-Fumeurs” (“Non-smokers’ Rights), the organisation behind the campaign.
Droits des Non-Fumeurs said the posters showed neither rape nor abuse, but were meant to shock.
The adverts, which will be published in newspapers and bars, are designed to target young people in France, who are beginning to smoke in increasing numbers despite a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
The film, “La France change, ma région doit changer” (France is changing, my region should change) shows an eco-friendly house with solar panels on the roof, smiling schoolchildren and a mother hugging a little girl in a sunny garden.
A voice-over boasts about Mr Sarkozy’s achievements since 2007, and the benefits of living in France.
But the French TV channel Canal+ has discovered most of the footage was bought from Getty Images, and shot thousands of miles away in the US.
The family house used in the video is in Escondido, California – and UMP party bosses even failed to spot that a car parked outside it has US number plates. The class of happy schoolchildren from a mix of ethnic backgrounds live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And the mother with her child in the garden is really in..
I think I’ve lived too long in France because when I saw this ad booklet from a supermarket chain, everything looked fine, nothing out of the ordinary. No French person would find anything unusual about it except my sweetie. Click on the image to enlarge it
He screams, “foire au gras! foire au gras!” Me looking at the ad, “et alors?” (So?) He continues, “for your blog!” Me: “It’s just an ad.” Him: “Yeeessss, but it’s GLORIFYING fat. Does that not seem blogworthy?” Me: “Fat is good, though.” Him: “They’d never celebrate and dedicate the virtues of FAT for FIVE pages in an American food ad, EVARRRR. Let alone sell tubs of fat, which they’re doing here.” Me: “Oh yeah.”
Some people seem to have a need to know what it’s like to live like a hamster, and if you’re one of them, here you go. Hamster Hotel! Located in Nantes, live like a king hamster, eat seeds, run in a hamster wheel and sleep on hay, all for the *bargain basement* price of 99 euros. Free wi-fi, hamster people!
2, rue Malherbes
44000 Nantes, France