Food in France

Sep 18th, 2001, 01:24 PM
  #1  
dorothy
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Food in France

Walter and I are planning a trip to Paris in March. We are sort of conservative when it comes to the kinds of food we enjoy, especially Walter.Will we be able to find the same foods we eat in the states? I know I would not be able to stomach calves brains or horse meat.
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 02:09 PM
  #2  
Linda
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Believe me, I'm not trying to be facetious here, but what do you eat in the States? Yes, some of the food will be the same. Some will be very different. But you will be able to find plenty of foods that are not as "exotic" as calves brains. Chicken and fish are staples of good French cooking. You'll find plenty of potatoes, in varous forms. I'm sure you'll be able to find things to eat that are not entirely foreign to you (no pun intended). But I urge you not to be afraid to step away from your normal diet. One of the pure joys of traveling is to find new things to eat and to broaden your horizons in as many ways as possible. So don't eat the frog legs, but do try the coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce); try vegetables in a number of ways; etc. Lots of new things to try that won't upset your conservatism.
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 02:50 PM
  #3  
Alice
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I did a search b/c I know this has come up before... I am pasting a few comments from other postings here for you...(thanks to those I "stole" from)... I have what you would call an "uneducated" palate, so haven't learned to appreciate 'gourmet' food or its sticker price... In Paris, we try French food at a brasserie that has a nice menu (salads, steaks, fish, sides of potato, green beans, etc) or at a small restaurant that has 'familiar' dishes like boeuf bourgogne, poulet roti (roasted chicken), cassoulet (bean casserole w/wine, sausage, duck) etc. At walk-up style places, we look for quiche, salads, sandwiches, crepes, pastries... Trust me, I've never gone hungry in Paris!

Message: Learn the French words for 'chicken', 'poultry', 'beef', etc. and that will help you identify meal choices before you enter the restaurant (menus are posted outside). Some less 'exotic' French dishes that you might like would be Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, Poulee Roti, there's always Quiche, Salade Nicoise, and all kinds of sandwiches to be found. You can also eat 'ethnic', ie. Italian, Chinese etc. There's a pocket-size book called "How to Eat Out in France" that gives regional dishes, French/Eng. food translations, dining phrases, etc. for about $7.00. There is so much to see and do in Paris, so don't stress about your meals - you'll do fine.

You can think of Paris as a French New York. You have a lot of the ethnic foods and neighbourhoods (Italian, Jewish, Spanish, Chinese, etc), you have your McDonalds, Burger Kings and other fast food outlets. You also have tons of cafes and patisseries (bakeries/pastry shops).
I loved having "le pain au chocolat" as a part of my breakfast. This was a croissant with pure Belgian chocolate melted in the middle. I spent the majority of my lunches in the patisseries and cafes eating all sorts of ham & Brie cheese sandwiches on fresh baguettes, sausage rolls, croissants and other goodies
I had various dinners - salmon casserole, quiche, steak & fries, some of the best Greek food (lamb souvlaki)that I've ever had, pasta & sausages, various crepes, roast chicken, etc.
If you go into a creperie, you can have all sorts of crepes - dinner/lunch crepes (filled with cheese, vegetables, ham, etc) dessert crepes (served with cream and fresh fruit).... it was wonderful.

 
Sep 18th, 2001, 04:52 PM
  #4  
Dick
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Dorothy: Surely you jest! Have you been living in a cave??

Dick
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 05:14 PM
  #5  
John G
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Dick, Im with you. Horse meat? Come on. I don't think Dorothy is living in a cave, I think she is living under a rock in Afghanistan. JG
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 05:19 PM
  #6  
Holly
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I think she's living in a troll village.
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 05:42 PM
  #7  
Jeff B
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Why travel if you aren't willing to at least stick your pinky toe in that great pond of cultural diversity? While I would gladly try the horsemeat...and probably have...I steer (spelling error intentional) clear of all American hot dogs. And while I'm on my soapbox I issue my standard plea; please stop thinking of gourmet food as fancy. The truest meaning of gourmet fare is quality ingerdients and careful preparation. Thus, a simply grilled, properly prepared lamb cutlet from sheep grazing on the salt marshes of France is every bit as gourmet as a 62 step extravaganza. Don't be afraid to order new preparations of old favorites (chicken, fish...) just don't expect all chicken to be or taste the same -it may be more to your liking, it may be less...it will be differnt.
I think it well to remember Curnonsky's words: "Cuisine is when things taste like themselves." -I have that painted on my kitchen ceiling as a reminder. Of course I also have my favorite Miss Piggy quote: "Never eat more than you can lift." As others said - broaden your horizons. At the same time don't let your conservatism embarrass you...just be open minded...a little at a time.
And given all that is going on in the world today I close with one last ceiling quote: "A good meal in troubled times is that much salvaged from disaster" A.J. Liebling.
Darn. I got to rambling so much I've let my croutons go darkish!
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 06:18 PM
  #8  
Vic
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Dorothy is just a funnin us.
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 06:20 PM
  #9  
TryGruel
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Dorothy: Walter should be able to sample gruel of all kinds in Paris. Granted, it's not mac and cheese like he's used to in the States, but it will sustain him, as it has so many US refugees to Paris for so many years. Be sure to ask for it in proper French, though - pronounciation "groo-ell." Oh, be sure to add "S'il vous plait" also - that'll get him the gruel he needs quickly and efficiently - politesse is so important in Paris. It may be oatmeal, it may be other grains, but you can rest assured no sheep's brains or cows' udders are involved. Gruel should appeal to Walter's conservative tastes, if not to his humanitarian ones. In these trying times, he can probably get it for breakfast,lunch, and dinner, so you won't have to face any food choices at all, which is a good thing, because goodness knows you don't want THAT when traveling in a foreign country.
I'm worried about Walter on the flights over and back, though. I think he should pack his own food because, as we travelers know, airline food can be some of the most adventurous on the face of the earth. Better Walter pack a burger or something than be surprised by an airline's version of something exotic like chicken la king.
Best of luck and bon appetit! If it's moving, don't eat it!
 
Sep 18th, 2001, 06:36 PM
  #10  
A horse
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The French have been very kind to us horses. We are not on their menu, however I can't say the same about Harvard.
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 08:51 AM
  #11  
gaia fraudula
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Take some food with you, otherwise thre french will poison you! They even have Mc.Donald's. And don't touch their wine, otherwise you get diarrhea.
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 09:37 AM
  #12  
JB
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If this is a joke then I guess you are getting a laugh. If not, be aware that if you can eat bread, cheese, fruit, soup or salads, you should be fine. I am adventurous but my husband was not when we went on our first trip to Paris. He bravely tried everything including escargots (snails) and found that some things he liked and some things he did not like. Remember, if you take a bite of something and you don't like it, you can spit it out - - just don't let the waiter see you!
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 09:56 AM
  #13  
Beth
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I am not a troll and many of you know that I post regularly especially on US forum but also on Europe and Caribbean as well. That being said, I would like to stand up for Dorothy (though I think the cow brains and horse meat are complete hogwash) Please do not bash people about their eating habits! Traveling should not be about eating things you have to gag down. I for one like to eat many different ethnic cuisines. Living in a large city like Chicago, we have easy access to Eithiopian, Turkish, Thai, Tapas, Japanese, German, etc. etc.
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 10:19 AM
  #14  
Beth
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(DON"T KNOW WHY IT CUT ME OFF . . .) Anyway, I am a very picky eater though. I will NEVER touch ANY vegetable other than a potato (salds are definitely out) Further, I dislike most sauces. I want my meat (whatever it may be and I am adventurous here) PLAIN without any sauce or seasoning other than salt/pepper. I don't like to mix foods. A casserole it just nasty to me because there are usually numerous ingredients cooked together. UGGH! When I eat a ham sandwich in the US, I eat ham and bread, that's it. I eat a lot of pasta but I want noodles with a plain sauce no veggie chunks or tomatoes or mushrooms in it. Husband can't believe I'm as healthy as I am, I have low cholesterol and am on the very slender side, who would have thought? anyway, my advice to Dorothy is that I have been to France, Italy and Ireland and I have yet to go hungry. I always find something I will eat and you will too. Just ask for things plain and order what you know. Please Fodorites, don't attack us, we can't help it if we are picky!
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 11:07 AM
  #15  
Dick
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Beth, maybe you should go with Dorothy. You 2 (3?) seem made for each other. You would also be giving your poor husband the break of his life!

Just wear blinders and a clothes pin on your nose. You might be suprised.

Dick
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 01:01 PM
  #16  
Capo
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Want to know how Crpes Suzette and Coquille St. Jacquesgot their names? Or how the term French Fries came about?

Interesting, and fun, website: French Food Trivia.

http://frenchfood.about.com/library/weekly/bltrivia.htm

I especially got a kick out of pets de nonnes. :~)
 
Sep 19th, 2001, 06:07 PM
  #17  
Dee
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Horse - thank goodness you let Dorothy know that you and your fellow equines(sp?)are safe! (I really needed the laugh.) Dorothy, don't worry about the calves brains but check your own.
 
Sep 20th, 2001, 08:44 AM
  #18  
dorothy
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Thanks everyone for getting back to us.Walter has found some freeze-dried meals at the Army-Navy store.This way we can bring some of our favorites with us.Walter is still worried about the water in Paris and may end up eating his dry.
 
Sep 20th, 2001, 11:25 AM
  #19  
hayburner
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A search of the Paris yellow pages gave me more than 30 horse butchers(boucheries chevalines). Be careful Dorothy and Walter!
 
Sep 20th, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #20  
Ursula
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.. worrying about the water?? Make him drink wine or a nice beer, Dorothy! ;-)
 

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