Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pardon my French Cuisine

At Charles de Gaulle Airport last week, I was waiting in line at the overweight-baggage payment line with a fellow American. The executive was returning home to upstate New York after a week in France for a business conference at "some chateau about an hour west of Paris."

I asked how he liked his time in France.

"Well, I'm looking forward to going home," quoth he. "I mean, the French people were very nice and all, but I have to say I really don't like the food."

Wow. I've heard all kinds of Americans' objections to travelling in France, but that was a first.

"Yeah," he continued, "one night it was duck something, then one night they served me bone marrow."

"Oh, moelle!!" I squealed. "I love it!"

He looked at me as if I were some sort of modern-day cannibal.

"Then I think they caught on to the fact that I don't like all that weird stuff, so they stopped telling me what they were serving -- dishes like rabbit or black meatballs."

"I guess that's the trick," I suggested. "Just don't think too hard about what you're eating -- just see if you like it."

"Well," he said, "maybe some folks like French cuisine, but I just can't wait to get home -- when this plane lands I'm heading straight to Chick-fil-A."

12 comments:

Evelyn said...

Prior to my first trip to France in 2005, my in-laws gave me the following advice: "Don't waste your money on food in France, it's awful and you can't get a decent salad. We ate at McDonald's the whole time we were there" I'm so glad I didn't follow their advice! I loved the food and the adventure of trying new things. I can't decide if they truly didn't like the cuisine or if they were just cheap!

Deja Pseu said...

Philistine. He should stay home.

Wow, to us the food is one of the absolute best things about visiting Paris. We no sooner get in the taxi upon arrival in LA before we start jones-ing for French cuisine. Even the simplest things like baguette or ham sandwich are just SO GOOD there. (Oh, and I tried grenouille this last trip...magnifique!

Jay Livingston said...

"Black meatballs" -- you're making this up, right? A few thin slices to augment the flavor (and the tarif) maybe, but I can't imagine that someone served him an entire intact black meatball.

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

Croque Monsieur!

Business man: probably had an embroidered name tag opposite the company logo? Poor man.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Jay - From what I could gather, the "black meatballs" were probably boudin noir. I couldn't possibly invent these conversations...

Sixty - The guy seemed like a real corporate type. Only big-timey corporations have weeklong conferences in French chateaux, I bet.

Anyway, I hadn't realized that Chick-fil-A had spread its empire so far north. Maybe there'll be a branch on the Champs Elysees before we know it.

materfamilias said...

Wow! At least you got a post out of talking to Mr. Knows-his-limitations. And it could have been worse -- he could have been your seatmate on the flight. It must be awful having to travel for work to locations so bereft of the basic requirements like good food: No, please don't make me go to Paris again!

Jane said...

Poor guy. He's probably a really picky eater. It must make it hard for him to travel for business.

pinklea said...

Some people just shouldn't travel, should they? Your story reminds me of one of my cousins years ago who went on holiday to Greece. I asked her how she liked it, and her reply was that she didn't at all. Her reason? She couldn't get a decent steak.

Starman said...

LMFAO!! I, too, have a story about people who went to Paris and ate at McDonald's because they "didn't want to have a bad meal". Pinklea is absolutely correct, some people should just stay home and "eat mor chikin."

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Oh, the poor man! He's missing out on so much. I am dying to get back to Paris...just for the food :)

woolies said...

I'm laughing hysterically - just happened on your blog and can't believe this story. Apparently this gentleman (and I use the term loosely) has not matured past the age of 10.
Because even my 13 year old would prefer french cuisine over Chick Fil-A. I think.

Anonymous said...

That's quite funny. People usually complain about the French 3 hour dnner ;)

Cathy

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