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My French World

Food and Friends

by MATHILDE GEISMAR
1st year MM Viola

 

 

 

If you think French food, do you picture the great restaurants where you almost need a microscope to discern the food installed in the middle of a big and otherwise empty plate? A romantic evening in Paris, eating bread, wine and cheese with a really good looking French girl/guy?  Well, if yes, you and I watched the same movies. It’s time to bring you into My French World.

Let’s be honest: food is REALLY important.  But if you think that my girlfriends and I are going to act like Bree Van de Kamp and be the perfect housewife, you are WRONG. Food is truly an excuse for a great social gathering, and nobody should be stuck in the kitchen! Not when in the living room, or at the dinner table, the most passionate debates and discussions are taking place. Sex, politics, religion, everything you are not supposed to talk about here; bring it on!! So, how do you have great food while being with your guests? Ahah, my ancestors have thought it through.

Fondue Savoyarde is one possibility. A big wok of melted cheese and white wine in the middle of your table, heated with a gas flame. Salads and charcuterie are available on the side, and more importantly, hundreds of small pieces of bread. Each guest has a special long fork, where they stick their bread to dip it into the cheese. Some fork fighting in the wok might occur. But CAREFUL, if your fork comes out of the cheese without your bread, you will have a “gage”.  Your guests can decide to have you imitate a

If we stay in the cheese world, there is also Raclette. Again, salads and charcuterie on the side, with potatoes in the center. A giant half Raclette is heated in the middle of the table. As it melts, people bring their plate and drag the melted cheese on top of their potato with a wooden spoon. This is so delicious you have no idea! But you can’t really import the machine because of voltage differences. After a few years in the States, I missed it so much that I considered making a Raclette heater with my curling iron. That did not end up working so well…

I will keep examples of French food solutions for social gathering for later. But, here is some advice for you if you end up going to France.  Don’t stick to the famous monuments, go to cafés a little bit outside of the touristic areas and experience real students’ café discussions. Go outside of Paris!! The country is beautiful with stone made houses, best homemade style food and a completely different feel from big cities. And…if you are invited to a social gathering around Raclette or Fondue with French people? Well, get a bottle of wine and dress up a little bit! Friends of friends are welcome so, you never know, you might meet the person of your dreams! Better look good!

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