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Hates French Food


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Today I remembered a story that I have repressed for years, and I wanted to share it with my fellow gulleteers:

Some years ago I came back from a long trip to France. A woman who worked in one of my local food stores said to me "I haven't seen you in a while, were you away?"

And I replied, "yes, I just got back from France."

So she asked, "How was it?"

And I replied, "It was great, and the food was great!"

And she answered, shaking her head slightly, "I don't like French food!"

To which all I could say was, "Oh."

Then she added, "My son's a chef, and he makes French food, and I don't like it at all!"

So I perked up a bit, and asked, "Where does he cook?"

And she replied, "Oh, he's the chef at the Holiday Inn down on the truck highway in [the industrial zone]. He's always cooking French food, and I don't like it at all."

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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You know, I still hear this - and from people who should know better! "French food is all about tons of butter and gloppy sauces". My mom thought this until she went to France and stayed w/ my uncle there in Paris and the South of France. Now she just bitches about the quality of food available here :raz:!

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The prejudice about French food (certainly on the part of the English) is very old. Here is Hannah Glasse in her "Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy" (1747) on the topic:

"... But if Gentlemen will have French Cooks, they must pay for French Tricks. A Frenchman, in his own Country, would dress a fine Dinner of twenty Dishes, and all genteel and pretty, for the Expence he will put an English Lord to for dressing one Dish. But then there is the little petty Profit. I have heard of a Cook that used six Pounds of Butter to fry twelve Eggs; when every Body knows, that understands Cooking, that Half a Pound is full enough, or more than need be used: But then it would not be French. So much is the blind Folly of this Age, that they would rather be impos'd on by a French Booby, than give Encouragement to a good English Cook! "

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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When I was in pastry school, a bunch of us were at a restaurant supply doing research for an assignment. We overheard this girl talking to another student who happened to work for one of the city's best catering companies about "her boyfriend, the chef". So to be polite Colleen asks her where her boyfriend works and she says "Wendy's".

We actually had to walk farther away so we wouldn't laugh in front of her.

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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