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When North Americans Eat This, French Eat That…

When North American eat a burger… French eat a kebab

This Middle Eastern speciality is one of the most popular fast-food options in France. It’s often referred to it as “kebab” or “un Grec” (a Greek [meal]). Cut out meat is cooked on a skewer and served on baguette bread (rarely on flatbread unless you eat a proper Greek or Turkish meal in a restaurant). French like to add fries to the mix, as well as sauce blanche.

When North Americans eat a BLT… French eat a Parisien

The “Parisien” is also called the jambon-beurre (ham and butter) because, you guessed it, it’s usually half a crusty baguette sliced open, buttered and filled with thinly sliced ham (from Paris, hence the name). Some add a cornichon (very small pickle). The simple two-ingredient sandwich apparently the most popular sandwich in French and usually the cheapest in bakeries.

When North Americans eat a grilled cheese sandwich… French eat a croque-monsieur

The baked ham-and-cheese sandwich was traditionally served in bars but many French make them at home with pain de mie (soft sliced bread), Emmental cheese and a bit of butter. Croque-madame is a variant where the sandwich is topped with an egg. Both sandwiches can be served hot or eaten cold.

When North American use ketchup… French use mayonnaise

Ketchup is popular in France but many favour mayonnaise, especially when eating seafood or fries. Even McDonald’s’ offer a white Béarnaise-like sauce called sauce pommes frites along with ketchup. Dijon mustard is also very popular and it doesn’t taste anything like the yellow thing found in Canada.

When North American dress their salads with ranch sauce… French use vinaigrette

Vinaigrette is a mix of oil and vinegar, usually enhance with salt and maybe herbs. Note that there’s no blue cheese dressing (found in North America) in France—if you want blue cheese you, well, eat blue cheese–and French don’t usually dip their food in sauce.

When North Americans put crackers in soup… French tend to use tiny pasta

French eat chips and gâteaux apéritifs—the latter are fancier than most North American crackers and are almost never served with cheese (since technically, there are eaten with booze before meals). In soups, French tend to add shredded cheese, bread or tiny pasta like little stars, alphabet pasta or vermicelli.

When North Americans eat Oreo cookies… French eat Prince from LU

There are several brands of sandwich cookies in France, including Choco BN (with a smiley face), Pepito Croc Sablé and the very popular Prince made by LU. Dipping them in milk is very optional and the filing is almost always chocolate (seriously, why bother with vanilla or strawberry?)

When North Americans eat pudding cups… French eat flan

There are usually two or three aisles of dairy dessert in France, from natural yogurt to fruit yogurts, from fromage blanc to rich and flavourful vanilla-, chocolate-, caramel- or coffee-flavoured crèmes. The equivalent to pudding cups could be either Danette’s pudding or the flan, a custard dessert with a thin layer of caramel at the bottom.

Giant cheese wedges at Carrefour (and Mark doing the cheese), Nantes
Booze aisles at Super U, Saint-Michel
Mark eating French cookies at my grandmother’s place, Nantes
Mark eating a pain au lait, Nantes
Tharon’s Friday market
Tharon’s Friday market
Tharon’s Friday market
Tharon’s Friday market
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store
Saint-Michel cookie factory and store

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