French cuisine is one of the most world-renowned food cultures on the planet. While to some it may be one of the easiest World Cup tour posts to imagine, for me it is one of the most difficult to write. What should I focus on? Classic French culinary techniques? Haute Cuisine? Champagne, Cognac, Bordeaux? This is tough! My real challenge here is to try to be creative and find something that isn't so obvious. However, in doing my research, I realized that I ought not to focus on one dish, but rather offer a glimpse of what French food is really all about.
HAHA... "the British don't make food, they heat it!" I find that to be hilarious, and indeed also true of plenty of American cuisine. In many ways we really are a "Fast Food Nation," afraid to slow down and care about what goes into our food or the process by which it is prepared. We want instant food, ready for consumption with just a zap from a microwave or a quick stroll through a drive-thru window. This is also, in my mind, what separates chefs from cooks in America. The vast majority of chain restaurants (and even locally owned establishments) have set menus that require no extra creativity or passion. The employees simply cook the food that has been given to them in an often frozen and ultra-processed form. If there is one thing that can be said about French food, it is that there is too much passion in the average citizen to let that kind of "heating" qualify as their national cuisine. I say good for them.
And now for some adult beverages... There are plenty to choose from in France, but I found something other wine, champagne, cognac, and beer (for which you can check out the BR Beer Scene).
Although many people, including in bars and cafes serve Pastis and then add water and ice, the "official" way is to put water first. 1 volume of Pastis for 5 volumes of water is the traditional proportion but if you want it more refreshing, you can add up to 10 volumes of water. Pastis is popular abroad and in some countries is served in a way that would horrify the French "purists". In France "le "perroquet" and "la tomate" are 2 famous Pastis cocktails : Un perroquet : pastis, mint sirup, water. Une tomate : pastis, grenadine sirup, water. Pastis is also used in several fish, meat or dessert recipes.