For the last ten years, my wife Val and I have split our time between California and France. And we’ve observed a great many cultural differences between the two countries…
I recently gave two talks on the subject – one to a French group and one to an American one. Four of these cultural differences generated a lot of discussion.
You can read my article on the subject at My French Life.
Vive la différence !
Food is at the center of French life and is any food more important than cheese? Non!
Here are some funny stories about how I learned cheese etiquette, as well as the impact cheese can have on French elections.
Read all about it at The Good Life France.
Which politician would you like to have a beer with? It’s a typical survey question. And as you would expect, a recent French poll named president Emmanuel Macron the winner.
Less typical was when French pollsters asked, Which politician would you like to have a summer fling with? French women responded with enthusiasm. (If they asked that same question here, American women would take one look at our politicians and immediately book a flight to France.)
The French love their polls and they cover every subject imaginable. Sure, there are the usual questions about political parties, potential legislation, and the state of the economy. But then there are the fun ones…
Read all about it at Frenchly.
One of my favorite restaurants in St.-Rémy-de-Provence is L’Aile ou la Cuisse. The food is great and the setting is beautiful, right in the middle of the old town. Best of all is the gigantic display case where you pick your dessert. It’s like Christmas every day!
You can read all about this fun restaurant at Perfectly Provence.
France is famous for its breads, like crusty baguettes, flaky croissants, and rich pain au chocolat. The best! But what if you live a gluten-free life? Can you still visit la belle France?
Bien sûr! France has plenty of gluten-free (GF) options, whether you are dining out or cooking in. Here are some pointers to get you started.
Read about how to live GF in France at Frenchly. Bon appétit !
There are a lot of great restaurants in Provence, with Michelin stars galore, like Le Petit Nice in Marseille and Baumanière in Les Baux. But for my money, the best fine dining in Provence is at L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles. Val and I go there every year to celebrate her birthday and it’s always great.
Find out all about L’Atelier at The Provence Post.
Delicious wines, a gorgeous winery and a privileged location in one of the most beautiful spots in France: Château Romanin has it all.
It is also a place where wine, religion and mysticism have intersected for centuries.
Read about the history and mystery of Château Romanin at Perfectly Provence.
Everyone wants to go to Paris when they go to France. It’s one of the world’s great cities, with the Eiffel Tower, romantic cafés, great museums… what’s not to like? (Okay, the Parisians not so much, but the rest is great.) But you’d be wrong to put Paris at the top of the list. Instead, you should follow the insiders who know better and head south to Provence. Here’s why.
Read the rest of the story at Frenchly.
Bouillabaisse is one of those magical dishes that seems to capture the spirit of Provence. So when our friend Pascal, a retired chef, invited us over for homemade bouillabaisse, we came running.
Besides serving us a magnificent meal, Pascal shared some of his secrets. Like where the name comes from. And what kind of spices to use. And what to NEVER do when preparing bouillabaisse.
You can read my story about our dinner on page 106 of The Good Life France Magazine’s Autumn Issue.
Americans love peanut butter, just as Australians love Vegemite, and Brits love Marmite. We all have our national favorites.
For the French it’s Nutella, that sweet chocolate-hazelnut spread that kids grow up eating at breakfast. So it was shocking when French philosopher Régis Debray attacked Nutella , causing a national uproar. He might as well have gone after motherhood and the 35-hour workweek while he was at it.
Author and professor Mara Goyet responded with an essay explaining the ways in which Nutella is, in fact, at the very heart of French civilization. It’s very insightful and…hilarious!
You can read the full article at Frenchly.