The French have a reputation for eating some weird things such as snails, frog’s legs, stinky cheese with the “smell of angel’s feet” and every part of a pig except the oink. For the real adventurous there’s always tête de veau; yep, a good ‘ole complete calf’s head plopped onto your plate ready for you to chow down on…yum!
Of course, we have our counterparts here. You’d be hard pressed to find Cheese Whiz®, grits, Velveeta®, or Jell-O® featured on any Parisian menu or at any restaurant around the country, for that matter. Watching YouTube® videos of French people trying American delicacies including marshmallow cream, beef jerky, root beer, and red licorice for the first time provides great entertainment for a rainy afternoon.
It seems, then, that all cultures have foods that others would consider weird; so do Bill and I have strange tastes? Not so much. My breakfast for at least the last few decades has been the same almost every day: oatmeal, yogurt, coffee, and juice while Bill usually has just coffee. But how French is that and how do they normally start the day? We can confirm from visits to homes over there that the typical breakfast is often some kind of toasted bread (croissant, baguette, brioche), lightly coated with butter and/or jam, plus coffee. At cafés the coffee cups seem to be what we’re used to or the mini-ones for espresso yet in homes we’ve always seen java served in bowls that we might use for rice or cereal. Talk about a jolt!
While the foods that the two of us eat probably don’t seem all that unusual, thanks to our Pennsylvania/Massachusetts friend, Elaine, the way we (or me, really) eat them might. For lunch I typically have a salad which is refreshing in the hot summer months but just serves to make me colder in the winter. Having already had coffee at breakfast and tea for a mid-morning break, I didn’t really want more caffeine so Elaine said try having just a cup of hot water. For some reason, it makes Bill gag but I actually like it and it warms me up as well. The last time we saw Elaine she told us that her nutritionist suggested eating uncooked oats right out of the box. You know, it’s really good! Uh oh, Bill’s looking a little pale.
I don’t think that we’re going to have much trouble adapting to the foods in our new life. While it’s possible to mail order just about any kind of American food that we might crave from online shops that market themselves to people living overseas, we plan to buy locally from farmers’ stands at the town square market and get our wine from the vineyards that surround the city.