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Tag: Gastronomy

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France and the United States From Liberation to Exasperation

How did Americans go, in the mind of the French, from gum-chewing liberators to Coke-swilling invaders? A U.S. historian and a French cheesemonger examined this transformation in a book published this summer. During the Liberation, American GIs used calvados brandy to fuel their Zippo lighters. In 1948, the French communist party called for a boycott of the American soda giant, accusing...

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Marseille Likes its McDonald’s

It is unheard of. In France, McDonald’s has long stood for the triumph of junk food, economic imperialism, and the spread of American culture. French farmer and politician José Bové shot to fame when he destroyed a McDonald’s restaurant, and for four years, the inhabitants of Oléron have been fighting to keep the fast-food chain from opening a restaurant on...

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Iconic: The Laughing Cow

These triangular cream cheeses combining comté, emmental, gouda, edam, and cheddar are actually a French invention, and known as La Vache Qui Rit. Sold in little round boxes, these snacks are part of fond childhood memories in France. The lighter version is also a best-seller in the United States, where it is sold in supermarkets as the Laughing Cow. The saga...

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Joël Robuchon, a Star-Spangled Chef in the United States

Famed for his potato purée with lightly salted butter, the Frenchman was far more than a cook. For many years he embodied French cuisine de terroir from Paris to Las Vegas. “To describe Joël Robuchon as a cook is a bit like calling Pablo Picasso a painter, Luciano Pavarotti a singer, Frederic Chopin a pianist, “wrote American Patricia Wells. The...

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French-American Commercial Feuds (4/5): The Mimolette and Saucisson Embargos

Franco-American history features a number of commercial and diplomatic disputes, from the “chicken war” in the 1960s to Donald Trump’s recent declarations about taxing steel and aluminum imported from Europe. With its boycotts and protectionist policies, we explore these conflicts through five episodes looking at the history of certain controversial products. Episode 4: The FDA Clamps Down on Mimolette Cheese...

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Le Bateau Ivre, a Haven for French Wine Lovers in Manhattan

Known as the first wine bar in New York City, the French bistro Le Bateau Ivre will be participating in French Restaurant Week through July 15. The owners of Le Bateau Ivre are from India. The chef is from Venezuela and the kitchen staff is from Ecuador, Mexico, and Guatemala. Yet the French atmosphere can be seen from miles away....

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French Restaurant Week Celebrates its 4th Year in Chicago

Ten French restaurants will be participating in Chicago’s French Restaurant Week from July 9 to 22. Each location will offer set prix-fixe menus: $17.89 for the bar, $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner, and $178.90 for dinner for two. Taking from Chicago’s most prestigious restaurants, French Restaurant Week will pay homage to the diversity of French cuisine in the Windy...

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French Butchers Threatened by Veganism

The French are eating less and less meat. Butchers have noticed a 10-percent drop in meat sales between 2000 and 2012, and are worried about the threat supposedly brought about by vegans. They are now seeking police protection after several meat shops and restaurants were vandalized in the past few weeks. In a letter to the French Interior Ministry, the...

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French Restaurant Week Returns to NYC

Starting on July 2, French Restaurant Week returns to New York City for its 8th year with 22 locations ranging from Parisian bistros to brunch places and farm-to-table eateries. These New York restaurants will show off their authentic French cuisine from July 2-15, where prices will be fixed for their lunch and dinner menus. This year, the set price is...

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Parisian Bistros Appeal for Unesco World Heritage Status

Parisian bistro owners are looking to have their terraces granted Unesco's intangible cultural heritage status. The initiative is backed “wholeheartedly” by the city of Paris but has drawn criticism from the New York Times. The American media is quick to cover anything to do with French culture, especially when there is cause for controversy — a privilege reserved exclusively for...[Subscriber]

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Anthony Bourdain, 61, Dead by Suicide

Anthony Bourdain, 61-year-old American celebrity chef, was found dead in his hotel room in France. It was pronounced a suicide. Bourdain was in Kaysersberg, a small Alsatian village between Strasbourg and Colmar, shooting an episode for his series named Parts Unknown for CNN, discussing culinary traditions around the world. His hanged body was found by close friend French chef Eric Ripert,...

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Liberty, Equality, Camembert!

Is this the end of French Camembert? Starting in 2021, the "Camembert de Normandie" Protected Designation of Origin label, which guarantees a locally-made, raw milk cheese, will become available to cheeses made using pasteurized milk. The decision has concerned and enraged local producers, who have called for a boycott of Camembert if the change takes effect. “Soon enough," writes the...

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French Cuisine No Longer the Big Cheese

This week, we learned simultaneously that the world’s best camembert is from Quebec, and that more hamburgers are sold in France than the traditional jambon-beurre ham sandwiches. If we are to believe the results of a cheese competition organized by local producers in Wisconsin, the world’s best camembert is called Extra, and is made in Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec. While the...[Subscriber]

Anne-Sophie Pic, cuisine, Guide Michelin, Genre, #MeToo
The Michelin Guide Has Left Women Out

Female chefs are underrepresented in the Michelin guide, writes the New York Times. This year, the famous red guide awarded new stars to 57 French restaurants, only two of which have female chefs. The newspaper observes that the Michelin guide has "collided with the #MeToo moment." The are only 16 female chefs among the 621 Michelin-starred restaurants in France, and...

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Dominique Crenn: An Homage to Good Food

Atelier Crenn made a name for itself with a multi-course tasting menu experience at 325 dollars and dishes garnished with gold leaf. But French restaurant owner and chef Dominique Crenn is now putting her talents into simpler things. Her new restaurant, Bar Crenn, set to open in San Francisco on February 20, promises to serve the standards of the French...

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La Chandeleur: The Day to Flip Crêpes

While Americans watch expectantly for the groundhog to emerge on February 2, the French will be flipping crêpes with their families. Known as Chandeleur in French and "Candlemas" in English, this event mixes pagan, Celtic, and catholic influences, and is named after the candles used for a pagan ritual celebrating the arrival of the harvest. In 472, Pope Gelasius I...

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Bisou, French Cuisine in Touch With its Feelings

French-American restauranteur Nick Ronan is known as "the Kissing Chef" in San Francisco, where he greets customers with a peck on the cheek as they step into his aptly-named bistro, Bisou. The eatery will be taking part in San Francisco Restaurant Week from January 22 to 31, 2018. Nick Ronan found himself in the restaurant world in the same way...

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Le Cirque Through the Eyes of Eight French Chefs

Le Cirque will be closing at the end of the year. This restaurant has been a shrine to French gastronomy in New York since 1974, and helped kickstart the careers of two generations of French chefs living in the United States. Eight of them shared their memories and experiences of Le Cirque with France-Amérique. Alain Sailhac, dean emeritus of the...

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Le Cirque: The Rise and Fall of a French Restaurant

Due to close on December 31, Le Cirque was once considered New York’s best French restaurant. The famed institution was held up as an ideal for fine-dining in the U.S. and acted as a starting point for many French chefs that still influence the culinary scene today. At Le Cirque, the show was in the dining room as much as...

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Yule Log, a French Dessert Devoured Abroad

Yule logs are a French culinary tradition par excellence, and abound in American pastry shops and supermarkets during the holiday season. The yule log was originally part of Celtic culture. During the Winter Solstice — the shortest day of the year — the Celts would keep a wooden log burning throughout the night to celebrate the rebirth of the sun....