Faux Gras Lentil Paté

People often think of Paris as a museum stuck in the past. Sure, one of the things we all love about Paris is the old charm that persists in the architecture, the culture, the cuisine, and in some cases, the way of thinking. (The recent taxi versus Uber battle irked a few French tech entrepreneurs as they felt it presented an image of France as a place unwelcome to new business ideas, or change.) But it’s hard to stop new ideas, especially when they become widely adopted, as the next generation comes along with different ideas and expectations. 

Like everywhere, and like it or not, France is being updated in several ways. One that surprises outsiders is that no longer are lunches a three-hour affair with multiple bottles of wine. (Unfortunately!) Instead, lunch might be a sandwich on the fly – perhaps a jambon-beurre (baguette sandwich), or a stop at a food truck for a Bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich), or even a burger and frites. Change doesn’t happen fast in France, or without controversy, but when a new food trend does catch on, it tends to get fiercely embraced – for better or worse. And végétarianism is becoming more popular, despite some opposition.

Faux Gras Lentil Paté

Dietary habits are evolving in France, as they are in the rest of the world. And a number of people, especially twenty and thirty-somethings, are experimenting with things like quinoa, raw foods, chia seeds, and kale.

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With some exceptions (white chocolate in fresh ginger ice cream, caramel corn, marshmallows, and candied peanuts, for example), I tend to like things that aren’t too sweet. That occasionally confounds people because I’m a baker and I am no stranger to sugar, honey, and maple syrup. But I tend to gravitate toward things that get their flavors courtesy of chunks of bittersweet chocolate, a swirl of dark…

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I’m a random collector of Le Creuset. When rifling through a random box at a flea market in France, a hint of one of their trademark colors may catch my eye. I’ll pull out the pot, inspect it (never with too much excitement because if I plan to bargain for it, I need to keep my cards close to my chest), then either make an offer…

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France is the land of wine but it’s not necessarily something of adulation. I was told the average price spent on a bottle of wine in France is €3,20, which means a lot of people are spending less than that. To many, it’s just a drink and not something that’s considered a special-occasion beverage. And while people scoff at things like boxed wine, or wine in…

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I decided to play hookey last week, which coincided with an invitation to the Jardin de la Reine at Versailles for a spring picnic. The weather has been on-and-off in Paris, as it usually is, and no matter what the skies were planning on doing, I figured it’d be nice to escape the city for a few hours. And who could pass up a picnic in the gardens…

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One of the high points of going to Ireland is the Irish breakfast. In France, breakfast is usually some toast and coffee, and I’m fine with that – although a few hours later, I usually have a plain yogurt with some dark honey or a bowl of fresh fruit, to tide me over until lunch. The Irish breakfast, on the other hand, is a major…

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As I stumble through figuring out how to use the new features after the site upgrade, I’ve got a backlog of posts and pictures that I’ve been anxious to share. It also has taken me a week to recover from my weekend in Cork, Ireland, as a guest at the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Litfest, where I was a speaker in this year’s line-up. I’d only been to…

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A whole bunch of work has been going on behind-the-scenes here this spring, and now, the site is now completely mobile-friendly and responsive, meaning that it will adjust to whatever size screen you’re reading the site on; desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Wider spaces and a larger font has been implemented so it’s easier to read, and some of the less-used features (like the Links…

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May is the month of holidays in France. There are eleven public holidays a year, called jours fériés, which we might call “bank holidays” in the United States. They’re official holidays/dates when government offices, schools, banks, and most stores are closed, except for a few supermarkets, convenience stores, and bakeries, which need to follow certain rules as to when they can close in the summer, so they’re…

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