Recently in French Culture category:

When I was sprier (and when I could eat all that chocolate!) I used to do culinary tours. One of the most fun things to do was to take people into places and explain some of the lesser-known items that, incongruently, France is famous for. I know. I had to think about that for a minute, too. I’d point out things like fleur de sel,…

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Hello all, Emily here. There seems to be more and more Christmas activities that are planned in Paris each year, so David asked me to put together a selection of my family’s favorites.  Our tree is already up and wherever you are in the world – we’re wishing you a happy holiday season! Things to do in Paris at Christmas Without the celebration (and decorations)…

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Once upon a time, if you arrived via an airplane, or left your hotel room, wearing puffy white sneakers, you were immediately branded un américain, scorned for your fashion faux pas. So Americans (myself included) purposely wore regular shoes so as not to be pegged as, well – Américains. A few of us brave souls occasionally bared our American patrimoine (heritage), bucking fashion in favor…

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One of the things that affect everybody, whether you’re a local, or a visitor, is that ya gotta go. Or as the French say, “Faire pipi.” Although people readily discuss bodily functions in France, going to the can is something where a little more discretion is called for. It’s not something everyone wants to talk about, but let’s face it, everyone’s gotta do it –…

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When I first arrived in France and enrolled at a French school, the teacher went around the room and asked us all, who came from various places around the world, what we missed about our home countries. We often did exercises like that because it was a way to get us to speak French about a subject we were passionate about. (Which is why another…

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The French are known for their fine cuisine. Their lavish lunches and sumptuous dinners are legendary. But breakfast, or le petit déjeuner, might seem to get short shrift, to the dismay of travelers coming from places where breakfast is a more elaborate affair. I remember as a tourist in France, I felt so French having a baguette or croissant for breakfast, smearing jam and butter on either, enjoying…

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I was never afraid of keys until I moved to Paris. People have all sorts of phobias, many that seem curious to others who don’t share them, such as auroraphobia, a fear of Northern lights and euphobia, which is a fear of good news. Papyrophobia is a fear of paper, and macrophobia is a fear of long waits. But I’ve never heard of a fear of keys,…

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The funny thing about having a blog is that you become “searchable.” I’ve changed my tune many times, which astute readers often note, on everything from where my favorite croissant can be found (in 2007), where I get my falafel fix (a change from 2005), to what French butter I prefer (in 2008). C’est normale. Bakeries change hands, restaurants slip in quality, or, more recently,…

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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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