Welcome to my French class blog. I hope to post periodically with updates on what's going on in class.

Monday, September 26, 2011

le Déjeuner à l'École en France

Voici un clip vidéo qui montre le déjeuner aux cantines françaises.  À mon avis, c'est très différent de ce que je vois à la cantine de notre lycée.  Je pouvais observer la cuisine pendant que nous cuisinions pour la Fête des Nations en mars.  Bien sûr qu'il y a beaucoup de règles hygiéniques ici qu'on doit suivre en cuisinant pour les élèves, mais J'ai vu aussi des choses dans ce clip qui m'ont surprises.  Par exemple, quand j'étais en France, j'ai visité des marchés et des boucheries à Paris.  J'ai vu la viande qui pendait du plafond en plein air.  Ça me semblait un peu bizarre, à cause de la possibilité des microbes et insectes qui pouvaient contaminer la viande qu'on acheterait.  C'est aussi une des histoires que quelques Français racontent des Américains -- que nous sommes obsédés par les microbes et la hygiène de notre nourriture.  Mais peut être ça change pour les Français.  Je ne suis pas certaine.

Qu'en pensez-vous de ce que vous avez vu dans ce clip?  Comparez le déjeuner à l'école en France au déjeuner à notre lycée.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Un Pique-Nique pour le Club Français

Friday will be our opening pique-nique for French Club. On le menu will be Salade Niçoise.  A "traditional" Salade Niçoise means many things to many people, as you will see in the following excerpts from Steve Cuozzo's New York Post article (April 25, 2007) on the subject:

SPRING has sprung, and with it the perennial battle over what makes Nicoise salad "Nicoise."
The Riviera-born favor ite is popping up on many a spring menu, but in myriad mutant forms that have purists fuming.
Nothing drives them crazier than Nicoise made with fresh tuna. "Salade Nicoise with fresh tuna is a travesty," my friend Mimi Sheraton, the former New York Times critic, cheerfully scolded me after I praised Nicoise made with seared tuna at Time Warner Center's Landmarc last week.
"If you like it, you are wrong!"
Most every French-born chef agrees with her. Traditional Nicoise is built around canned tuna. It suavely marries the preserved product to string beans, olives, cooked potatoes, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs (and, sometimes, scallions and anchovies) so its natural oily essence permeates all the elements; Le Bernardin pilot Eric Ripert calls the effect "osmosis."
But today, most New York chefs regard anything less than "fresh" as blasphemous, and the canned classic is harder than ever to find.
Even the Upper West Side's Nice Matin, named for the salad's home city, uses fresh tuna. The twist is that it's poached in olive oil - "a process to achieve the canned effect using fresh tuna," says sous-chef Adrian Leskiw.
But, "Canned tuna always," declares Francois Payard, owner of Payard Bistro on Lexington Avenue. Landmarc's dish "is vegetable salad with grilled tuna," BLT Fish chef Laurent Tourondel says. "It is not Nicoise."
In a reversal of stereotypes, it's non-French chefs and owners who look down their noses at old-style Nicoise.
But the Nicoise debate even goes beyond the fish. Take potatoes. Payard, who was born in Nice, says they don't belong.
"In Nice, we didn't use potatoes. It is supposed to be a summer dish and very light." But Tourondel harrumphed, "I've never found any without potatoes."
Ours will include canned tuna and potatoes.
Another area of debate is whether the Salade Niçoise should be tossed, with or without lettuce, or served "deconstructed".  Ours will be deconstructed, served "en famille" so club members may choose what they wish to try, and leave behind what they do not.
Anchovies will be available for les courageux!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Les Français n'Oublieront Jamais

This is an organization in France (although it's name is in English) dedicated to the memory of fallen American heroes. It is a French organization, run by the French to honor Americans. 

I wrote a post over the summer about stereotypes that many Americans have about the French, and that many French have about Americans.  One that I left out, but that came up in class today, was the idea that the French hate Americans.  I can tell you unequivocally that is untrue.  My experiences in France were wonderful, and as an American I was warmly accepted by all of the French people I encountered (except one rude waiter, and those are everywhere, and a homeless person who wanted money from me).  I have numerous French colleagues on Twitter, and one of my other blogs has more hits from France than anywhere in the world except the US.

But I would like to return to this wonderful organization.  The French Will Never Forget.  In honor of the Americans killed in the tragedy on September 11, 2001, this organization will hold a ceremony at the Place du Trocadero (near the Eiffel Tower) where there will be symbolic replicas of the Twin Towers between the French and American flags.  This is a very powerful message from a country that has long been our ally.  It is true that our opinions have differed on certain issues throughout history, and no doubt that will continue.  But it remains the case that France and the United States are friendly nations, and our peoples will continue to share our cultures, learn from, and honor one another.