Archive for the 'French Traditions' Category


What the Flock?

For whatever reason, many French people prefer chemically sprayed Christmas trees to real ones. I don’t know why, and can only think that it is some lapse in their usually keen judgment, along with drinking UHT milk instead of fresh and subjecting job candidates to a handwriting analysis. I was excited this year at my usual flower stand […]

A Gourmet Holiday Tradition

Nearly 30 of France’s top pastry chefs and 26 Bûches de Noël make for one indulgent afternoon well spent. As an insatiable gourmande, I jump at the chance to meet and speak with pastry chefs so you can imagine my excitement when the country’s top talents are together in one room. My blogging pal Carol Gillott […]

Bonjour, La Rentree

American celebrate Labor Day today, a holiday honoring the labor movement. French are simultaneously buzzing about La Rentree, the exodus (for many) from long vacations to the cities and their jobs. Thanks to global warming, these days no longer feel very autumnal. Today’s high in Paris is expected to be 71F / 22C!

Apero Culture

The apéro is one of the many French traditions around food. And as a true francophile, you understand that food is sacred to French people. Today, we are going to demystify the French apéro for you and give you tips to impress your French hosts when you’re invited for an apéro. L’apéro is the short […]

Against Type

Bucking against that shopworn stereotype that all French people are rude, writer Amy Alkon invokes a Parisian habit in her book on how to be nicer to people. Ironic, no? It’s also nice to do as they do in Paris, where passing strangers are likely to greet each other. You’ll walk through the courtyard of […]

Hair Apparent

Hair. That is what is most different about the appearance of Parisians and Americans. The African women do serious weaves, often in koo-koo colors (think: weave salons near Strasbourg St. Denis metro station), while American black women go for more natural looking fake hair . Or just natural hair. As for white women, you will […]

What Else Did You Expect?

Is there anything more French than pursed lips? Even the half-a-face mannequins modeling eyeglasses at my local pharmacy assume the snooty expression.

My Local

To be Parisian, you must have a local—your go-to for dining out, an aperitif before dinner, or a quick cup of coffee. And to be super duper Parisian, your local should be less than fabulous. It shouldn’t be a blazingly shiny brasserie or reupholstered retro bistro. The waitress shouldn’t be sexy. Those places are for […]

May Day!

May 1st is both the Fete du Travail (Labor Day) and the Fete du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day). The latter is a spring celebration dating back to the Middle Ages. Flowers were given by men to women they liked as a form of spring courtship. The Labor Day part of the holiday started […]

Why Do the French Like Easter?

Because it’s a bonne idée.

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