The Pumpkin Pie Premium

pumpkinpiein franceWhenever American visitors come to Paris, they always ask me two things: what I love about living in France, and what I miss about the United States.  I have my pat answers — on the French side, the overall lifestyle, the healthcare and the cut of women’s and men’s clothing, and on the American side, the customer service, the strong work ethic and the year-round sales I must now remember to add pumpkin pie to the list of things that I miss.  Pumpkin pie, I have discovered, is a uniquely American dessert.  The very idea of it makes some French men and women turn green — and not with envy.  I once hosted a Thanksgiving dinner just for French friends, who were all eager to try la dinde farcie (literally, stuffed turkey), la purée de pommes de terre (which one friend mispronounced in frenchpumpkinpietheparisblogEnglish as “smashed potatoes,” a malapropism that I have since adopted) and le pumpkin pie. In France, le potiron (small pumpkin with a squash-like flavor) is typically served salé — savory.  Mostly it is eaten as puréed soup, seasoned with salt, pepper, a tiny bit of garlic andcrème fraîche.  So everyone at my French Thanksgiving was eager to try this new form of pumpkin-eating made from the large citrouille that is grown all over the United States, with the exception of one friend who looked, well . . . afraid.

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