TRANSATLANTIC PARALLEL: FOOD , the good, the bad, the worst.

Today,  Letitia Jett a Femme d'un Certain Age , and I play a weekly game on our blogs. We share our views on our adopted countries, France for Letitia and The States for me, all the while comparing one and the other. We "come up" with a topic to "discuss" and we each publish our thoughts on the subject from our respective sides of the Ocean, never looking "at each other's sheet", so to speak.

Letitia had a brilliant, BRILLIANT idea: Why if we compared our eating "preferences"? Dishes we adore, miss and can't live without, and the rest, including what would be IMPOSSIBLE for us to swallow.

I think I should begin with food I can't ...well, even understand; my list of "Non. Merci. Vraiment." Dishes others, somewhere, delight in; let's get those out of the way and we can proceed with le reste

and the much less good! 
Non merci
In France, because they are just plain scary
Le Casgiu Merzu
Meaning "rotten cheese", the world's most terrifying cheese from Corsica is not sold in shops as it is so rotten it is illegal to sell it for health reasons but if you really want to try, you will need solid Corsican connections...They let it rot at room temperature so to speak, so that flies can deposit their larvae, and you eat it all. Appetizing, non? and it smells as bad as it looks!
YES, those are WORMS!

Les Pousse-pieds
I have no idea what these shells taste like. Not interested.

From other than France, because they are just plain terrifying
100 year old Eggs
They are left to "mature"  in a liquid mixture for a few weeks or months. Quite a delicacy. I hear.

I saved the best for last. 
Insect sushis
No joke!

Alright, enough of the I-am-not-THAT-hungry category.

I'll go back to the foods I dislike, love, miss, prefer.

In France, because they are too strange
An animal's digestive tract? umm, noooo. NO part of it in fact.

Pied de Cochon
An animal's foot? non, non et non. not Piggy's or any other's.

In the US  because they are too... everything
Hot Dogs
A mixture of fat, salt and animal by-products, hidden under a gallon of stuff. ummm, no again.

Not in any height or combination; impossible to actually technically physically eat most of the time, anyway.

Pastrami Sandwich
not even from the Carnegie Deli in NYC

Now for the good stuff. Very rich, I know, but...
I love here
Key Lime Pie

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedicte

Pancakes- any kind.

Le Tian de Légumes from l'Ardèche

Les Oeufs à la Neige of my mother
Floating islands

les Moules Marinières from Chez Miocque in Deauville, France

Les Vol-au-Vent from La Grande Epicerie in Le Bon Marché, Paris

None of this is super healthy but very much worth the "danger"
Homard a l'Armoricaine
It is funny that this recipe for lobster is called "à l'Armoricaine" from the western area in France called the Armoricaine peninsula (Brittany) but it is often mistakenly called "à l'Americaine".
to Steamed Lobster

LaTarte Tatin
to Apple Pie even "a  la Mode"

Sole Normande 
to Pan Sauteed Sole

Poulet à la crème

to Chicken a la King

Just as good here as in France as for that matter in a lot of places


I miss here and also when I am in France
A Moroccan Tajine of Chicken- made there.

Tunisian Bricks with eggs
Filo dough stuffed with an egg and quickly deep fried in very hot oil. I grew up on these. So light. Such tasty memories of my early childhood.

I have not mentioned the cheeses of France, oooh, the cheeses! no where else.
Nor the unequaled vegetables from the marchés of rural France, especially those from Huguette, in the Ardèche. Now, THAT I miss! that is not going to be swallowed by globalisation. Surement pas!

Do you have a favorite dish from France or the US? do you have one that you wouldn't even consider eating, from anywhere? Please tell us, either below in the petits commentaires or at Letitia Jett's magnificent blog a Femme d'un Certain Age . It will be so much fun to discover your tastes.
Au revoir.


  1. On a trip to Japan many years ago, I was treated to every delicacy - the "jelly fish" had me feeling like Lucille Ball as the Japanese business men eagerly watched me chew, and chew and chew.
    I will try just about anything, out of respect for another culture.
    We Americans ask the French to eat our "corn!" and some absolutely shake their heads and others love it.

  2. I never had jelly fish; it sounds at the very least hard to swallow; on the other hand corn is delicious in almost any form- good sweet summer corn steamed- messy but worth the mess. and I LOVE corn bread. I never much liked popped corn. I don't know why. Maybe it's the smell at the movies. Thank you for your visit and comment. A bientot.

  3. OH. MY. Gosh..... I had tripe in Spain once. ONCE. And it came up nearly as quick as it went down. It was the most disgusting thing i have ever seen/smelled/tasted. I didn't know what it was until after....I think it permanently scarred me. I think i would of preferred the stinky cheese or insect sushi! lol....
    this was a totally fun post. My youngest son just had a hot dog for breakfast about 5 minutes ago and my older son came up to me and whispered "mom, isn't that like pig's bottoms?"....

  4. I am now drooling for "Homard a l'Armoricaine".
    The first time I tasted this wonderful dish in Brittany....I just wanted dinner time to return, so I could order it again.
    I will be back in France end of June..counting the days until another feast !

  5. Bonjour Jeanne-aeilia,
    Oh my, rotten cheese, insect ssishi - what kind of country have I moved to? Like you I will definitely pass all the above. Les Vol-au-Vent is a favorite and so much more civilised. Though I do remember my Father's stories of eating tripe as a kid in the Maryland, U.S. because that waas all they could afford. And of course I'm all for Tarte Tatin!
    Bon semaine,

  6. I KNEW you would come up with something wonderful -- delicious. Some of the things you mentioned, thank goodness, I have never encountered. Very funny you won't go near tripes.

    Honestly, I would like to at least look at the rotten cheese. Have you tasted it or do you know anyone who has? Insect sushi, as Mimi says, ummm, I don't think so.

    Loved your interpretation of our game. Love our Transatlantic Parallel full stop, my dear, dear friend.

    Just to go on the record, because you are so generous, I would like everyone to know you invented this brilliant idea. Merci.


  7. Cashon& co.: your story is so funny! Your boys seem to be quite the characters. Tripe in Spain also ? it's everywhere...
    My Favorite French Antiques: I am like you, I love Homard a l'Armoricaine. Part of my family is from Brittany, and I spent a lot of vacations there as well as in the south of France, (Le Conquet; a fortified house from 1535!) and lobster was plentiful, fresh of course, and in fact delicious any way it was made.
    Bonjour Romance: I had no idea tripe was eaten in the States but I guess with so many people originally from Europe it's not too surprising. Tarte tatin is exquisite but sooo caloric. and I for one can't have just a little...
    Letitia: thank you! you are always so generous in your comments. Yes, the rotten cheese, though I have never eaten any needless to say, was a favorite of one of my brothers-in-law who spent most of his vacations in Corsica growing up. He said the cheese "walked across the table on it's own" (he is from Marseilles originally and they are notorious for exaggeration! I have also, I must confess, never even seen insect Sushi. Thank heaven.
    As for brilliant ideas your head is always FULL of them!
    Merci a toutes mes amies bloggueuses. A bientot.

  8. now that I am starving (rotten cheese in Corsica notwithstanding!) I am dying for one of those Tunisian Bricks..your description has left me wanting the recipe?? s'il tu plait?

    what a fun great post!!!!



  9. The Tunisian Bricks sound very interesting.
    One thing I could never understand is the children's menu in restaurants. My three boys were never interested. Unheard of in Europe!
    I have a delicious memory of when I was 16 in Hossegor, of fresh baguette smothered with a mixture of sweet butter and roquefort cheese which we snacked on after an afternoon at the beach. Heaven! Another interesting fact: In Europe, when my boys were in their teens they were served wine with their meal without being asked. In the USA they had to present I.D, and just to be certain, only the passeport would do, since the Quebec drivers licence is unilingual French..Hmmmmm A great post! - Thank you

  10. I'll try to find a recipe but I was a little girl when I lived in Tunisia and I of course did not care how they were made! We had Tunisian help so I assume they made them but maybe on the internet. I'll keep you posted. Thnaks for visiting, Kit

  11. oh So much good food!!
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