Une Tasse de Thé
Hello Puppets. Would you care for a spot of tea? Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? It’s addicting actually, when you begin to try and speak in a British accent and then you realize that after a bit, you’re really not even trying anymore, you’re actually attempting to conceal the horrible non-native tongue that you so very much envy and adore. For the past few days, I spent the entire time failing to do just that due to my long-awaited presence in the United Kingdom! I know this is beginning to sound repetitive but I love England! Long live the queen! While I only made it to Oxford to visit some dear friends, I must say that it was an extraordinary visit with so little time and so much to do/eat. British gets a really bad stereotype as being a country that has very heavy foods, lots of meats, and an addiction to tea that might be unsettling to some. What I found is that not only are there so many lovely veggie options and delicious Indian cuisine, but the tea producing factories there have actually won the key to my heart. I even discovered Greek cuisine, for all of you who don’t know me, is my true homeland. It’s this event that leads me to create this blog a food and culture devoted blog because I have to express my opinions on the variant cultures of Europe, the UK, and the states.
DIET: This word is used so often in American culture that people hardly know the significance of its actual meaning. What can we say about the American diet? (If I had a penny (or even a pence) every time someone asked me what exactly the American diet consists of) To be honest, I really have no accurate response. Is it sad that here, when I’ve asked people what they think of Americans, they think of barbeques, Yoga-loving hippy freaks, obesity, or George Bush. Is this really how our country is being displayed?! Then in France, I know I’ve been giving the impression that all people eat is bread and cheese…while this may be true to an extent, the French are actually very healthy not just in terms of what they eat (which is only the freshest, most natural ingredients from the root form such as cows, vegetables, fruits, and free-range meat and fish) but HOW they go about consuming food. If there is one thing I am going to take away from the French lifestyle, it is their importance on daily meals, especially when dining in a leisurely style to enjoy the wholesome company of others. While they may even consume lots of sweets, their desserts are a lot fresher and naturally sweetened than the ones in the UK and the US which are saturated in sugar and artificial junk. That and the idea that everything is consumed in moderation, with wine and cheese only pair with these smaller, less donut-affecting portions. Therefore, is it really all just what we’re eating or how we’re eating it? Did I mention that the French have no shame? Of course they can eat a croissant with butter and jam for breakfast every morning and consume an entire baguette in the course of one day while still looking good…because they don’t care! They aren’t stressed out about dieting like the majority of Americans, and are actually using that energy that they would have been stressing about going to the gym and punishing themselves for eating something “rotten” by walking miles to get other things accomplished (like shopping for their wonderful figure). This is another reason why I think it’s so important that we are with host families. As an American student, I am trained to prepare, sit, and eat like a normal French child and help the mother in the kitchen, play an active role in the ability to dine in good company, and appreciate the love and nourishment going into every bite of food. They do this all while having intellectual dinner conversations that don’t involve screaming at a football game on the television. Yet are French the only people who happen to behave this way? Of course not; Germany, Japan, Italy, Greece, and Scandinavian countries are the world’s healthiest people because they all share a common bond: wholesome living.
I promise I got on this rant for a reason: I’ve got it! This all came from my revelation in England where I realized that I have been urging to get back to my roots! Yes, this means being as veggie and gluten-free as possible in France. (I know none of you probably care but this is my blog so you can stop reading whenever you wish…) Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I have picked up a fake British accent in a matter of 4 days, then a French accent should be a piece of cake right?! (Or pie, which btw my host mom made a delicious pumpkin pie for dinner and I can’t stop thinking about the high-quality of the freshness and the idea that I probably just killed Cinderella’s pumpkin) Dommage! Any who, I really hope America can someday get on board with the more relaxed, stress-free, chain/market controlled food product less, self-confident, family-loving, happy as a whistle type lifestyle. One day if we’re really lucky, maybe our society will become de-globalized and finally move forward with Eastern traditions….*sigh. For now, I should get some sleep because I’m running off too many cups of English breakfast and I need to get up early for German and my first day of work tomorrow (an English tutor for a group of sci-fi loving French boys) what could be more exciting? Tootaloo! (Did you know that actually came from the French word “a toute a l’heure?” Love my urban dictionary)
Ps. Oxford was an absolute ball! Walking the grounds of Shakespeare’s roots and visiting the Duke’s palace and the birthplace of Winston Churchill was all just smashing good fun! November is a beautiful month. Peace.
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