Archives for posts with tag: cultural differences

Ever since I graduated from Ferrandi I’ve been exposed to all kinds of pastry experiences here in Paris:  from the grand Plaza Athenee to the charming Tartes Kluger.  And during this time, I’ve been able to examine French pastry culture and to think about what motivates me.

Did you know that, in 2010, the “gastronomic meal of the French” was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list?  French chefs, academics and politicians spent two years lobbying for the honor.  To me, this is concrete proof that if you are born in France you have an ingrained passion for and appreciation of great cuisine.

Pear Belle Helene at Berthillon

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Being an American woman in Paris–a vision that is purely romantic–poses real challenges in my everyday life.  I’m headstrong and I think I’m different than lot of French women.  At work they say I am mystique and I think it’s because they’ve never met someone like me before: someone who speaks her mind freely, who doesn’t always take into account politesse.

In the U.S. we have a tendency to idolize everything the French do:  the way they eat, the way they dress, the way they raise their children…  In recent years, titles like “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and “Bringing Up Bebe” have shot up bestseller lists as we try to understand what makes the French “better than us”… at everything!

While I wholeheartedly agree that the French do a lot of things well. I think we also need to take a step back and recognize that we’re selling ourselves short.  Americans have a lot to offer too.

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