So not French

First I want to thank everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes last week.  I only wish that I could celebrate my birthday all month, but alas today is just another day.

Keeping in the spirit of "acceptance", I thought I would share with you all of the things I thought were French before moving here, that in reality are not French at all.

At first, I was so excited that I was moving to France since most of the things I used to buy in the US where French something or other...so I thought it would be fun to share the list of things that are French only in the States.

5.  French Toast -   Yup, this one made me sad.  Someone once told me that in France is called "pain perdu", but no French person I have ever asked has heard of it and I have yet to see it anywhere at breakfast time.

4.  French onion - They do make a delicious soupe a l'oignon (onion soup) but nothing else that claims to be French onion exists, including that delicious dip that I've been craving for six months.  Luckily my mother has started sending a small supply across the ocean to keep me going.

3. French manicure - Please feel free to read the story here about the time I went to get a "manicure francaise", which doesn't exist. Well actually it does exist but it's also called "french" in English.

2.  Le French Kiss - French love to "faire le bises" (give kisses) that's for sure.  I can spend half my morning giving kisses on both cheeks to anyone that walks by.  I have yet, however, seen the "french kissers" running rampant on the street.

1. French Vanilla - This one was actually the most depressing because I only drink my coffee with that yummy French Vanilla creamer.  In fact, there is no vanilla grown anywhere in France, so I'm not sure where this came from but I was so sad when I had to start drinking my coffee with regular milk.  Talk about false advertising.

Thankfully for me, there were a lot of things that I was expecting to make up for some of the culture shock.  I don't know what I would have done if there wouldn't have been any croissants in France!
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52 comments:

Natalie said...

You just blew my mind...so sad now our bubbles are burst! Glad you had a great birthday!

Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I, too, was crushed not to find French toast in France when I visited! Now I'm trying to figure out what that manicure is...

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am suprised. I thought many of them were French.

Moomser said...

I'd like to add french braid to your list! Although, I find the same thing is true of things that are considered Italian in the US... many don't exist in Italy!

Shell said...

No french toast? I would be so disappointed!

Janie said...

Ack, so it's just plain toast? Anyway, I thought all of them were genuine French.
Belated Happy Birthday, Barbara!

Adrienne said...

Don't forget "French Dressing" - hahaha...no such thing anywhere in france! I did have a nanny that made the kids "pain perdu" ... said that's what they did with stale (or "lost" bread) growing up. She grew up on a farm in the south of france...So maybe it's just a very rural thing, cause you sure won't find it in cafess!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Oh, I LOVE french toast. I would have to compensate by eating an abundance of pastries. :)

Kim said...

Hilarious list. I knew alot of these weren't French but I too am stumped by the French Vanilla.

Jen said...

Haha!! How sad for you!! My favorite would have to be the French Fries...so American ;)

Amanda said...

The English don't call them "English muffins" either! :)

Jessica said...

My kids always ask why it's called French Toast. At least I can now tell them that it is not because it originated in France.

Cam - Bibs and Baubles said...

Who on earth came up with all these French lies? Argh! :)

Kiddothings said...

Haha...now why did they use 'French' on these things when they're not French? They've made us all confused!

Helene said...

Really? No such thing as french toast in France? I don't know why but that kind of makes me sad. LOL

The Blonde Duck said...

Would your grandparents hire me as a petting zoo rancher? :)

No French Toast? I am not amused!

Julie Farrar said...

I have this same problem when we're over there. At home, my favorite sandwich to order at a restaurant for lunch is the "French dip." Nowhere to be found in France. I guess the basic roast beef sandwich got its name from being on French bread. And how could the French have French toast when they don't even do breakfast? However, this summer I found more cafes opening early for petite dejeuner and some offering Belgian waffles. As for French fries -- well, I'm so missing my very French pommes frites right now.

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

I think that having seriously awesome chocolate on your continent makes up for the lack of French vanilla. :)

Minivan Mama said...

Who knew? So where in the world did we come up with those names? Oh well, at least there are croissants!

Elena said...

I'd be totally bummed on the French Onion! It just sounds so perfectly, well, French! I love getting these little inside tips. ;)

Missy said...

Who'd a thunk it? I had no idea!

Jessica said...

What about french fries? ;)

Kimberly said...

I won't lie, I'd be disappointed in the lack of french manicures. ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Very interesting. And French Fries originate from Belgium :) I wonder why so many things are 'French', but not? XOLaura

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I'm bummed but not surprised! I think adding the word 'French' to things makes them automatically sexier ;)

Susan said...

What a great post!
So...no french kissing huh? Sad face.

Susan said...

Yikes! PS - Happy Belated Birthday!!

Cookie's Mom said...

Oh no!! I missed your birthday??? Well, happy belated birthday!

And also... oh no! Where the heck DID French kissing come from? It was made up by some pimply faced teenager, wasn't it? Just hoping to score at some party by making it sound more sophisticated. (Not that I'm complaining, I guess. No matter who made it up, it's a keeper.)

Just please don't tell me that French Fries are not really French!

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom said...

The croissants would make up for a great deal, for sure. Nut I would still miss the other things from time to time!

tori nelson said...

Mind. Blown. The news of Not-So-French Vanilla is devastating :)

Happy SITS Day, Barbara!

Emily @ TheBusyMomsDiet said...

Hahah! Great list! I'm glad to hear you are getting along in France without those things. Thank God for Amazon EU right? I

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

That is so funny! We must call them that to make them sound "fancy!" What an awesome adventure! Thanks for sharing your blog today. Off to read more!

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

That is so funny! We must call them that to make them sound "fancy!" What an awesome adventure! Thanks for sharing your blog today. Off to read more!

maggie said...

No French Onion??? Well.....they should jump on that now then and start taking the credit for such amazingness since you've called their attention to something that the rest of the world has been heralding them for for years! Happy SITS day! :)

misssrobin said...

Sorry for the disappointment. There are few things more frustrating that expecting and craving a certain food and not being able to get it. I'm glad you have croissants though. Those would make up for a lot, I would think.

Lauren said...

This is funny! Haha and good to know! I'm visiting from SITS today! Have a great day!

Sheila Skillingstead said...

Some time you should write a blog about the French misconceptions about Americans. We ran into plenty when we lived in Australia. I enjoyed your blog. Your website is very bright and readable. Enjoy your SITS Day.

another jennifer said...

And now I want to look up the origin of all the things on your list. :) Bummer that you can't get your French toast and drink it with your French vanilla-flavored coffee.

Happy SITS Day!

Rebecca Rider said...

France doesn't have French toast? Oh man! Your blog looks fun - you've got a new follower! Happy SITS day!

The Liebers said...

Well, what's the point of living in France, then!?!?! LOL!!

Mo @ The Baby is Fine said...

I'm surprised about the french toast - I would have thought they'd have some extra-special gourmet version of our traditional "french toast"!

Khloé Belle Gadson said...

Happy SITS day!That's hilarious......
I love the way you've enriched us with some French myths..!I did know French Vanilla had nothing to do with the French..I just can't remember where I heard it or what I was reading....

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

Don't forget french fries! Those aren't French either to my knowledge o.O

Boy do I want some french fries now...LOL

Happy belated birthday!

DaniD said...

Haha these are great - as I said we're planning a trip to France for our anniversary and I can't wait to try croissants, pain au chocolat, and tons of fromage!!! For now, I will sit on this side of the ocean and eat french friends and make french onion soup :)

Nicole @ Pencil Skirts and Noodle Necklaces said...

Super cute post!

Tanya said...

Great idea for a post, humorous and pouty sad. There is such a thing as the "French pout", non? My boys would be sad to hear about French toast, it's their favorite meal. Are French fries really French? I would love to visit France one day, got as far as Spain (which we loved) but want to dedicate a trip to France, maybe just the hubby and I. How do you survive without French vanilla creamer, or any flavored coffee creamer? It is my weakness. Visiting from SITS, glad to have found you, off to visit some other blog posts so I can live vicariously through you being in such a gorgeous place with wonderful food...ahhh, magnifique!

Monicas Mom Musings said...

I was thinking wouldn't a lot of these things just be manicures or toast? Like they wouldn't have to call it french if they are, but I guess not ;). Now the question becomes what american things are there that we don't actually have in America? Happy SITS day ;).

Laurie Wallin said...

Popping by from SITS... that's funny about the French manicure. I wonder where it DID come from?! When I lived in England, my favorite differences were the words. Like pants is underwear... THAT led to some awkward moments! :) Have a blast there. So wishing life would take my family someplace across the ocean. I'm missing travel something fierce!

Carlo said...

Can you even imagine... life ANYWHERE w/o croissant? OMG! That wouldn't work. That would be...
So. Not. Cool.

Love your blog! I'm a post-SITS Day celebrant. Hope you had fun and goo-gobs of comments! Congrats!

Kim said...

Maybe it is because anything with the word "French" in it sounds instantly better!

Foodnatic said...

Lol!! I would have gone through the same exact thing! Being in the military I *try* to be well versed in all that is worldly. But I would have made the same assumptions lol... Especially with the food! I'm a food blogger so, I TOTALLY would have messed up my image if I hadn't seen this post! I mean lol...c'mon! We could get stationed in Germany and I could take a day trip to France and try to order some french toast and cocoa and they'd look at me like I was nuts.

The only thing I ever wonder about as far as France goes is...do they REALLY...REALLY "hate" Americans? I have a French friend that says "nay". But, I've never been there, so I don't know how it FEELS to be an American in France.

Congrats on your SITS day...sorry I am so late in coming by! Life lol...oh life...what a kidder! Messes with everything I tell you!

Tattered Butterfly Studio said...

I'm found you on SITS. I've always wanted to go to Paris. Now I can live through your writings.

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