Contrary to popular belief, I do read other blogs besides those associated with food and coupons. I like to read "feel good" blogs and blogs that are educational. After visiting France and at least having an idea of their alphabet, I started following French-Word-a-Day on my Google Reader. A few weeks ago, a fascinating, and not so surprising post appeared that discussed food and culture differences between the French and the Americans. I encourage you to read this short testament written by David Shaby, who is obviously aware of the culture differences associated with food between the two countries.
This post, written by a young man who is not in the medical profession and who is not a vegetarian, suggests the same thing that we and our families have learned as we have traveled through Europe. European food isn't about speed. It's about fantastic taste and good quality, even if it takes longer to prepare. Siting David's examples: indeed salt is important, but it doesn't need to cover up the flavor of the hamburger. The same goes for grease. There's a point where it makes foods taste good, and there's a point where the excessive amount of grease can make you sick.
I loved his descriptions of the commercials. Simple, wholesome foods were the center of simple happiness and contentment. Wouldn't it be great if everything we ate made us smile when we had a bad day or helped us appreciate the free things in life like being with someone you love in the great outdoors on a beautiful day? Often, the commercials we see in America are the fast hands of teenagers grabbing quickly at a microwaveable food and running out the door without saying "Thank you." But these commercials showed a side of Europe that is so opposite America. Just slow down and enjoy the best things in life.
I encourage you--I encourage myself--to do a close evaluation of your/my relationship with food. Am I that cooing couple or that down kid who brightens at the sight of fresh bread? If not, why? And how do I change my personal culture to let great food bring that kind of happiness and contentment?
The photograph above was from a beautiful seaside restaurant in Honfleur, France. You can read about our experience at Cote Port here.