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Thursday, April 23 2009

French Wine : Bordeaux !

Glass of white wine I guess you all have, at least once, heard the reputation of French wine but how many of you know anything more than "it's supposed to be good" ?...Don't answer ;) Let me make something clear before : it's a legend that in France everybody's a wine expert. Most of my friends barely can make the difference between a good wine and grape juice ;) ! (that's okay now, you can confess you know nothing about french wines)

So today I'm gonna teach you some little things :) (yeah, I forgot to tell you : I know some little things about wine ... I've been in a club :) ). First of all you must know that there are three (let's say four...) types of wine :

  • Red
  • White
  • White
  • Rosé (<= hey, that's a french word :) It means "pinked")

I know I typed "White" twice, that's because it's very common to distinguish sweet white from dry white. And I know I initially wrote that there were only 3 types of whine : that's because I don't consider Rosé as worth drinking so for me there are only Red, Sweet White, and Dry White :)

What's the difference between the three ? Easy : red wines are...red :) ! White wines are...white :) And Rosé wines are.... (let me remind you that it's a french word meaning "pinked") ....pink :) !! Therefore I'll let you guess where's the red, white, and rosé in the picture above :

Wines

Oh yeah, the other difference is : they do not taste the same, at all (see the end of the article for more about that)

Now, we finally arrive at the explanation of the title of this article : What the f*ck is "Bordeaux" ???...Little suspens here....it's a region of France. It's the region producing the more wine in France to be precise (and it's the region which produces my favorites wines too ;) ). In the region of Bordeaux there are :

  • many red wines
  • quite some sweet white wines
  • a few dry white wines
  • ...oh....yeah....they also produce quite a lot of Rosé (but I don't care about those ;) )

Knowing this you have much more knowledge than you had at the beginning of the article I bet, but nothing very useful yet. So I'll conclude this first article about wines with some useful tips :

  • if you see a sweet white bordeaux you can buy it :) I've almost never found an untasty sweet white bordeaux !!! That's the kind of wine you can drink with ladies at the apéritif and be sure everybody'll enjoy it.
  • if you find a red bordeaux (even if bordeaux are the best at quality/price) just do not buy it if it's way cheaper than 9€ (9€ in France, which should be about...way higher in others countries as the prices of French wines skyrockets when the bottle cross the borders :( ). Unless you know what you are doing you should not drink red bordeaux at the apéritif, and not with ladies (they usually don't like it this way). You should drink red bordeaux with meat, or (even better) cheese (I mean real cheese, not those weird plastic things labeled "cheese" you may find in the US)
  • And finally dry white wines : drink those during the aperitif if the weather's hot, or even better you can drink it while eating seafood whatever the weather is ;)

Friday, October 10 2008

Ice cream anybody ?

Ice Cream I know winter's coming but, at least in Paris, the weather's still warm enough for me to eat an ice cream while walking around the town. But where do I buy ice cream in Paris ;) ? I guess some spots are the same worldwide, but maybe not all of them so I'll tell you my spots :D

To start with something you may know (so you don't feel too lost ;) ) let's name a worldwide brand : McDonald's ! I already told you there where a lot of McDonald's in Paris, and that's all spots where you can have a little McFlurry :) (my favorite one's with crunch :D ) Mc Flurry

Second tip about where to find ice cream : Ben&Jerry !! There are quite a few shops in Paris, but it's worth seeking them. I simply do love their ice creams ^^ ! Ben & Jerry

Third tip : Häagen-Dazs :) It's the most famous ice cream brand in France, it's fucking tasty, you'll find shops easily, but it's a bit expensive :( Anyway if you want to eat a good ice cream (especially if you want to seat at a table while eating) ask for the nearest Häagen-Dazs. Haagen Dazs

Fourth tip : Amorino. It's relatively new, but it's definitely the rising brand for ice cream. There's always a huge queue in those shops, I guess that's because the ice creams very good there (at least, that's why my friends say). And bonus point : there are many shops, so just like for Häagen-Dazs you can ask anybody in the street for the nearest Amorino you'll certainly end up with the good direction and a shop close to you :) Amorino Shop

Fifth tip : Well...no fifth tip. There are no more places I know where you can buy good ice creams...but I does not matter : with the four first, you have way enough to become fat ;) !

If you have any other spots tell me I'll had them :) But for now this post's over as you have enough tips to know how you'll conclude your little pick nick : with a nice ice cream :D !

Wednesday, September 10 2008

Fast (junk) Food

BurgerWhen visiting Paris you usually have a lot to see but very little time, and what you do not want to lose time doing is finding your every day food. Although you should definitely spend some time finding a good restaurant to have at least one good meal, you don't have to taste rich French cuisine everyday. Eating a little something quickly not to lose too much time during an intensive sightseeing day sounds like a good idea. That's why I'll teach you what kind of fast food you may find in Paris, and which one it's useless to search.

Let's start with the king of the king : McDonalds. Don't worry, you'll find some without even searching for one ;) The only thing to know about this is, maybe, if you're from the US I've heard that the size of the menus are very different (in fact that the "Maxi Best Of", which is the largest one in Europe, is the size of the smallest one you can find in the US :) ...to check)

The second king : Burger King :) ! ...There are none of those in France. When I say "none" I mean it, there is no burger king in France. There used to be some about 10 years ago, but they're all gones...don't know why. Anyway it's useless to search one.

KFC ? Yes there are some ! Not a lot of them and you may have to search for one in order to find one (not like the McDonalds) but it won't be a vain quest.

Oh by the way, do you know "Quick" ?... I've heard that it's almost unknown out of France whereas in France it's the main challenger for McDonald (I'm not kidding). And do you know the main difference between the two ;) ? McDonald sells Coca Cola, whereas Quick sells Pepsi (that's the official one, and to my personal point of view there are two other differences : Quick's menu are a bit smaller but a bit tastier :) )

What else may you ask ? Well as far as I'm concerned that's all for the big brands BUT there are three other things you must know about fast food in France (and Paris) :

  • Kebabs (which are also called "Grecs" in Paris, which means "Greek") : you can find some very easily ! In Paris you have hundreds of them (well maybe not that much...but plenty of them anyhow) around "Saint Michel" fountain :) It's quite greasy and you have to it with bare hand but well, it's cheap and quite big (and I love the way it tastes !)

Kebab

  • "Panini" which you usually find within the same area you can find Kebabs in

Panini

  • "Jambon beurre", it's not well known but in about every café in Paris you can ask for a "Jambon beurre" (even if it's not written anywhere on the menu), it's a sandwich made of french baguette, ham, and butter, my favorite sandwich ever, I just love it even if it's damn simple :)

Jambon Beurre

Monday, September 1 2008

Drinking worlwide : French cliché

GlobeTo know more about the culture of a country I often ask people to tell me about the cliché they have. According to what I've noticed : knowing the cliché that exist in a country really make other people believe your know this country really well and that's normal. Indeed, cliché are never taught in formal courses (for they are mainly wrong and considered useless local belief) therefore knowing them means you've been talking a lot with people actually living there.

So as this blog's about helping you discover pieces of France let's show you one cliché !

Drinking worldwide : French culture cliche

And as some countries might be jealous because they have no special drink they'll have a lil explanation here to compensate :

  • Canada : They're suppose to be "friendly cartoon characters" like...and friendly cartoon character do not drink :) (or maybe maple syrup...)
  • Africa : If they had water they'd be happy...so alcohol...
  • Australia : Kangaroos don't drink, neither do sharks or surfers,
  • South Eurasia/Middle East : Too messy there to know what they should be drinking

Well of course those are only cliché showed in a funny manner, to learn more about what we drink in France i suggest lurking in the blog a bit more and why don't you start by learning which brand of beers we have here ?

Wednesday, August 27 2008

Beers !

Tonight I feel like talking a bit about beers :) ! I’ve heard that the most famous one in the US is Budweiser, in China it’s Tsing Tao, in Ireland it’s (of course) Guinness, and so on and so forth. But do you know which beer we drink here in France ;) ? Well if you don’t you’ll know soon (and it may save your life if you plan to have a trip in France someday because you will definitely not find ant Bud around here :) ). Of course, everything down this line is, as usual, MY view on things and some other frenchy may thing otherwise but I do believe i’m not far from truth ;)

Well, first of all there’s the kind of beer you’ll find cheap almost everywhere. You know what kind of beer I’m talking about : the ones you drink because they are cool and cheap but don’t really taste fantastic :

Kronenbourg Beer Here is the Kronenbourg. Certainly the best selling beer in France (at least, that's what wikipedia says, so if wikipedia agrees with me...that must be true :D ). You'll find this one everywhere and cheap, but do not expect a really tasty beer ;) Oh by the way, that's a French beer (honestly, before reading the wikipedia page about it I'd have said it was a german beer :D That’s quite a cliché we have in France : we believe that almost every beers are from Germany or Belgium and that you can guess only knowing how the name sounds ;) )

Heineken Beer The next ont you'll find almost everywhere two is the Heineken. Damn, one again I was wrong thinking this was a german beer : it's from the Netherlands (I'm definitely learning things tonight !). Same profile as the Kro : cheap :)

Knowing those two you're sure know at least one beer in every French bar you'll go :) But if i were you, I'd rather try one of the followings :

1664 Beer The 1664, quite cheap two, but (according to me) just a bit tastier than the previous ones :) (again wikipedia learns me something : French beer, I'd have said Belgium :) ) It's taste is quite original, so either you like it, or you hate it, you've been warned, don't go complaining if you've bought it and disliked it ;)

Bavaria 86 Beer The well known 86 (real name Bavaria 86, usual name : 8 pause 6 ). Why is this one well known ? Long story short : the cheapest with so much alcohol in it ;) (That's why you'll mainly see it in the hands of bums or young people wanting to get hot before the party ). Anyhow it's worth trying, its taste is somehow special (and quite good actually) :)

Now we’re done with the "common stuff", let's introduce some more !

The Leffe (this one is from Belgium !) is a very common one. I’d say it’s the most common if you don’t want a classical kro or heineken ;) ! I personally really like this one :)

The Peleforth is quite known two (and that’s the first non-blond beer in this post ;) It was high time). Even though I don’t like this one, it’s quite popular in France.

The Grimbergen (again from Belgium ;) ) which is quite the same “spirit” as the Leffe, but the taste is way softer. I do like this one :p

The Guinness, my favorite !! The original Irish dry stout ! Damn tasty ^^ ! But quite expensive though, and you won't find it everywhere :( (it's often replaced by the Beamish which is a good beer, but not a Guinness )

With all those you know what is mainly sold in France :) I know I’ve been quite fast in the end, sorry about that, I may modify this article a bit latter to add the pictures lacking and some more text :)

Anyhow do not hesitate to add a comment saying which country you are from and which beer you like !

I’ll just end this post with some more beers you may enjoy : Ch’ti (from France), Delirium Tremens (from Belgium as far as I know), “Pecheresse” (sounds like a French one to me ), 33 export (no idea :) ), Chimay (great one from Belgium, but watch out it’s 9% ;) ), …