‘Nuff Said: Stereotypes of France and its Food

Stereotypes, caricatures, clichés, symbolism, what-have-you abound in our world and cause us to essentially dehumanize others.

These photos provide examples of how the others stereotype the French people and their culture:

And more:

That’s not to say that French companies don’t use the same tactics in their advertising … as we will see on January 31, 2011.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne

Serves 6

Note: This recipe comes from Anne Willan’s The Country Cooking of France, which boasts a whole chapter on snails and frog legs. She even includes instructions for catching and preparing your own snails. Eating snails is no different, really, than eating shrimp or lobsters or oysters, when you stop and think about it. So I am including this recipe, not because I want to perpetuate any stereotypes, but because in eating food from other cultures it’s possible to break down the very stereotypes that keep people apart.

One 14-ounce/390-g can large or medium snails

1 shallot

2 or more garlic cloves, to taste

1 cup/250-g  butter, softened

3 tablespoons/45-ml marc or cognac

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425F/220C.

Drain and rinse the snails. For the compound butter, combine the shallot and garlic in a food processor or chopper and pulse to chop coarsely. Add the butter and pulse until the flavorings are finely chopped.

Work in the marc/cognac, salt, pepper, followed by the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you want more garlic, chop it first so it mixes evenly into the butter. Add a small spoonful of the compound butter to the appropriate number of shells. Stuff a snail into each shell and top with a bit more butter. The snails can be prepared up to 12 hours ahead and refrigerated.

Set the snails in 6 individual baking dishes and bake until very hot and the butter bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve at once, very hot, with forks and tongs for extracting and eating the snails. Also include baguettes for mopping up the butter.

Photo credit: Guillaume Brialon

To be continued.

6 thoughts on “‘Nuff Said: Stereotypes of France and its Food

  1. It has been so long since I’ve had escargots, and it’s such a wonderfully old-fashioned dish. I think it’s time to have some again even if it is considered a bit cliché.

Comments are closed.