Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'd like to take a brief interlude to discuss the French food that I am eating (as opposed to the French food that I am cooking). Since I don't get out of class until 8pm, it's usually nearly 9 when I get home and start thinking about dinner. I usually end up eating some plain pasta and sautéed veggies. Today, however, some friends and I went out to the "cheap-o" place in town to grab some steak frites.


(it's hard to tell, but there's a giant piece of steak buried underneath all of those fries.) Apparently mayo on fries is very French. I keep trying it to like it (due to my compulsive need to fit in), but mayo still makes me want to barf a little bit. Vive le ketchup!! Restaurants also offer something called sauce americaine. I have no idea what it is, but it seems to taste like marinara sauce with chopped up olives in it. Uh, news flash garçons… nobody eats that in America. Sauce americaine = ketchup. Or high fructose corn syrup, maybe.

Above all, I am really impressed by the quality of the ingredients here. Even this little diner had a sign informing us that our steaks came from the next village over. Our yogurt, eggs, and butter in the dining room and in the labs are all local products. Everything tastes different here (it's hard to explain, but all of the dairy tastes richer and much less processed).

I'm also having fun trying new and different foods… which of course has led to some comical errors.  For my first meal in Lyon, I ordered andouillette with frites. I figured that andouille sausage was delicious, and has a French-ish name, so it must be the same thing, right? Well, I definitely received a sausage, but it tasted/felt like the sausage casing was filled with rubber bands.  I choked some down but felt very suspicious (and queasy). A few days later, google translator informed me that I had eaten a pig intestine sausage. YUM. Thank gawd for frites, am I right?


The food that we get at school is truly outstanding. I'm the creepy girl that takes a photo of every plate of food I eat, but I'm glad to have a record of it.  In the beginning, we ate lunch and dinner at school, but now we're just down to lunch. Still, we have a ginormous meal of food.

First: A green salad, cold meats (either smoked salmon or charcuterie), some sort of starch (couscous, potato salad, tomato salad, etc), and olives/cornichons. Every day. 
Second: A hot main dish and a side starch or vegetable. Some examples: today we had roasted chicken quarters in a mushroom cream sauce and roasted potatoes.  Another day we had blanquette de veau (a delicious veal stew) over noodles.
Third: Cheese of every imaginable type. Yogurt (from a family in town) and fruit. 
Always: Ginormous bread basket at the table.

Here's an example lunch:


Salad, avocado stuffed with crab salad, and charcuterie.


Chicken leg, couscous, vegetables, and spicy beef sausage.


With a feast like this, it's a wonder I don't slip into a food coma during class (directly after lunch).  Since I'm free every day until lunch, I've been spending a lot of my mornings hiking up and down mountains, so I'm usually scarfing down all of this food like a caveman.  It's pretty awesome. I'm not sure that any amount of hiking can offset the amount of butter that I'm eating… but a girl can hope!



  1. My favorite is the jug of wine in the top right...glad to see they are keeping the most important food group involved

  2. oh left. shoot.

  3. Do you not remember junior year when instead of going abroad I just ate french fries and mayo all the time?