Anyone studying a foreign language–and ultimately, foreign culture–would tell you it’s normal to be curious about the cuisine of whatever country you’re studying.
I have to admit: I’m just as bad on my knowledge of French cuisine just as I am terrible with the language. To be honest, my exposure is limited to the occasional quiche at the school café or a slice of grocery brie that’s probably not from France. Okay, there was one time when I was lucky enough to be given a slice of foie gras, which I loved. I’ve tried macarons but never liked them because they’re too sweet, so scratch that. Besides these, I haven’t had a really memorable French meal worthy of a Julia Child-ish praise.
Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!
It doesn’t help that French restaurants in Manila are so expensive. The one time I ate in a swanky joint, the meal was (fortunately) for free. My friends and I swore we would try a French restaurant sometime, but we always found ourselves gravitating toward Pancake House or Wham Burger, our no-fail comfort places. When we felt up to it, we even went to Little Tokyo in Makati for takoyaki and kakigori. But never to a place that serves stuff like escargots and lapin. Then again, I’m not too keen on having rabbits for dinner.
So, let’s add Operation French Food to that list of résolutions, shall we? Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s nearly 4 in the morning and I’m making myself hungry by posting this food wish list.
Dishes I’m just dying to try:
1. Bouillabaisse, because I’m crazy about seafood.
2. Bœuf bourguignon. Sure, we have mechado. But this has wine in it…
3. Ratatouille! Hard to say no to vegetables.
4. Escargots bourguignon
5. Okay, okay. A stew with rabbit in it. I’ll try anything once.
Cheeses I’m willing to give up brie for (just to try):
1. Comté – hard and flexible, mild, slightly sweet, nutty–so Wikipedia says.
2. Roquefort – I happen to like blue cheese even if it smells funny, so this one’s up my alley.
3. Saint-Félicien – Actually, I’m more intrigued by its flower-style casing. Haha. But sure, why not?
4. Brocciu – Cheese made from goat or sheep milk, no lactose. Interesting!
3. Brie Noir – I imagine it looks a bit disgusting, but it’s aged brie and I’m just curious.
French desserts that I’d take over macarons anyday:
1. Profiteroles au Chocolat, because it reminds me of the Bastille segment of Paris, Je T’aime.
2. Berries gratin. It sounds awesome!
3. Crèpe banana chocolate. Of course!
4. Poire Belle-Hèléne. These are just pears, but with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and sour cream. Seriously, sour cream?
5. Crème brûlée–can I just say, heck, yeah awesome?
I’m leaving out attempts to cook French dishes for now. But maybe someday, eventually…I’ll have to get Julia Child’s cookbook and try a random recipe. Just not dishes with poor rabbits in them, please.