Archive for December, 2008

bread1 Photo and Text by Erica Berman

Everyone has heard of the ubiquitous French baguette, but do they know how to order one? Do they know about all of the other wonderful kinds of bread to be found in France? Here is some info on different ways to order a baguette, and other yummy bread you may not have otherwise found. Don’t let your French bread enjoyment stop at the baguette. Try some of these and, enjoy!

How to order:

Une baguette – one baguette

Bien cuite- Well cooked

Pas trop cuite – Not burnt

Moulée – soft, not really brown & crusty

Une Demi-baguette  – half of a baguette

Tranchée – sliced

Different types of French bread found in your local ‘Boulangerie’

Pain au levain – Sourdough

Pain de campagne – a crusty rustic loaf with a thick crust (campagne = country) (more…)


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A gourmand is a person who takes great pleasure in food. The word has different connotations from the similar word gourmet, which emphasises an individual with a highly refined discerning palette, but in practice the two terms are closely linked, as both imply the enjoyment of good food.

An older usage of the word is to describe a person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink, synonymous with “glutton“.

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Joie de Vivre

Joie de vivre (from the French joie, “joy”; de, “of”; vivre, “to live, living”; “the joy of living”) is a term sometimes imported into English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit.

joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life. Robert’s Dictionnaire says joie is sentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience, that is, involves one’s whole being.”

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Photo Alain Ollier

Text Erica Berman & Alison Goudreault

Over 16 years ago comfortably ensconced in a Left Bank cafe I attempted to order my first Parisian cup of coffee. As the waiter brusquely arrived and impatiently blurted out ‘je vous ecoute’, I realized there was a lot I did not know about ordering coffee (café) in Paris. Despite my 7 week French immersion course at Middlebury College, I had not the slightest clue as to what he was saying. With a disgruntled sigh he was off in a huff, and I was clueless with no coffee. – Erica


Although a grande mocha latte with a shot of caramel sounds pretty exotic, when in Paris there are a few things to note when you order your coffee.

If you want your coffee black, it’s a “cafe noir” but keep in mind it is the richer espresso version. If you want the milder version it’s a cafe Americano. With cream, it’s a “cafe au lait”. A Cappucino is a “cafe creme” although don’t expect as much foam on the cap as you may be used to. Yes Decaf is also possible but forget about asking for a half /caf soy or… (gasp)… skim. (more…)

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