7 French Stereotypes That Are Not True

France is a nation that is known around the world. French wines are popular choices at many dining room tables across the globe, and the nation is often the top tourist destination for international travel. However, for all the things France is revered for, there are unfortunately many stereotypes surrounding the French people that simply aren’t true. Keep reading to learn 7 of them:

1) The French didn’t put up a fight in World War II: While it is true that there were collaborators who helped the Nazi state in this conflict, and that the military was quickly routed, that had more to do with the brutal efficiency and speed at which Nazi armed forces moved into the country. There was never much chance of a fight. Having said that, French naval forces that were at sea didn’t surrender and joined the Allied fight. Also, the famed Resistance led by Charles de Gaulle kept German occupation forces busy for some time, and was instrumental in paving the way for the eventual D-day landings that helped liberate Europe.

2) French food is nasty: This one is way off the mark. Paris is widely considered to be the gastronomical capital of the planet, with fine dining and many forms of cutting-edge and premium cuisine like no other.

3) Drivers in France drive on the wrong side of the road: This one is misappropriated from neighboring Britain. Even there they don’t drive on the wrong side of the road, they just chose to do things differently.

4) The French people are rude: Manners and politeness are actually culturally ingrained into the French people. It just happens that it’s so much so that visitors from more laid back or casual nations don’t catch on.

6) French leaders make dumb choices: This attitude is sometimes prevalent in the United States, given how lopsided a windfall the Louisiana Purchase seemed to be in favor of America. However, at the time, Napolean Bonaparte was in something of a fiscal crisis and needed to lessen his territorial responsibilities while boosting his available financial resources to maintain his active military.

7) The French refuse to learn other languages: This is patently false of most any European nation. Many continental citizens are fluent in three or more languages. A French citizen living near Belgium, Germany, or Switzerland is likely to also know German. Spanish is a common second language in the Pyrenees, and English is widely known in the cities.

Some of the Show-Stopping Cheeses You Will Taste in France

France is the land of excellent food and their development of fine cheese has a special place in the heart of foodies everywhere. Just ask Visaserve – people can’t stop traveling there for the delicious cheese. French cheese is rich in flavor, of course, but also laden with a culturally rich heritage and fascinating history in every bite.

There are over a thousand specific varieties, but you needn’t sample them all to get a taste of French Cheese history, following are some of the most notable cheeses you will find in France.

Langres — this is cheese aged for 6 weeks to a perfection like no other. The cheese is dense but also creamy and oozy; the perfect option for enjoying a crusty baguette. Langres is the cheese that makes French cheeses renown the world over and a great introduction to the dairy showcase of the culinary capital of the world. This is best served alone with a nice crust of dark bread. A Rhone red wine and dried fruits make an excellent accompaniment.

Fromage de Meaux — on this side of the Atlantic we call this Brie, but this is the real Brie from Brie, Ile-de-France. Our laws on pasteurized dairy products deprives us of the rich complexities that can be derived from real milk, but one taste of this and you will see why some laws need to be changed. This is a beefy, buttery cheese with hints of garlic and mushrooms– perfect when eaten on its own, better with a champagne or bold Burgundy.

Comte — aged for over a year and a half, Comte is one of the greatest achievements of fermentation known to man. This cheese has been made from the unpasteurized milk of Consecrated Montbéliarde cows that graze solely on the green pastures high in the Jura Mountains (near the gates of heaven?). The taste is big and grand but smooth and clear as the toll of a bell. Comte is also slightly sweet and nutty, the best thing for melting in any number of ways from a classic fondue, to the best grilled cheese sandwich you will taste this side of paradise.

If you were wondering what French people thought of American cheeses, look no further!

The Best French Pastries Everyone Needs to Try!

Whether you consider yourself a gourmand, a foodie or just someone who appreciates a good dessert, you should check out the delicious pastries that originated in France. Just as the art that hails from the nation is gorgeous, so their pastries are divine.

Did you know that the croissant came from France? The flaky layered pastries are delicious fresh out of the oven or served with a meal. Similarly, the Choux pastry is a simple dough used to create many other dishes. The household staples butter, flour and eggs are mixed with water to create these light fluffy pastries.

Eclairs are probably the most well known pastry made from this simple dough. Shaped into a log, the pastry is cut in half after baking. Then, a delicious filling and topping are added to create a mouth-watering delight that you are sure to love.

Macarons are sometimes confused with the English macaroon. However, there are significant differences between these desserts. The macaron consists of a flavorful filling between two cookies. Ground almonds lend a distinctive flavor to the cookies which practically melt in your mouth. The filling options include ganache, buttercream and jam.

If you want to create a flavorful French dessert in one dish, the tarte tropezienne is the way to go! Similar to a cake in texture, the cooked pastry has a creamy brioche filling. You can even tell your guests about the history of this recent dessert which was named by Brigitte Bardot!

Of course, the French have created multiple other pastries that are worth trying if you want to experience the full range of flavors and textures offered in their cuisine. Stimulate your taste for these delights by starting with a genuine eclair or a distinctively flavored macaron. You are sure to appreciate the art that went into creating these French pastries!

A Concise History of Québec

Québec has had a most complex history and not just by Canadian standards either. When Québec was originally founded back in 1608. During the period of exploration, the Mohawk and Cree people inhabited the St. Lawrence River region. The French Explorer Cartier explored the entire region in the early 1500s.

The name “Québec” comes from a word that Samuel de Champlain had recorded in reference to the region. The Algonquin word “kebek” means “where the river narrows” and this is where the original settlements was founded.

For the rest of the 17th century both the English and French would seek to control the Canadian planes. But when the English won an important victory on the Plains of Abraham in 1759, they were recognized as the supreme authority in N. America and the French control over the region diminished.

Not long after the defeat of the French in Québec City, the American revolution broke out and many British loyalists retreated to the safety of Canada. This divided these northern colonies into Upper Canada and Lower Canada which would become Ontario and Québec respectively. Their would be many power struggles between the two language groups in this region and would continue through the 1800s when Lower Canada, or Québec joined the Canadian Federation in 1867.

During the 1960s, before the establishment of Advocate Law Firm, the “Quiet Revolution” saw more upset in the French-Canadian society in Québec. There was a point when many intellectuals and radicals alike thought that a separation from the rest of Canada was in order. In 1968, the charismatic René Lévesque formed the pro-independence party called “Partí Québecois” and sought to separate from Canada.

There have since been two reforms that have suggested a divide, but both have returned with an overwhelming no vote. Today most younger Québecois have chosen to ignore the idea of separating from Canada in lieu of global perspectives.

Here is a video about the good and bad things in Quebec.

The History Of New Orleans

While virtually everyone has heard of Mardi Gras, most don’t know much about the rich history of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the people who have thrived there. Native Americans had lived in the region for more than 1,000 years prior to the European establishment of the city now known as New Orleans. In the late 1600’s French settlers began establishing homes in the area, though it was not until 1718 that the city itself was founded by Jean-Baptise Le Moyne de Bienville.

Multiple reasons were involved in the decision, mostly military and financial in nature. Due to the harsh natural surroundings the earliest residents were much wilder than their New England counterparts. However, it only took four years for the city to become the new capital of French Louisiana, ousting Biloxi in the process. The British secretly gave the land to the Spanish during the late 1700’s, though their reign was to last less than 50 years.

In addition to rebellion by the French and German citizens of the area, that time period also saw two destructive fires. The first, the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788, destroyed more than 800 buildings. Six years later 200 more buildings burned down. Many of the brick buildings that replaced them are still standing in the historic French Quarter.

France regained control briefly before it was sold to the United States during the Louisiana Purchase. Not only did this bring in new residents from other parts of the country, people poured in from around the world, including France and Africa.

Union troops invaded the city during the Civil War though it was spared the destruction much of the south experienced. Proud of their French heritage, New Orleans residents continued to speak the language well into the 1900’s. Although Hurricane Katrina devastated the land in 2002, many of the residents opted to rebuild and continue to honor the colorful history that has made the city a tourist destination for folks around the globe.

The History of Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California is known for its glamor and glory. What many people, not including Arthur Tisi, do not realize is that it has a long history. Here, some of this history will be discussed.

The first known information about Los Angeles comes from about 3000 B.C. It was then that Hokan-speaking people inhabited the area, using its natural resources to fish and gather wild seeds. These people were later replaced by migrants thought to be fleeing the Great Basin’s drought.

The Spanish, led by Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, first visited the region in 1542. Captain Sebastián Vizcaíno did the same in 1602. After these two visits, no other European came to Los Angeles for another 166 years.

It was in 1777 when California governor, Felipe de Neve, began establishing what we know today as Los Angeles, and its surrounding areas. Neve visited Alto and chose the spot to develop civic pueblos for military presidios. Los Angeles, San Jose, and Santa Barbara were all named as the spots for these pueblos. He used plans made by King Philip II in 1573 to establish these towns. In the plan, Los Angeles had an open central plaza, surrounded by streets laid out in a grid, administrative buildings, a fortified church, and defining rectangles of a certain size that were made for residences and farming.

In early 1781, families came from Mexico and began working on plots of land that were assigned to them. The pueblo was a success and on September 4, 1781, Los Angeles was officially founded. The first name of the settlement is still widely debated. Doyce B. Nunis, a historian, claims the city was named “El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles”. For proof, he turned to a 1785 map where that name was found. However, a diocesan archivist named Frank Weber claims that map was incorrect and its name was actually “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Porciuncula”.

For more information on some more recent history in LA, please check out the video below:

The History of Paris

The City Paris was originally founded by a Celtic tribe called the Parisii in the 3rd century BCE. Half a century later the Roman found and sacked the settlement building their own town called Paris Lutetia. This was a rather unimportant town (pop. 10,000) but managed to stay in existence till the fall of the Roman Empire when the Franks gained control of the region and the city of Paris in 54 ACE.

Under the Franks, Paris flourished until the year 486, when the Vikings attacked the city by way of the river Seine. The Parisians sued for peace and paid the Viking invaders 7,000 pounds of silver to leave the city. The Vikings left and once again Paris flourished.

During the Middle Ages Paris grew as a center of culture and learning and had the highest population on the continent (200,000). Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre fortifications were built during this time. France also fought the English invasion during the “Hundred Year War”. England captured Paris in 1420, but the French recaptured the city 16 years later.

After France recovered from the ghastly war, they were ready to usher in the important changes of the Renaissance. Protestants were brutally executed during the 16th century. The atrocities culminated in the St. Bartholomew’s day Massacre in which 2000 Parisian Protestants were brutally murdered by French Catholics.

The French Revolution was centered in the city of Paris and the French royalty, nobility and aristocracy was overthrown by the starving people of France. This revolution opened the door for a young Corsican to rise from humble beginnings and lead France to a Golden Age. Napoleon Bonaparte challenged the rest of Europe and in the end allied forces entered Paris in 1814.

Paris continues to flourish after surviving a scathing Industrial Revolution and the brunt of the Second World War. today Paris has over 22 Million inhabitants and continues to survive as one of the most culturally prestigious capitals in the world.

What Is The Difference Between French And Creole?

In spite of many similarities between French and Creole, it would result in confusion if someone were to attempt to translate Creole if their native tongue were French.

Creole is the language of Haiti. It requires someone who is very fluent in the language to translate it. They will have to use proper grammar and a lexicon in order to translate. There are 12 million fluent Creole speakers in the world and although it’s derived from the French language, it’s not French.

Creole is Haiti’s official language alongside French. As the sole literary language, it requires a translation that is very accurate. Originally, Creole was considered a “pidgin” language and simplified in order to help groups communicate.

Over the course of time, it developed into a more complex language that soon took over as the primary language for the culture. It frequently uses the vocabulary of the dominant language and is often superimposed to the grammar of the subordinate language.

As Haiti’s dominant language is French, Creole was developed as a sublanguage that quickly took over and became the primary language. It was influenced by African and Native American influences.

Many believe that it came to be due to trading with Africa and slaves from the Caribbean. Others believe that Haitian slaves who spoke Fon replaced Fon with French and developed Creole.

The greatest difference in French and Creole is the grammar and conjugation of the verbs as well as the pluralization of nouns. Unlike French, a verb in Creole isn’t conjugated and there is often no presence of tense markers prior to using verbs.

Instead of “I ate” It would be “I am going to eat”. This can make a huge impact on translation and be very confusing to someone who doesn’t have a full grasp and understanding of the native language. They might need to consult a lawyer like Randall F. Rogers P.C. to decipher everything!

To learn more about Creole cuisine, check out the video below!

Curious Facts about Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was born in 1956 in New York City. His parents were Pierre, a classical music executive for Columbia Records, and Gladys, a writer for the New York Times. He has gone on to become one of the world’s most renown chefs with several books and television shows to his credit. There are many curious facts about Bourdain and the following are just some of them.

Bourdain grew up without religion even though his grandparents on his father’s side were Catholic and his maternal grandparents were Jewish.

Bourdain’s heritage is French. His father’s father emigrated from Arcachon, France in early 1920s and his father grew up speaking French. Anthony credits his love of food to his French heritage. As a child, he fell in love with oysters while on a fisherman’s boat during a vacation to France.

He likes to drink whiskey with a few ice cubes in it. He recently drank some on a jaunt to Antarctica with 1000-year-old ice in his glass. He said he could not possibly pass up the opportunity to enjoy whiskey like this.

Chef Bourdain prefers street food of any kind to 15-course tasting meals. He insists the latter is on the way out and that street food is here to stay.

Bourdain moonlights as a mystery novelist. His early novel “Bone in the Throat” is being made into a movie.

He got his very first gig in the food industry at a wedding reception when he was 17. He was the dish washer.

He hates singer/songwriter Billy Joel.

He blew one of the best-kept secrets in the culinary underworld in an article he wrote for the New Yorker in 1999. Never order fish on a Monday, he stated, because it is usually four days old. Bourdain continues to make an impact as a global traveler and food connoisseur.

The Top Three French Hockey Players In The US

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

This player of the Las Vegas Golden Knights serves a right winger for his team, a new franchise that is still finding its feet. Initially trained inside the Swedish Hockey League, he has the distinction of winning the Swedish Championship in hockey twice, in both 2013 and 2014. Seeing his success, the Philadelphia Flyers signed him on and managed his first professional goal four months later in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2017 his contract with the Flyers expired and in that year’s NHL expansion draft, he was selected by the Las Vegas Golden Knights as their new right winger.

Antoine Roussel

A controversial player in a rough game, this left winger has had a checkered yet exciting career in his five years in the NHL. He currently plays for the Dallas Stars, another newer team, though his time in the junior hockey leagues was also quite long standing. He’s regarded as one of the most physical players in the NHL and is one of the top leaders in penalty minutes through out the entire league. However, he is also an impressive player as well, scoring at least ten goals and twenty points every season he’s played, save for his rookie season.

Philippe Bozon

Though his career in the NHL has passed, Philippe Bozon is among the most successful French trained hockey players in the NHL. Between 1991 and 1992, followed by the 1994-1995 seasons, Bozon played for the St. Louis Blues as a left winger after four years as a player in the French hockey leagues after winning the 1991 French championship. He spent most of his career playing defense, but would oftentimes also be put on the scoring line alongside Brett Hull and Merlino Gonzalez. After his NHL career, he returned to France, winning three more French league championships.

Watch the video below for some amazing hockey highlights!