Vive le Big Mac!! Vive la France!!
Todd Richissin writes in the Baltimore Sun that despite the frictions over the past year, France still loves MacDonald’s. Why? It’s their nourriture de confort — comfort food: Just a hop down the road, the Decler sisters could have been dining on a couple of tender frog legs or a mixed seafood grill with scallops, ...
Todd Richissin writes in the Baltimore Sun that despite the frictions over the past year, France still loves MacDonald's. Why? It's their nourriture de confort -- comfort food:
Todd Richissin writes in the Baltimore Sun that despite the frictions over the past year, France still loves MacDonald’s. Why? It’s their nourriture de confort — comfort food:
Just a hop down the road, the Decler sisters could have been dining on a couple of tender frog legs or a mixed seafood grill with scallops, or an order of steak tartare so tender that the knife provided with it never comes into play. But the Declers were having none of it. They were dining on Les Big Macs and frites, Big Macs and fries — french fries — and loving every bite. “I can love good food and I can also love McDonald’s,” says Vanesse Decler, 21, in a mini-review that the fast-food chain would have to accept as decidedly mixed. “I like the meat and the sauce and even the bun.” Call the French snooty, or just demanding, for their attention to good food, good wine, good atmosphere in their restaurants, for lingering over their meals. But the French have a dirty little secret: Of all the people in Europe, they like McDonald’s more than anyone else does. Pound for quarter-pound, they eat more of it, more often, than any other nationality on the continent, and the nay-sayers here who predicted the French would give up their beloved aged cheese before adopting the quick-fry meat patties so often seen as emblematic of America’s bad taste, have been proven as wrong as red wine with white fish. The French have taken McDonald’s, a classic symbol of Americana, and made it very much their own, with menu variations that range from bite-size clumps of regional cheeses to fondue. Despite the ability to order just about McAnything here, though, the old McDonald’s classics are what keep people like the Declers filling the franchises, which can be found in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, among the street artists surrounding the Louvre and within a whiff of the restaurants at Les Halles, where the Declars were taking a shopping break. “I love these,” says the other half of the Decler sisters, 18-year-old Christelle, closing her eyes and placing a fry on her tongue. “Yes, there is other food around, but this is different, like food you want to eat as a break.”
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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