Thursday, September 17, 2009

st.ofle -- french foodie interview

For today’s topic, I thought it would be nice to conduct an interview.
It was actually perfect, because the biggest foodie I’ve ever known was right in my house – Corine’s mom, Cécile who is visiting from France.
I'd also like to add that she's probably the sweetest, funniest lady on earth, and as far as mothers-in-law go, I'm pretty lucky!

I typed this interview and translated it into English as I was talking to her, so please ignore any spelling mistakes (there are a few).

St.O: Maman, I do this blog thing – do you know what a blog is?

Cécile: yeah, it’s something for school, right?

St.O: not really, anyway, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

Cécile: About what?

St.O: food

Cécile: of course not

St.O: What is the most important thing about food for you? What does into making something a good meal?

Cécile: The most important thing is the quality of products that you cook – very important!
The ingredients – yes.
You can’t good a meal with garbage, you know.

St.O: Do organic ingredients matter to you?

Cécile: Often organic things have a good taste, but good taste in general is more important than organic produce, yes.

St.O: Ok, so Nicolas Sarkozy (French President) makes a law that say you have to only eat one thing from new on and forever, what do you pick?

Cécile: (long pause) RICE! Basmati rice!
Rice has a taste all to itself – if only one thing, it’s rice you don’t have to add anything – rice is delicious alone, and it’s so simple. If it’s going to be the same thing all the time, it’ll get old no matter what, so it might as well be cheap and easy to cook, so I pick rice.

St.O: good answer
So, what are you most excited to give to Orson when he is ready to eat things other than breastmilk?

Cécile: hmmm. A good high quality beef tri-tip!

St.O: you know that’s not likely to happen right, as both of his parents are moderately vegan?

Cécile: (ignores me) -- cooked to perfection, like the steak houses you have in the united states do.

St.O: by you, or by someone else?

Cécile: By me. It’s easy to cook, but there again, it’s the quality that maters. Sadly, there’s no steakhouses like you have here in California in Paris, but I think I can make do.

St.O: that’s what you think. Can you talk a bit about the different culinary traditions with which you’re familiar?

Cécile: You mean West Indian, French, and American?
We can’t really talk about American cuisine – it’s generalized – I discovered it through Californian cuisine, and just trips here to see you and Corine. But California cuisine isn’t really American cuisine, is it? Especially with both of you being vegetarian, I don’t know if I can talk about American cuisine with any authority.
I can see West Indian cuisine in what you and Corine eat though. West Indian cuisine is influenced by latin-american cuisine, and latin-american cuisine also influences Californian cuisine. Didn’t’ this used to be Mexico anyway?
Anyway, French cuisine is really really refined – now I can talk about French cuisine. In France every region has it’s own specialty, its own special dishes, and smells. I can tell you a lot more about French cuisine than American cuisine, because there’s a lot more to tell.

St.O: This is hard because I translate what you’re saying, and type at the same time

Cécile: I understand

St.O: Have you noticed that things have changed since you were a kid, for example?

Cécile: I don’t’ think I’ve lived long enough to see changes that are that big, but yeah, there has been an evolution – sure! You can go into the supermarket now and buy already done plates – things that are ready to eat! We can make an entire meal without cooking at home!

St.O: Do you think cooking is on its way out?

Cécile: No, No. I don’t think so

St.O: When you go back to France, what will you appreciate having the most?

Cécile: Not meat – Not really fish -- What else
Aha! Croissant and coffee!

St.O: You want to say something about American coffee?

Cécile: You already know how I feel – it’s sock juice – it’s disgusting!
Whenever I talk about the US, I tell people never to order coffee here – they give you watery coffee in this huge glass (holds up a coffee mug) it’s just gross.


  1. Sh*t my mom says? She is so radical!

  2. To be fair, Hawaii makes damn good coffee. Best enjoyed in Hawaii or if you can take some beans with you to freeze. Then, of course, use a French press!