Why is it called? Part 1: Pastries and desserts

Why is it called … Part 1: PASTRIES and DESSERTS Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Why are croissants, pain aux raisins and pains au chocolats called viennoiseries for example? How do things get named? Here is a short list of French pastries and desserts and how they got their names. We invite readers to add their own favorite pastries and dessert to the comments. Viennoiserie A pastry was created in Vienna in celebration of the end of the Turkish siege of 1683 in the shape of the Turkish crescent (croissant). An Austrian army officer named August Zang and his associate Ernest Schwarzer, a nobleman from Vienna opened the Boulangerie Viennoise at 92 rue de Richelieu in Paris in 1838. They were the first to make the pastries which were to become known as viennoiserie. Ironically even though the French name viennoiserie makes a reference to Vienna which is the origin of the pasrties, in English these baked delights are called Danish pastri…
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PARIS/FRANCE and…the Five Food Groups

PARIS/FRANCE and…the Five Food Groups

Per our December 2, 2019, post, “Paris/France and…” is a series wherein “and” leads us to categories whose subcategories link to the city/country we know and love. Having explored Paris/France and Body Parts, Paris/France and Colors and Paris/France and the Classical Elements, we move on to Paris/France and the Five Food Groups. Bon appétit!

#1 VEGETABLES – A story

On a roadtrip through France in the early 1970s, a friend and her husband came upon a restaurant in a litttttle litttttle square in a litttttle litttttle village in the deep center of the nation. Having decided several months earlier to give up meat, they ordered plates of vegetables then chatted away about the next stop on their itinerary as they waited for their meals. Suddenly, their waiter reappeared, a grim look on his face. He told them they had to order meat. They told him they didn’t eat meat. He told them they had to order it. Their faces l…

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The Ile de France, elegant ocean liner

The exhibition “L’Art déco, un art de vivre à la Française : the ocean liner Ile de France” looks back on the story of this elegant ship, born during the Roaring Twenties which was a Franco-American link making the crossing from Le Havre to New York. The ship was the symbol of an unrivaled French art de vivre, the epitome of French elegance and the exhibition shows us the history of a society and of the art of travel. Models, photos, paintings, advertising posters, Ruhlmann armchairs, Christofle silverware, Haviland porcelain, vintage menus (including the children's and dog's menus that will make you smile), matches and ashtrays and a vintage publicity film are all presented. A fascinating view of a world of luxury. This was not the biggest or the fastest ship, but it had the longest life of all ships in the French fleet (1927-1961) and exuded the French Touch as seen on the brochure from 1949.

"What is the French Touch? Is it the breakfast you have serv…

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Made in France, My 2019 Diary

For 2019 I decided to try to find Made in France products each time I made a purchase and keep a Made in France Diary.

Skip the intro and jump right to the latest entry.

The idea sprang from my exercise diary. I write down on my calendar each time I get some exercise, riding my bike, taking a walk for errands or fun or taking a class. Keeping a diary helps me to keep that focus and make sure I move. I have a nice record of my constitutional outings. It is very satisfying to be able to look back and see that I pretty much get my requisite 30 minutes each day, plus needing to make an entry on the calendar gets me up and out; I get both satisfaction and encouragement.

I decided to apply that to my Made in France year. I'm keeping a diary, technically a monthly of what I buy and if it is MIF. I'm not going to be obsessive and buy ONLY MIF, like this guy Benjamin Carle who in 2014 made a project of transforming his life and apartment to only MI…

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Marie Antoinette Metamorphoses of an Image

You might love her, you might hate her, you might feel sorry for her, or think she deserved what she got but Marie Antoinette has not left the world indifferent. Her image is recognized the world over at just a glance. There was a Roger et Gallet ad in a Glamour magazine from 2017 and everyone I showed it too immediately said "that's Marie Antoinette". The grey up-do and some gilt in the background is all you need to recognize her. She has become one of the most visible and recognizable historical figures ever. The expo at the Conciergerie in Paris gives insight into the myriad uses of her image.

Soulier Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, © cliché Patricia Touzard

Will we be talking about Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow or Lady Gaga 200 years after her death? Probably not but we still talk about Marie Antoinette more than 200 years after her death! Perhaps not so much in France as journalists on France Info were discussing the other day. They were wondering why anyone…

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The Golden Age of English Painting

From Reynolds to Turner Masterpieces of the Tate Britainuntil 16 February 2020 Musée du Luxembourg 19, rue Vaugirard, 75006 Paris

The 1760s, the start of the reign of George III, marked a turning point in British art with the triumphant rise of Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) and Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), and saw the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts, of which Reynolds was the first president. The renowned masters of portraiture, Reynolds and Gainsborough competed to raise the genre to new heights of visual and intellectual innovation. They paid tribute to the grand masters while demonstrating acute psychological insight and a command of painting that was always original. The exhibition The Golden Age of English Painting begins by juxtaposing these two painters through full-length portraits and intimate studies that bear a striking resemblance to public figures, members of the royal family and other important people. Here, Re…

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