You are here

Bon Appetit: Eating, Buying, and Cooking Food in Nice

February 1, 2019

I have been living in France for one month and have not come into contact with escargot. As a kid, I believed that this was all the French ate, perplexed by their ways. As I grew older, I began to understand that this dish was not something the French ate every day, or even at all. In my class last week, my professor asked if the French students ate the dish and they responded with a resounding "no" amid one "on occasion". The cuisine of the French is complex, but I learn more each day. 

My first trip to the grocery store resulted in 3 boxes of Barilla pasta, a brand I know well from home. The ordinary act of food shopping made me overwhelmed due to the plethora of unfamiliar brands and absence of favorites. At checkout, I bought a reusable bag to avoid the charge and fumbled to quickly place my groceries in it before the cashier asked for my cash. 

As I became more comfortable, I found both familiar foods and new items to try. I embraced the French taste for yogurt, shown by their endless aisles of the product. I would eat a crêpe every day if I could. I no longer feel lost amid the aisles and feel excited by the untried. While I have found many new preferences, I miss some of the foods I am accustomed to eating. For instance, popcorn, guacamole, peanut butter, bagels, and iced coffee (or large coffees of any kind) are hard to find or too expensive. However, this inavailability has translated into an exploration of a new culture through food. 

I still have a lot to learn about French cuisine. I recently attended an IES Abroad French cooking class in Villefranche-sur-Mer with Clém, a wonderful cook who owns her own catering company. Invited into her aesthetically pleasing home with trinkets and plants decorating the space, French music playing, and a large cat named Socks blissfully sleeping on the couch, I felt welcome. 

From the start, cooking was a hands-on experience, characterized by delicious tastings and technical blunders. The three of us apprentrice chefs donned our customized aprons and prepared the dishes with the guidance of Clem's instructions. The home-cooked meal, complete with an entrée, plat principal, and dessert, gave me a peek into French cuisine and culture. I am thankful for the experience and hope to replicate the delectable dishes in the future. In addition, I cannot wait for the Nice food tour later in the year!


From Our Blogs

Feb 19 8:03am

Being Social in a Foreign Country

by Cameron

This post is about my life so far in Rome and how I have managed to remain social even though I'm in a foreign country.

Learn more
Feb 18 11:21am

Ecuadorian Family Life: Finding Beauty in the Differences

by Julianna

The goal of this post on Ecuadorian family life is to help people recognize our ability to grow through experiencing a variety of cultures and reflecting on the similarities and differences between them and our own.

Learn more
Feb 18 9:18am

A Week Completed: My First Week in Buenos Aires

by Mollie

As I settle into Buenos Aires, I reflect on my first week in the city, including my arrival and program orientation and sightseeing.

Learn more
Feb 17 7:35pm

Anticipating Argentina

by Noa

One week to go until I depart for Buenos Aires! I'm trying to piece together my upcoming semester as I begin the packing process.

Learn more
Feb 17 5:55am

First Week of Classes: DONE

by Nia

This week I started classes at the illustrious University of Cape Town (UCT), and I must say…I’m actually pretty excited for the semester! I’m taking four courses: one at the IES Abroad Center, and three at UCT.

Learn more
Feb 16 1:32pm

A Whirlwind Weekend in Normandy

by Genevieve

This past weekend we traveled to Normandy, the northern region of France that has been a pivotal location at many points in history.

Learn more