History UsefulNotes / SnailsAndSoOn

14th Aug '16 4:46:54 PM karstovich2
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France has ''many'' kinds of cheese, from very strong to very sweet, from very hard to very creamy. Most popular cheeses include Camembert (a creamy cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk, rather strong taste), Brie (a creamy cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France and environs, ''very'' popular in Paris, similar to a Camembert but made in larger wheels and with a milder flavor--except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait'') Roquefort (a very strong taste blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort), Comté (a hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté) and Crottin de Chavignol (soft and sweet goat cheese (though it becomes progressively harder and stronger if left to age more) made in the Loire valley). Note that Emmental and Gruyère are actually made in Switzerland (but are still very popular in France; Comté is so similar to Gruyère that the former sometimes goes by "French Gruyère" abroad, and within France only the blindest nationalists would object to substituting Gruyère for Comté for most purposes). The stinkiest cheeses are believed to be Munster and the Boulette d'Avesne, both from the North of the country. The diversity of cheeses is often used to highlight France's oft-forgotten (by outsiders) [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional diversity]]: as [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfFrance president]] UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle famously asked, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"

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France has ''many'' kinds of cheese, from very strong to very sweet, from very hard to very creamy. Most popular cheeses include Camembert (a creamy cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk, rather strong taste), Brie (a creamy cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France and environs, ''very'' popular in Paris, similar to a Camembert but made in larger wheels and with a milder flavor--except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait'') Roquefort (a very strong taste blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort), Roquefort in Occitania), Comté (a hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté) and Crottin de Chavignol (soft and sweet goat cheese (though cheese--though it becomes progressively harder and stronger if left to age more) made more--made in the Loire valley). Note that Emmental and Gruyère are actually made in Switzerland (but are still very popular in France; Comté is so similar to Gruyère that the former sometimes goes by "French Gruyère" abroad, and within France only the blindest nationalists would object to substituting Gruyère for Comté for most purposes). The stinkiest cheeses are believed to be Munster and the Boulette d'Avesne, both from the North of the country. The diversity of cheeses is often used to highlight France's oft-forgotten (by outsiders) [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional diversity]]: as [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfFrance president]] UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle famously asked, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"
14th Aug '16 4:39:59 PM karstovich2
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Literally "fat liver", made from the liver of a stuffed goose or duck. It can be either seared (and served hot), or candied and served cold on a toast. In both cases it is often a sweet and savoury dish as it is accompanied with fig (or some other fruit) chutney. Typically a celebration dish (popular for Christmas and New Year's Eve) it is also commonly served in ''brasseries''. Although in several places in the world this dish has been denounced as being particularly cruel (more so than most meat dishes) to the stuffed animal, this position is not very common in France.

Foie gras itself dates back to Roman times, but it first became popular in Europe thanks to Jewish dietary laws, which forbid lard and butter for cooking. Jewish people in the Mediterranean used olive oil, and in the Middle East used sesame oil, but neither were easy to get in the northern parts of Europe. European Jews thus tended to use poultry fat (''schmaltz'' in Yiddish), which naturally required a fat bird--typically a chicken, duck, or goose. The liver was considered so tasty that Christians would buy it from Jewish shops, and so foie gras swept the continent--including France, where the Christians picked up the custom from visiting Germans (French Jews--for the periods that Jews were allowed in France[[note]]France had an annoying habit, like many other European realms, of kicking out its Jewish population, letting them settle in, only to kick them out again a couple of generations later, and then invite them back in because the Church still banned Christians from making loans and the King needed money.[[/note]]--used olive oil and had no more use for fattened poultry than the next Frenchman).

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Literally "fat liver", made from the liver of a stuffed goose or duck.duck which has been specifically overfed (including force-feeding) to increase the size of its liver. It can be either seared (and served hot), or candied and served cold on a toast. In both cases it is often a sweet and savoury dish as it is accompanied with fig (or some other fruit) chutney. Typically a celebration dish (popular for Christmas and New Year's Eve) it is also commonly served in ''brasseries''. Although in several places in the world this dish has been denounced as being particularly cruel (more so than most meat dishes) to the stuffed animal, this position is not very common in France.

Foie gras itself dates back to Roman times, but it first became popular in Europe thanks to Jewish dietary laws, which forbid lard and butter for cooking. Jewish people in the Mediterranean used olive oil, and in the Middle East used sesame oil, but neither were easy to get in the northern parts of Europe. European Jews thus tended to use poultry fat (''schmaltz'' in Yiddish), which naturally required a fat bird--typically a chicken, duck, or goose. To get the most fat out of each bird, the Jewish community began overfeeding the ducks and geese kept for the purpose, which had the side effect of enlarging the bird's liver. The liver liver, which grew bigger in part because of additional fat in it, was considered so tasty that Christians would buy it from Jewish shops, and so foie gras swept the continent--including France, where the Christians picked up the custom from visiting Germans (French Jews--for the periods that Jews were allowed in France[[note]]France had an annoying habit, like many other European realms, of kicking out its Jewish population, letting them settle in, only to kick them out again a couple of generations later, and then invite them back in because the Church still banned Christians from making loans and the King needed money.[[/note]]--used olive oil and had no more use for fattened poultry than the next Frenchman).
28th Jun '16 7:39:39 PM karstovich2
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Foie gras itself dates back to Roman times, but it first became popular in Europe thanks to Jewish dietary laws, which forbid lard and butter for cooking. Jewish people in the Mediterranean used olive oil, and in the Middle East used sesame oil, but neither were easy to get in Europe. European Jews thus tended to use poultry fat, which naturally required a fat goose. The liver was considered so tasty that Christians would buy it from Jewish shops, and so foie gras swept the continent.

to:

Foie gras itself dates back to Roman times, but it first became popular in Europe thanks to Jewish dietary laws, which forbid lard and butter for cooking. Jewish people in the Mediterranean used olive oil, and in the Middle East used sesame oil, but neither were easy to get in the northern parts of Europe. European Jews thus tended to use poultry fat, fat (''schmaltz'' in Yiddish), which naturally required a fat bird--typically a chicken, duck, or goose. The liver was considered so tasty that Christians would buy it from Jewish shops, and so foie gras swept the continent.
continent--including France, where the Christians picked up the custom from visiting Germans (French Jews--for the periods that Jews were allowed in France[[note]]France had an annoying habit, like many other European realms, of kicking out its Jewish population, letting them settle in, only to kick them out again a couple of generations later, and then invite them back in because the Church still banned Christians from making loans and the King needed money.[[/note]]--used olive oil and had no more use for fattened poultry than the next Frenchman).
28th Jun '16 7:11:55 PM karstovich2
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Not to be confused with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA1kaFgLuh0 a dish with rats]] (or a [[WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}} dish made by rats]]). That would be gross. Pronounced as ra-ta-too-yee, this is as mentioned a regional Southern French dish (specifically Provençal, and super-specifically from Nice--the full name of the most popular variant is ''ratatouille niçoise'') composed of mixed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and certain herbs and spices like marjoram and basil. Very popular with dieters and vegetarians because it's tasty, filling, and quite nutritious. Chefs like to argue about whether the veggies should be cooked separately and then mixed together shortly before serving so you can appreciate the best flavor of each vegetable or if you should cook them all together (as is traditional) for a more melded flavor; most agree that the dish is actually best if served after spending a night in the refrigerator (which melds the flavors, but not in the same way that cooking them together does). Also not to be confused with rouille, which is a type of garlic and red pepper mayonnaise used to season...

to:

Not to be confused with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA1kaFgLuh0 a dish with rats]] (or a [[WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}} dish made by rats]]). That would be gross. Pronounced as ra-ta-too-yee, this is as mentioned a rather rustic regional Southern French dish (specifically Provençal, and super-specifically from Nice--the full name of the most popular variant is ''ratatouille niçoise'') composed of mixed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and certain herbs and spices like marjoram and basil. Very popular with dieters and vegetarians because it's tasty, filling, and quite nutritious. Chefs like to argue about whether the veggies should be cooked separately and then mixed together shortly before serving so you can appreciate the best flavor of each vegetable or if you should cook them all together (as is traditional) for a more melded flavor; most agree that the dish is actually best if served after spending a night in the refrigerator (which melds the flavors, but not in the same way that cooking them together does). Also not to be confused with rouille, which is a type of garlic and red pepper mayonnaise used to season...
28th Jun '16 7:11:18 PM karstovich2
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Not to be confused with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA1kaFgLuh0 a dish with rats]] (or a [[WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}} dish made by rats]]). That would be gross. Pronounced as ra-ta-too-yee, a Southern French dish composed of mixed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and certain herbs and spices like marjoram and basil. Very popular with dieters and vegetarians because it's tasty, filling, and quite nutritious. Chefs like to argue about whether the veggies should be cooked separately and then mixed together shortly before serving so you can appreciate the best flavor of each vegetable or if you should cook them all together (as is traditional) for a more melded flavor; most agree that the dish is actually best if served after spending a night in the refrigerator (which melds the flavors, but not in the same way that cooking them together does). Also not to be confused with rouille, which is a type of garlic and red pepper mayonnaise used to season...

to:

Not to be confused with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA1kaFgLuh0 a dish with rats]] (or a [[WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}} dish made by rats]]). That would be gross. Pronounced as ra-ta-too-yee, this is as mentioned a regional Southern French dish (specifically Provençal, and super-specifically from Nice--the full name of the most popular variant is ''ratatouille niçoise'') composed of mixed vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and certain herbs and spices like marjoram and basil. Very popular with dieters and vegetarians because it's tasty, filling, and quite nutritious. Chefs like to argue about whether the veggies should be cooked separately and then mixed together shortly before serving so you can appreciate the best flavor of each vegetable or if you should cook them all together (as is traditional) for a more melded flavor; most agree that the dish is actually best if served after spending a night in the refrigerator (which melds the flavors, but not in the same way that cooking them together does). Also not to be confused with rouille, which is a type of garlic and red pepper mayonnaise used to season...
26th Jun '16 8:49:24 PM karstovich2
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Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise but with white wine vinegar substituted for lemon juice+herbs like chevril, shallot, and tarragon--a traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse), suprême (chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream, usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however). There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.

to:

Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise but with white wine vinegar substituted for lemon juice+herbs like chevril, shallot, and tarragon--a traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse), suprême (chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream, usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867. Note also that New Orleans has a sauce called "bordelaise" for a kind of sauce with garlic and butter; this has different roots and, while good, should not be confused with the French version.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however). There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.
26th Jun '16 8:46:33 PM karstovich2
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Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise but with white wine vinegar substituted for lemon juice+herbs like chevril, shallot, and tarragon), suprême (chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however). There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.

to:

Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise but with white wine vinegar substituted for lemon juice+herbs like chevril, shallot, and tarragon), tarragon--a traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse), suprême (chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream), reduction+cream, usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however). There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.
24th Jun '16 3:24:18 PM Saveelich
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1_004_6.jpg]]
20th Jun '16 11:32:13 PM AirofMystery
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Added DiffLines:

Foie gras itself dates back to Roman times, but it first became popular in Europe thanks to Jewish dietary laws, which forbid lard and butter for cooking. Jewish people in the Mediterranean used olive oil, and in the Middle East used sesame oil, but neither were easy to get in Europe. European Jews thus tended to use poultry fat, which naturally required a fat goose. The liver was considered so tasty that Christians would buy it from Jewish shops, and so foie gras swept the continent.
26th May '16 4:02:26 PM Chytus
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What pizza and Chinese-American food are to the US and curry is to the UK and Ireland, couscous and certain other North African dishes are to France -- cheap, tasty, convenient (usually takeout), not typical of what usually goes on the table, most often consumed by students and others who don't cook very much (particularly while drunk), and thoroughly naturalized despite eaters' perceptions of exoticness to the contrary. Couscous is a small, pebbly, quick-cooking pasta eaten from Morocco to Sicily and Libya, and cooked and served alongside meals like tagine (a Berber meat stew traditionally cooked in a clay pot with a characteristic conical lid) or vegetable stew; it's sometimes even used as a dessert, served with honey or sugar and spices.[[note]]Whether dessert couscous was a Libyan or an Egyptian idea is a part of the always-terrifying Middle Eastern culinary flame wars.[[/note]] Because of their origins in Islamic countries, these dishes are usually made with lamb/mutton or beef, never pork; a spicy beef or lamb/mutton sausage called merguez is fairly common as well. Kebabs (which refer both to the actual dish on a plate, its handy takeaway repackaging in bread of various types ''à la'' Döner, and the shop that sells them) are very, very common at least in large cities with substantial North African, Lebanese or Turkish communities. The shops are usually open until much later than any other source of food will be, making it the food of choice of drunk urban students like. In Paris, more than anywhere else in France, the shops tend to be referred to generically as "grecs" [[note]]"on se fait un grec?" describes the shop more than the actual person running it, in which case the phrase would mean "shall we do a Greek guy?" with exactly the same DoubleEntendre as in English[[/note]], in north-eastern France "turcs", and when manned by Lebanese, "libanais", much in the same way that in Belgium, frites vendors [[note]]and often just that, whereas in France ''frites'' are viewed as a side dish to either kebabs or hamburgers[[/note]] are sometimes referred to in Flemish as "frietchinees". The French and the Belgians will argue over who invented the French fries (known here simply as "frites"), and there's even a gag to that effect in Asterix chez les Belges when Obelix mentions something about deep-frying actual apples (pommes frites) amid a running gag about waterzooie.

to:

What pizza and Chinese-American food are to the US and curry is to the UK and Ireland, couscous and certain other North African dishes are to France -- cheap, tasty, convenient (usually takeout), not typical of what usually goes on the table, most often consumed by students and others who don't cook very much (particularly while drunk), and thoroughly naturalized despite eaters' perceptions of exoticness to the contrary. Couscous is a small, pebbly, quick-cooking pasta eaten from Morocco to Sicily and Libya, and cooked and served alongside meals like tagine (a Berber meat stew traditionally cooked in a clay pot with a characteristic conical lid) or vegetable stew; it's sometimes even used as a dessert, served with honey or sugar and spices.[[note]]Whether dessert couscous was a Libyan or an Egyptian idea is a part of the always-terrifying Middle Eastern culinary flame wars.[[/note]] Because of their origins in Islamic countries, these dishes are usually made with lamb/mutton or beef, never pork; a spicy beef or lamb/mutton sausage called merguez is fairly common as well. Kebabs (which refer both to the actual dish on a plate, its handy takeaway repackaging in bread of various types ''à la'' Döner, and the shop that sells them) are very, very common at least in large cities with substantial North African, Lebanese or Turkish communities. The shops are usually open until much later than any other source of food will be, making it the food of choice of drunk urban students like.students. In Paris, more than anywhere else in France, the shops tend to be referred to generically as "grecs" [[note]]"on se fait un grec?" describes the shop more than the actual person running it, in which case the phrase would mean "shall we do a Greek guy?" with exactly the same DoubleEntendre as in English[[/note]], in north-eastern France "turcs", and when manned by Lebanese, "libanais", much in the same way that in Belgium, frites vendors [[note]]and often just that, whereas in France ''frites'' are viewed as a side dish to either kebabs or hamburgers[[/note]] are sometimes referred to in Flemish as "frietchinees". The French and the Belgians will argue over who invented the French fries (known here simply as "frites"), and there's even a gag to that effect in Asterix chez les Belges when Obelix mentions something about deep-frying actual apples (pommes frites) amid a running gag about waterzooie.
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