Why the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving
For starters, the food isn’t anything worth being thankful for. Cranberry sauce out of can–either whole or jellied–just wouldn’t cut it next to fresh confiture. Oven-warmed rolls don’t stand a chance against a baguette, fresh from the boulangère. And why, mon Dieu, would you ruin good sweet potatoes with a load of brown sugar and marshmellows?
And the concept of just one course, a giant smorgasboard of flavors is absolutely ridiculous. As proven by the recent UNESCO World Heritage honors, there’s a certain way to eat: an entree, a main course, a cheese course and a dessert. You just don’t mess with what works.
Then there’s the issue of moderation. Stuffing yourself until you can’t do anything but doze off on the couch while watching that awful (-ly confusing) American football doesn’t fit into the why-French-women-don’t-get-fat guidelines.
In addition, the lack of a wine list, a centerpiece that only consists of the main dishes, fancy decoration that’s limited to Grandma’s China. Certainly more rustic than chic.
Sure, Thanksgiving is as American (and non-French) as you can get. Even though I’d kill for a beef tartare and a ile flottante , I’m pretty darn happy to replace that with a turkey leg and a slice of my mom’s apple pie. And I’m incredibly thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the majority of 2010 in France, eating UNESCO-worthy gastronomy and soaking up their strange combination of national cynicism and pride. But I’ll take celebrating this holiday on home soil.
Happy Thanksgiving! Can you think of other cultures where the American Thanksgiving wouldn’t thrive?