10 September 2014

How Much Cheese Do French People Eat?


Sometimes, I get asked if I like cheese - I am French, of course I do! It's like asking a German person if they drink beer or a Japanese person if they eat sushi - not just a stereotype but more of a cultural reality. Like 62% of French people, my family eats cheese daily. Yes, I have grown up on cheese at the end of each evening meal (and no I'm not obese). Cheese has its entire place in the French diet, it's not just a treat (the expensive ones are) but a way for us to meet our calcium requirements as we drink less milk than our European neighbours or Australians. 

With a 1,000 different types of cheese available to them French people eat 26.2 kg of cheese per year per person - the highest consumption rate not only in Europe but in THE WORLD! Emmental (quite similar to Gruyère or Swiss Cheese), camembert and chèvre (goat cheese) are the three most popular types of cheese in France. 

Oh and while we are at it - Two things French people don't do with their fromage:
  1. In France we do NOT eat cheese with crackers, but with fresh bread only (baguette or sourdough).
  2. In France we do NOT eat cheese at the start of a meal (or with pre-dinner drinks /aperitif), but strictly at the end of a meal, before dessert.

How often do you eat cheese? 
What is your favourite type?

Photo credit:
1. V. RIBAUT / Les Studios Associés / CNIEL

2. Mademoiselle Slimalicious

01 September 2014

Creamy Minted Zucchini Risotto

While risotto is not a highly popular dish in France, recipes for the classic Italian favourite abounds in Australia. My first attempt at cooking risotto at home dates back to nearly two years ago, after a work colleague convinced me that enjoying a creamy home made risotto was well worth the twenty minutes of constant stirring most recipes call for! 

Today's minted zucchini risotto recipe is simple yet delicious - a truly scrumptious vegetarian meal. My favourite thing about risotto: it is pure comfort food, perfect to beat the winter chills especially enjoyed with a glass of wine.

25 August 2014

Mum's Spanish Churros

I was born in France, but as you may know I'm half French, half Spanish. Dad was born in Madrid, Spain. My grand-parents immigrated to France in the late 1950's to escape the Spanish civil war. The European Union didn't exist at the time, so in order to live and work in France permanently, my dad and his family applied for French citizenship and gave up their Spanish passport. Grand-dad was a blacksmith (my surname actually does mean 'blacksmith' in Spanish) and Nan was a dress maker/tailor. 

Although Dad always spoke to us in French at home, he never gave up his Spanish heritage and was always proud of his background. Growing up, I lived only a few hundred metres away from my Spanish grand-parents, we were very close, they taught me to speak Spanish and also introduced me to their delicious food. Spanish food has always been part of our every day life. We also travelled often to Spain for family holidays as we lived only a couple of hours drive from the border.

I am in France at the moment, staying with my parents and today I am sharing mum's churros recipe. 

  • 250g plain flour
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Boil the water. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the hot water, while mixing until the dough is smooth. 
  3. Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer to about 190 degrees C. 
  4. Pipe thick strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. 
  5. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.
  6. Roll drained churros in sugar and serve.

Do you like churros?

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