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No. 134: Chocolate Celebration

Paris Chocoloate

“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.”

Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Scottish Chocolate

I know that most of us carry around emotional baggage tied to food and that there are plenty of French women (and men) who see food as the enemy, but I do find this cultural difference between the above word associations thought-provoking.

It does my body good to luxuriate in an exquisite piece of chocolate or share an artisanal pastry in a special moment, in the right atmosphere, rather than guiltily guzzling down a dozen of quelque chose in front of my computer.

gâteau au chocolat Paris

After 2 ½ years in France, I’m getting better and better at thinking of chocolate (and other foods) as a celebration and choosing smaller portions and higher quality foods over huge and highly processed junk.

….a massive 7-lb American chocolate cake from COSTCO...

….a massive 7-lb American chocolate cake from COSTCO…

Old habits die hard, but I find that this particular bad habit is easier to break en France.

…a much smaller, and far more expensive and delicious gâteau au chocolat (55€-$75), one could only afford for a true celebration...

…a much smaller, and far more expensive and delicious gâteau au chocolat (55€-$75), one could only afford for a true celebration…


en France: in France

quelque chose: something, anything

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Francesca Maria #

    I just love chocolate, especially chocolate cupcakes. When we lived in New York my favorites were Twinkies. Do they still send them?

    February 5, 2014
    • Well Twinkies definitely fall into the category of cheap processed junk from America…I’m not sure if they still make them or not. I remember reading something about that brand closing up shop. I would take an Opéra pâtisserie over a Twinkie or Ho-Ho any day. What about you?

      Thanks very much for following along and your comment.

      February 5, 2014
    • Or a CANNOLI from NAPOLA, for goodness sakes!

      February 5, 2014
  2. Love your photo of the round coloured chocolates with the lines on them – wouldn’t know whether to eat them or use them as earrings !

    February 6, 2014
    • I know. Aren’t they beautiful? They actually were a gift from Kitcat’s flatmate in Glasgow…not French chocolates, but at least European, and too lovely not to share.

      February 7, 2014
  3. enjoying your daily posts and insights into France.

    February 6, 2014
  4. Yum Yum, this just gave me the idea of reaching for some dark unsweeten chocolate with my coffee 🙂

    February 9, 2014

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