French 5 | 01.29.21

With international travel still not on the horizon, I’ve been looking for ways to infuse a bit of my favourite country into daily life. Out of this desire came the idea for French 5, a weekly round up of all things French. Every Friday, I will share a glimpse into what I love about France through language, places, food and drink, arts and culture, as well as a random fun fact. I will also highlight one blog or social media account that features French content. If you have any feedback or ideas of what you’d like to see or who should be featured, please leave your comment below. 

Without further ado, read on to immerse yourself in the inaugural edition of French 5.

01 Language || Tu en fait tout un fromage

France is undoubtably the land of cheese. With more types of cheese than there are days in the year, it’s no wonder the word has made its way into a common idiom. “Il en fait tout un fromage,” translates literally to “he's making a whole cheese of it.” It means to make a big deal out of something. Doesn’t this expression just epitomize so much about France?

02 Place || Charleville-Mézières

As mentioned before, the capital of the Ardennes department, Charleville-Mézières holds a special place in my heart. Originally two separate cities, Charleville and Mézières merged together in the 1960s. Today this charming city along the banks of the Meuse River is known for being the “world capital of puppetry arts” and the birthplace of renowned poet Arthur Rimbaud. 

03 Food & Drink || Crêpes

One thing I love about France is that there are so many holidays that have special foods attached to them. One such holiday is “la Chandeleur,” which is celebrated on February 2 with a stack of crêpes. Its roots lie in the Christian Holy Day of Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, which wraps up the Christmas season. The tradition of the crêpes came in later. Before digging into your crêpes, grab a gold coin in one hand and use the other hand to flip the crêpe in the pan. If you can successfully get the crêpe to land back in the pan, you’ll have a prosperous year. Tradition also says you should wrap the coin in the first crêpe, and place it on top of your highest kitchen cupboard to ensure a good year. 

Try this delicious crêpe recipe by Chocolate & Zucchini’s Clotilde.

04 Arts & Culture || Lupin

If you’re looking for a new series to watch on Netflix, I highly recommend Lupin. This mystery thriller stars Omar Sy as a “gentleman burglar” whose crimes are inspired by the fictional character and master of disguise, Arsène Lupin. The show recently topped the Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton for the number of households watching it. With only the first five episodes in this ten episode series currently online, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of part 2!

Watch the Lupin trailer

05 Fun Fact || Escargots

If this fact doesn’t leave you shell-shocked, I don’t know what will! Approximately 500 million snails are eaten in France each year. Have you tried escargot?


Follow Friday || @gunther08

Maybe an obvious first pick for Follow Friday, but go give the Frenchman who moved halfway around the world for me a follow. Through his eyes, I’ve rediscovered so much of my own country and have learned so much more about French culture than I ever could’ve learned on my own!

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