5 French-isms to Take Home
Ah France. The country that brought us the croissant, Pinot Noir, and Edith Piaf. French culture has certainly influenced the outside world and, while I’m not one to romanticize, I feel we’re certainly better for it.
However, beyond the obvious stereotypes, there are certain lesser-known ‘French-isms’ that are well worth adopting back home. Whether you’ve had the chance to travel to France or still have it on your to-do list, the below tips can help you find your joie de vivre.
While French cuisine is revered around the world, some of it’s unique nuances are often forgotten. Signature dishes like boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin come to mind – however in France, dishes cooked in the household are based not only in cultural traditions, but seasonal ones. See, the French know that the most delicious dishes are made from the best-tasting ingredients. That’s why, for hundreds of years, peak seasons for fresh produce, seafood and more have dictated their diet.
While envied French markets certainly ease the accessibility of these ingredients, eating seasonally is something that can be observed at home (with a little effort). Finding fresh products at their prime in your local market is worth the search, leading to new discoveries and flavourful dishes. Bon appetit!
Quality over Quantity
A handcrafted piece of chocolate versus a Snickers bar. One cashmere sweater over three polyester pull-overs. These are the kind of choices that exemplify French decision-making. This is because the mentalité française is that it’s better to have less of a really good thing than plenty of a not so great thing. And, for the most part, it’s a rewarding approach. Whether it be applied to eating habits, shopping techniques, or friendships, the French way of less is more can result in a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.
For the French, the many little pleasures we experience on a daily basis are what life is all about. Contradictory to the North American mentality of ‘guilty pleasures’, in France, life’s little joys are meant to be embraced and celebrated. Whether it’s savouring a delicious cup of coffee while sitting outside a café or basking in a romantic goodnight kiss, the French feel no shame in enjoying the things that bring them happiness. And while moderation is key, ditching the guilt for la vie en rose is one French-ism that’s easy to say yes to.
While you’d be hard-pressed to find many working out at the gym, the French believe strongly that movement is a part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, French women walk three times as much as the average American. Walking, taking the stairs, and spending less time sedentary when at home are just a few of the ‘tricks’ that keep the French trim. And it’s not simply about appearances – adding more movement and physical activity into your daily routine can help improve your mood, promote better sleep, and even increase your libido. So, what are you waiting for? Allez-y!
Take Your Time
While notoriously known for being en retard, the French believe that nothing in life should be rushed. Whether it’s cooking a delicious meal, walking to work, or going shopping, all activities should be enjoyed without haste. Taking one’s time also results in fewer mistakes (say, buying the wrong size of shirt) and overall less stress on a daily basis. Finally, experiencing things without constant time constraints encourages a greater appreciation for the everyday, the little moments that can bring such delight.
What are your favourite French-isms? Share them with us in the comments below!