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Food That Stinks In France

I’ve been going on and on about how spectacular the food in France is, and I completely stand by that judgment. However, only the Lord is perfect. Let me tell you about a food the French do extraordinarily poorly: peanut butter.

Look at that above. That is French peanut butter. Yes, it’s brownish-yellow, the color of melancholic mustard (the light in my kitchen makes it appear a bit yellower than it is in real life). You have to go to an organic store to buy it. Nobody eats it here. Peanut butter happens to be one of the staple foods of my ultrapicky children, and if we had known how hard it was to find here, we would have brought a few jars. I bought that above, hoping they would eat it. You would have thought I was trying to feed them squeezings from blisters on Quasimodo’s hump.

Can’t say I blame them. Apparently nobody told the French that you’re supposed to ROAST THE DADGUM PEANUTS before you puree them. But I can’t complain; I can only imagine what they must think when they come to America and encounter crappy food advertised as “French” or “French-style.” Still, one week into this adventure, we are running an experiment to see if American children can last a month living on a diet of baguette, cheese, crepes, and Nutella.

UPDATE: Though it must be said that Agenaise flavor ice cream from Berthillon more than redeems it. Look at the ingredient list: milk, prunes soaked in Armagnac, cream, eggs, sugar. Any culture that can produce something as delicious as this, and can sell it to me at a bodega around the corner, can produce all the crap peanut butter it wants, and I won’t be caring:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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