Die Pariserin Clotilde Dusoulier ist Foodbloggerin. Mit ihrem prämierten Blog „Chocolate & Zucchini", der seit 2003 existiert, transportiert sie das Thema "Essen" in spannenden Beiträgen, Tipps und Informationen im Netz weiter, so zum Beispiel 58 Rezeptideen mit Salatgurken. „Ein Blog lebt vom Informations- und Wissensaustausch der Leser untereinander", so Clotilde. „Was alle verbindet ist die Passion für Essen, seine Zubereitung und der Wunsch, andere an ihrem Wissen teilhaben zu lassen."
You know, I actually came out of this life experience seeing more commonalities than differences! For one thing, American cuisine is extremely diverse, just as French cuisine is, and I have been most curious to learn about the regional specialties and variations. In both countries I feel like craftsmanship is deeply respected, and I am very drawn to the nerdiness of that - nothing is more uplifting to me than to discover someone who devotes his or her life to producing a very specific food item, and producing the best version that he or she can. And on both sides of the Atlantic we have seen a recent shift toward more real food, more local food, and more sustainable food.
When I lived in the US, I certainly noticed that convenience was a value of huge importance there: products and places are chiefly designed with convenience and user-friendliness in mind, whereas in France these aren't always assigned such a high priority. Considerations of aesthetics, style, history, habits, tradition, politics and idiosyncrasies can be just as, or even more important. This difference in mindset extends to the realm of food, too: American eaters are typically drawn to convenience foods, quick to prepare and quick to eat, or fast food where you don't even have to turn off the engine of your car to get served and fed. French eaters certainly enjoy convenience, too, but they seem to make room for other values in their daily decisions (the importance of presentation, of sitting down at a table to eat, of cooking and eating together as a family). These are, of course, broad generalizations with many individual exceptions, but through my writing and my recipes I want to promote a way of looking at food that is about much more than convenience.
One big thing we share is a sense that special occasions call for special foods - going all out to bake the perfect birthday cake, putting together elaborate holiday menus, going out to a restaurant to celebrate an achievement.There is much joy to be found in food when it is shared with others, and both cultures thrive on that idea.
I started out simply wanting to document my cooking adventures and share my passion for food with others, but over time I've realized that my intention is, first and foremost, to encourage my readers to play in the kitchen. I want to inspire them with simple but fresh ideas that they can use on a Tuesday night without complicated equipment or technical skills - just tips and recipes and ingredients that are a little bit different, and original enough to put the fun back into everyday cooking. I feel it's what people truly need and there's a lot of value to providing it.
The French language is full of idioms and colorful expressions, many of them relating to food and our culinary culture, so I decided to compile fifty of the most fun and insightful ones, illustrated by Mélina Josserand, a French watercolor artist and friend of mine. I have a deep fondness for all the expressions I picked, but some of my favorites are Ne pas savoir à quelle sauce on va être mangé (not knowing what sauce one is going to be eaten with, when the future is uncertain), Prendre le melon (getting the melon, when success has gone to your head) and En faire tout un fromage (making a whole cheese out of something, when you're blowing something out of proportion). My secret hope is that people start to adopt some of those when they speak English, too!