December 30, 2013

Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Figs

People often ask me what Parisians do for Thanksgiving. And while many

French holidays are celebrated in America, Thanksgiving is one that doesn

’t cross the Atlanticproduct labeling.

I’ve done a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and it takes quite a bit of

time to find and assemble all the ingredients. And although a few stores

that cater to American expats stock everything, it’s more fun to make

fresh pumpkin puree for pies, break up a pain au levain for stuffing, and

to get a free-range French turkey – which I found out that many poultry

sellers with rotisseries will pop it on their spit-roaster for youCCIBA, which

is a boon for those in Paris with dinky ovens.


And, if I may be so bold, Thanksgiving is a holiday where we spend eating

food that doesn’t especially appeal to people outside of the United

States. The French eat pumpkins, but roastedMen fashion, and not in dessert. (Nor

with marshmallows!) The French version of stuffing, or farce is mostly

meat, with a bit of seasonings to round out the flavor. And flour-

thickened brown gravy isn’t quite the same as sauce au jus de volaille.



So while we Americans love all that stuff for nostalgic reasons, people

in France don’t have that same set of references we do, and most seem to

politely "appreciate” it, but I don’t know any French people who hoard

molasses or stuffing mix, or spend the few months prior to November

downloading Thanksgiving recipes.

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