French Culture – I’m hungry … and I’m in a hurry! Posted by Tim Hildreth on Nov 17, 2020 in Culture, Vocabulary
A friend of mine was recently asking me about fast food in France. France – one of the world’s undeniable gastronomic powerhouses – has a complicated and conflicted history with la restauration rapide.
La malbouffe1lit. bad eating from the French for bad and the slang term bouffer / to eat (correctly manger)
France is, after all, the country that coined the term bad eating and where, in 1999, the future candidat à la présidentielle (presidential candidate) and future député européenne verte (French Green Party representative in the European Parliament), José Bové, led an attack on a McDonald’s, protesting the growing domination of the global food an agriculture business by huge multinational corporations, that made international headlines.
And 36 years ago, most people that I knew looked down on McDo’s (as McDonald’s is known in France) and Burger King … even though you could find both on the Champs-Elysées. And you could eat anytime at the slightly-less-offensive-because-French (and not American!) Quick (which to my untrained American eye was basically a McDonald’s/Burger Clone … but French 😉 … ).
Today, France is one of McDonald’s most robust markets outside of les États-Unis2and outside of Covid quarantines!. French McDonald’s have adapted to their culture with robust McCafé’s (even selling macarons!), beer and wine, and even a McBaguette (a sort of jambon beurre but aux steaks hachés/with ground beef patties!).
And France has continued to innovate the fast food movement with their own creations like Flunch … un self (restaurant où les clients se servent eux-mêmes.) qui s’adapte au Covid en livrant au domicile (a self-service restaurant where clients serve themselves that is adapting to Covid by offering home delivery).
Et pourquoi pas / And why not …
Pour finir, une ‘tite chansonette (To conclude, a little song). A good reminder of the days of the week if you need a refresher … and as the title says si tu kiffes le McDo tu vas kiffer cette chanson (if you like McDonald’s you’re going to like this song)!
- 1lit. bad eating from the French for bad and the slang term bouffer / to eat (correctly manger)
- 3Note that French people also differentiate between le français et le québecois (French from France and French from Quebec.
- 4The Americas: North America, Central America, and South America.
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