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The 10 French things I can never give up

My expert guide to the best of France, from food to customs. They are all “exportable”, and I recommend you do so.

Four years ago I moved to the south of France, 1.5 km from Monte Carlo, in Roquebrune Cap Martin. It is useless to list the many merits of these magnificent places: climate, sea, natural beauty, slowness (even too much for a Milanese like me). There is no shortage of flaws, as in any place. Paradise, at the end of the day, can only exist within us, no matter where we live!

But let’s get to the 10 French things that are now part of me and that I wouldn’t be able to give up even if I went to live in NY.

1 – BAGUETTE

The one bought from the baker, handmade, crispy and tasty. I buy it at the boulangerie La Madone in Menton. The absolute best.

2 – LEAP BUTTER FROM THE LOIRE

Leap butter from the Loire or butter from Normandy with salt crystals from Guérande. How can I explain the pleasurable pleasure of this butter spread on a crispy baguette? Nothing, you have to try. And I recommend to keep it out of the fridge at least two hours before tasting it.

3 – CHEESES 

There are so many, cow, goat, soft or aged. My favorites are surely Camembert, Roquefort, Beaufort.

4 – OYSTERS & BULOTS

Here the first ones cost about 50 cents each and the second ones, called buccini in Italy, about 8€ per Kg. Bulots are bought cooked and eaten with garlic mayonnaise.

5 – PIC-NIC

Here they are a ritual in every season because we rarely go below 12 degrees (worst case scenario). On the lawn of a park or on one of the many public beaches.

6 – POULET DE BRESSE

The Bresse chicken, the only chicken in the world with AOP certification. A real delicacy for those who, like me, love roast chicken. It is exported all over the world, it costs a little more but it is really worth it.

7 – LA MARINIÈRE

For the French, it’s a real cult. It looks good all the time, just change accessories and I can wear it from morning to night. Never without it!

8 – BALLERINAS

In Monte Carlo, as in Paris, you walk a lot. My favorites: Pretty Ballerinas and the timeless Chanel.
Ça va sans dire!

9 – CHAMPAGNE

In France there are an infinite number of small producers in the Champagne region that make really good bubbles at “civilized” prices, from 16/18 € to go up and often in supermarkets there are great deals! I leave you a couple of suggestions: Champagne Charles Vincent brut 17€ here in France at Carrefour. Chamapagne Canard Duchêne brut 20€.

10 – LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ

The way of living and thinking that I will take with me wherever I go.

Recommended track:
“For me formidable” Charles Aznavour

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