Monthly Archives: July 2007


Ham junkie

By |2007-07-30T16:36:46+01:00July 30th, 2007|Strasbourg|

One of first the things that first struck me when I moved here was the national addiction to three main foodstuffs ... bread, cheese and ham. While no-one would begrudge the French for their amazing abilities in the soft-cheese and bread department, getting used to consuming their not-as-good-as-italian ham in equal quantity takes more getting used to. Over time though my appreciation has grown. In the UK I would have maybe purchased ham very occassionally from the local butchers. Now, in France, if there's no ham in the fridge - it's a domestic emergency! This recently struck me doubly so after I moved to a quartier of Strasbourg that is heavily populated by the Jewish community. It came as a bit of a shock to discover that it was practically impossible to buy ham within half a mile of home. Lamb - no problem, Ham - no way. But I'm not addicted, I can take it or leave it, honest...

Tetley – the unexotic tea

By |2007-07-18T20:37:18+01:00July 18th, 2007|Strasbourg|

While I have nothing against Tetley tea per se, I am getting bored of it. Alas, Tetley is the only real coarse tea brand you can buy in France (the draw-string variety) so I am left with little choice but to go on drinking it. Twinings show up now and again in the supermarkets with the odd bag of Earl Grey mind you - but it's just not the same as a rough old bag of red label cha! The French prefer a mild, borderline-transparent, cuppa without milk, so finding anything other than weak draw-string dross on the shelves is quite an event. You can imagine my excitement then, when a visitor from the UK arrived and declared "I've brought you some tea". 160 bags of ... Typhoo? ... no ... PG Tips? ... no ... it's not chuffing Tetley again is it? Yes.

Intervilles – hornier than the British copy

By |2017-01-06T11:16:53+01:00July 3rd, 2007|Strasbourg|

There was a gameshow on ITV a few years ago called 'Simply the best', which at first glance appearred to be an attempt at reviving the classic pan-european madness of 'It's a knockout'. Not so (apparently), this in fact was a poor facsimile of the French original. Why poor? Because they were missing the vital ingredient - a live sharp-horned steer. It's all very well getting contestants to negotiate an assault course while wearing a giant sponge costume, but it's something else entirely when you send an angry bull after them; and this is exactly what they do in France. Intervilles, as the name suggests, pits two towns against each other in a madcap battle of light-entertainment; but the highlight is when the contestants are asked to compete inside a bull-ring with a live bull on the loose; which they do two or three times throughout the show - with hilarious results. It's a shame that ITV's fun police decided to axe this particular aspect of the British show; but one assumes that this was because they knew that [...]

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