Another thing that I took for granted while living in the US?
Seriously, living in France, I’m always amazed at the lack of variety in beer selection. Granted, the rather minimal beer choice makes up for itself with the wine, but still, I’m almost certain that in all of France there are roughly only 10 different types of beer one could possibly drink. Aside from the small amount of regional beers, mainly from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Basque country, and Corse, very few beers are actually imported into France. There are the basic Belgian beers, Grimbergen and Leffe, Heineken from Holland, and 1664/Kronenburg brewed near Strasbourg, and a normal Pilsner from Germany. All are mediocre and immediately forgettable. The only other beer (and I have a hard time actually considering this beer) is called Desperados, which consists of beer mixed with tequila, something that I have yet to try and honestly never will.
The obvious reason for this meek selection is that microbreweries are almost non existent in France. Because of the thousands of microbreweries across the US (I believe the most recent count is that were a total of 1,482 craft breweries in the US), the selection of beers that one person can choose from is absolutely extraordinary. For example, in the town of Raleigh, NC alone (not a city nor even a state particularly known for its beer production) there are easily 6 microbreweries serving great beers with many tastes and flavors.
So for all people out there complaining about trying to find good wine for not a lot of money in the US, buy beer instead, you won’t regret it. And for those who are already happily enjoying the offerings from their local breweries, keep on supporting them.
Despite my dual French-American status, I’ve lived most of my life in the US, the South in particular (Charlotte, NC to be specific). As is expected living in the South, I’ve always missed certain things from France. I’d go back to my “home” every summer to visit family and re-experience the things I’d lived without in the States. Baguette, cheese and French newspapers to name a few. The desire for those French foods even gets to a point where as I first step off the plan in France, I immediately imagine that I can smell baked croissants mixed with the “scent” of a nicely-aged Roquefort cheese (which packs quite a potent punch for those that have not had the pleasure of smelling it).
I finally moved back to France recently and since living in Paris semi-permanently for the past few months, I’ve now developed a new longing to those things that were commonplace in NC. It’s funny how things so simple, items that I had taken for granted so long living in NC are now the things I miss the most. Food in particular is what I long for. Not say that food in France isn’t good, let’s be honest, it is France and the food is amazing. However, there are those typically Southern foods that I somehow wish I could have. Everything from grits and sweet tea to fried green tomatoes and cornbread, I honestly can’t wait to go back “home” and relive the experience of eating those foods again and again.
Unfortunately, I know that this cycle of missing things will somehow always continue. When I go back to the States, it’ll be the French foods I’ll miss again and then of course as I go back to Paris, I will once again start dreaming of that ever so sweet cornbread nation that is the South.