the real reasons French women don't get fat, Part Deux

I mentioned a while ago that I think one of the reasons French women, at least Parisiennes, tend not to gain weight, is that very few homes in Paris, indeed in most of France, have American-style refrigerators. I should have added that very few home kitchens in and around Paris even have what spoiled me would consider a kitchen. Tell a Frenchwoman that you live in a town (yes! New York!) where the authorities won't issue a Certificate of Occupancy to a dwelling without a sink and stove, and there is a polite smile, followed by just a teeny sigh. Yes, even urban cowboys and wild indians come home and make dinner.

This is a link to a post in a wonderful blog called CroqueCamille, in which post the author shares her thoughts and some snaps about the kitchen-hunting part of her apartment-hunting in Paris. Go check it out.

OK, welcome back. 'Nuff said.

Himself and I were invited to dinner in a French home a couple of years ago, were told that a real home-cooked French meal awaited us! How lovely! Boxes of chocolates and multi-colored macarons at the ready, we arrived on time and did not smell anything cooking. We observed a beautifully set long wooden table, candlesticks gleamed, music played from every corner of the room, and our hostess' adorable children walked around with little dishes of little nuts and little olives. The men grumbled about exchange rates, the women looked at each others' shoes. A few people wanted to know where we'd learned French. Hungry people are grumpy and unsociable the world around. There seemed to be a room or closet off the dining area where there was a waist-high shelf on which were piles of different size plates. The house did not have any outbuildings that we could see. Ultimately our hostess' parents arrived, and with them -- the meal. Maman had done the cooking, that is, she'd made the main course and like any sensible Frenchwoman, she'd purchased the rest. She explained that she admired her daughter's courage in attempting to receive guests in a home without a kitchen, and Papa chuckled at daughter's bad luck in living such a long walk from nice small food shops. We were seated in a hurry and of course dinner was delicious, but I couldn't help wondering how the used dishes and platters, obviously heirlooms, would be dealt with.


  1. It's not just in Paris that kitchens are teeny tiny. My sister lived for years in the Netherlands and have just moved to Switzerland. Kitchens there are also pathetically undersized. Luckily this place she's in now and the last place, she and her husband could afford to do some renovations so they updated the space per their requirements. Would you believe that in Switzerland, apartment dwellers share ONE SINGLE laundry pair, and sign up for date/time to clean their clothes? Companies actually let their people out so they can do laundry! We ARE spoiled in N. America...

  2. Thanks for the link! I never even made the connection, but now that you mention it, that could explain how the parisiennes stay so skinny...

  3. Closet Crisis, re: Switzerland - I'm flabbergasted.

  4. CroqueCamille, my pleasure! but don't forget all the magnesium in Badoit!


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