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The one about the beans…

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, I could talk to you about very important, very dire or very serious subjects. Take your pick; there are tons of them in the time we live in. A few examples: coronavirus, Super Tuesday, Afghanistan, the future war between Turkey and Syria, Polanski at the Césars, etc…

They’re not just memories of our childhood, they’re part of our culture, they are us…

Yeah, I could talk to you about all that or I could talk to you about beans… Beans cooked with duck confit, sausages, pork rind, duck fat... Yeah, the chef in you knows that I’m talking about cassoulet.

Cassoulet aka the 8th wonder of the world, or something like that, had its night of glory in New York. A worldwide cassoulet competition entitled “Cassoulet War”. The lucky soldiers of the best war ever had the chance to taste about 30 kind of Cassoulet. Definitely, my kind of war… We tell you everything about this very special night in this week’s episode of Rendez-Vous D’Amérique. Yes, we do know what’s really important in this show…

I do have a profound affection for popular dishes. It could be Cassoulet if you’re from the southwest of France; Bouillabaisse is it’s the southeast; Choucroute if you’re from Alsace, Couscous, Paëlla, Lasagna, Boeuf Bourguignon, Pot-au-feu, etc… I love them all.

They’re not just memories of our childhood, they’re part of our culture, they are us…

I don’t know where you’re from; I don’t know where you grew up; I don’t know if you were rich, poor or right in the middle; but I know that you remember the smell of one of those dishes cooking on the stove of your parents’ or grandparents’ kitchen. It’s part of us.

Wherever we come from, wherever we are now, it’s part of us.

Most of us are expatriates; most of us are living far away from us, some by choice, some by necessity… We have made our own life where we live now, we have adopted a new culture, a new way to approach life, and that’s great. Mixing cultures creates something different; there is nothing more enriching in life. But sometimes, we need to come back; we need to feel our roots again.

On this night in Manhattan, that meant eating well cooked beans with duck confit, sausages, pork rind, duck fat… That meant eating a good cassoulet. Wish I were there…

To learn more about the “Cassoulet War” and French gastronomy in America, tune in to Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information.

Exploring cultural diversity entwined with New York City’s melting pot, Hollywood red carpets, and Utah’s snowy mountaintops, Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face at movie premieres. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!

 
Musicians perform at the "Cassoulet War."
"Wherever we come from, wherever we are now, it’s part of us."
Also in this episode, the Ballets of Lyon Opera go on tour.