My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends: nowadays, it’s not too likely you’ll get homesick when you’re a French expatriate in America...
Of course, you will still miss your family and friends, but for the rest, you’re covered. The digital revolution has bridged so many gaps that besides the people you love (and, yes it’s a lot), you can bring everything that made your old home into your new home. You can listen to Les Grosses Têtes live in your car going to work every morning (yes, I do that). You can read any French newspaper on your ipad before they can even find it in Paris kiosks. You can watch live every soccer game your team plays (every Saturday morning on TV5MONDE). You can even find a Camembert Président at your local Ralph’s. Yeah, besides the people you love, you can get almost everything French in America.
But it wasn’t like this when I arrived in the U.S. 23 years ago. Really not like this… At the time, the cheese they sold in supermarkets had nothing French (or even cheesy) in it… At the time, to know if your team won the game, you had to wait a couple of days and check out the results page of the sports section of the L.A. Times. At the time, you could find some newspapers, but 2 days late in some bookshops… It was another time.
To cure your homesickness crisis, you had just one option: French dishes at a French restaurant.
At the time, the only way to feel at-home was to eat like you did at home. So I did know all the French cuisine places in L.A. I must say that I needed it sometimes. Food is magic. It takes you back to time and places, without even your own knowledge. At the time, if I needed to feel like home, I had to taste the French dishes from home.
When I heard about the festival Goût de France that we’re talking about in our new episode of Rendez-Vous d’Amérique, and I saw the footage of a bouillabaisse teaching class, I thought about this time. When I saw those Americans of all backgrounds preparing some “rouille” and poaching fish, I thought about this time. And I realized how lucky France is to have such a distinct culinary identity.
I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I know one thing. Every time I’m homesick, I’ll just have to follow Chef Serge Devesa’s recipe, make my own bouillabaisse, sit down at the table and taste my soup…
And boom, I’m in the south of France…
To learn more about the delectable experience of Gout de France, the traditional French dishes that will connect you to the French heritage, and other events that define Francophone culture in America, tune in to our episodes of Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information.
Exploring a diversity of culture entwined with the insatiable energy of New York’s streets, the musical passion in California’s Coachella valley, the inspirational beauty of Louisana’s bayous, and beyond - 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!