Little Greens

Every country, every culture has its own peculiarities, which may sometimes seem rather odd, if not utterly insane, to foreigners. As a French young man, there is one thing that I find disturbing about the United States of America and that I had long forgotten until last week.

On my way to California, for yet another, and hopefully last, internship, the fine gentlemen of United Airways presented me with a meal that brought back dreadful memories about US way of life. That meal contained broccoli.

I hold no grudge against broccoli as such. It is, after all, just an ill-colored variation of a cauliflower, which tastes just a bland. And yet, America seems to crave broccoli. It’s been a week since I landed in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, and I have already encountered these little greens countless times. That is, at least once and probably no more than four times. American restaurants seem to know of only two sorts of vegetables: broccoli and meat.

I would be more than happy to overlook this distasteful choice but broccoli farmers apparently possess a monopoly of some sort in this country. See for yourself. Go to your favorite supermarket and count the number of frozen meals that contain broccoli. Then count the number of varieties of frozen broccoli you can choose from.

Supermarkets have more sorts of frozen broccoli than us French citizens have swear words. And believe me, we do have a lot of them, bordel de merde. Can someone explain this to me? Is it because broccoli looks so weird? It sure does make me think of little green fellows with large and funny hats.

I am flummoxed.

12 Responses to “Little Greens”

  1. Bug says:

    Have you never pretended to be a giant, eating a tree?
    Surely then you’ve tried brocolli?

    Seriously. Cauliflower is a stupid pretend vegatable that only the English try to make edable to drowning in strong cheese. Brocolli however is an inoffensive, vitamin rich, vegatable, and if you haven’t worked it out yet…. the rest of the world does not always see food in quite the same way as the french (and possibly the italians)… We think it should taste great too… but fundamentallly eating is a way of staying alive and healthy, not of having great conversation with good friends as the sun-sets on another beautiful day in the Loire.

    At least, that’s always how I’ve stereo-typed the French. For them, food is foreplay for life. For the rest of the world, it’s a bit like washing up.

  2. Romain Guy says:

    I remember being shocked when visiting Finland where, indeed, people seemed to see food as only a means of survival.

  3. Bruce Boughton says:

    In Finland, they might well. I believe they need a vegetable-rich diet to give them enough vitamins, because they get less from the sun.

    Anyway, broccoli is a brilliant vegetable. Broccoli, peas and carrots…. mmmm-mmm!

  4. Romain Guy says:

    The only acceptable vegetable is meat!

  5. As Newman says, “Vile weed”…

  6. Thanks to the first President Bush (or maybe his liberal opponents) it is politically incorrect to dislike broccoli.

    I heartily agree with Romain…

  7. herve says:

    It is always surprising to read food is just a way of staying alive for a french citizen !

    What about sex (just a way to reproduce ?)


    ps :
    Brocoli is ok but not everyday !
    Et la ratouille, ils connaissent ?

  8. Bug says:

    The Broccoli wars began in early 2007 with an innocuious blog posting by French programmer Romain Guy. It is hard to imagine now as we look back on the devistation caused that so much could be destroyed over vegatables and tight swimwear.

  9. Vegomatic says:

    The French eat horse and donkey meat, frog legs and snails and you’re complaining about a little broccoli? Come on! :-)

  10. Romain Guy says:

    That’s meat! Meat’s good! Why eat beef and not the other animals? Speaking of which. Chinese folks eat even more kinds of meat than we do. I’ve tried dog and snakes last summer in China, and it tasted good.

  11. Pop says:

    Hoy! The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, this is SCOTLAND! @#!
    Oh? No…sorry, my genes playing tricks on me again.

    Eating broccoli is like eating a small boiled forest. Next time, check there isn’t a small logger trapped inside.