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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.

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