Brozer Flips French Genealogy

Bon Jour de l'action de grace!

Turkey 2014

It has come to our attention that, increasingly, the French are aware of and mildly curious about the American Thanksgiving. Ever ready to compare a new cuisine to their own, which they know is the best the planet has ever had to offer, many have, on their travels to America, tried the famous fare. 

"Not bad" has been the consensus of opinion among those we know. They know turkey well and often serve it at Christmas. Many really like traditional pumpkin pie very much, though some do not and prefer the "chiffon" version. Cranberry preserves are accepted and known since, for some time now, cranberry juice has been on sale in France for its healthful properties. Stuffing is frowned upon as gooey, tasteless and unnecessarily fattening. Sweet potatoes seem to be tolerated, but only if cooked as boiled potatoes, with a bit of salt, pepper, and herbs. The killer is corn bread. No one, absolutely no one with a French palate will touch the stuff.

However, one aspect of the holiday is very well understood - that of sharing. For every French person, a meal is not a meal if it is not shared. In spite of all the suffocating formality in some homes, at its core, every meal is an act of sharing and every invitation to a meal is an invitation to partake. They do it very well and consequently, appreciate that about Thanksgiving.

The superb American tour guide in Paris, Richard Nahem, has created a French Thanksgiving Vocabulary, which he has very kindly allowed us to reproduce here:


Thanksgiving - le jour de l'action de grâce
autumn, fall - l'automne
colony - une colonie
feast -   un festin, un banquet
football - le football américain
grateful (adj)  - reconnaissant
harvest  - la récolte
horn of plenty  - la corne d'abondance
native (adj)  - natif
(Native American) Indians  - les Indiens (d'Amérique)
November  - novembre
parade  - un défilé
Pilgrims  - les pèlerins
settlers  - les colons
to share  - partager
Thursday  - jeudi
tradition  - une tradition
traditional (adj)  - traditionnel
treaty  - un traité
tribe  - une tribu

For the Thanksgiving feast .... here are some traditional dishes.

food  - la nourriture
corn  - le maïs
cranberries  - les canneberges
gravy  - la sauce au jus de viande
mashed potatoes  - la purée
pumpkin pie  - la tarte à la citrouille
stuffing  - la farce
sweet potatoes  - les patates douces
turkey  - la dinde
yam  - un igname

Read Richard's delightful blog, Eye Prefer Paris,  to know more about life in Paris, and book one of his Christmas in Paris tours.

Happy Thanksgiving!


©2014 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy