The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 14

From Paris to the Loire Valley, and everywhere in between, how to live like a millionaire in Nice on a budget, French island hopping, a fairy tale chateau and Monet's Garden in Giverny. Everything you want to know about France and more.

Another lesson was

Another lesson was during the election for the European Parliament. About a dozen political parties had slates of candidates running. The conservative party had a televised rally to fire up the troops and get out the vote. We decided to watch it, figuring it would give us insight into the important political issues of the day. Plus it would be good for our French. It is in the most unlikely places that you learn what moves French hearts. A few days later the results came in and the conservative party was the big winner. They far outperformed the pre-election polls. Most of the speeches were boring, with the usual applause lines. There were shoutouts to dignitaries in the audience, potshots at the competition, promises to lead France boldly into the future. The crowd clapped politely but there wasn’t a lot of real enthusiasm. Then things got exciting. The final speaker was wrapping up his speech and wanted to go out on a high note. “We will work with the European Union on initiatives like the electric car," he thundered, "but we will defend ourselves against those bureaucrats in Brussels when it comes to important French interests like"...(dramatic pause)... "RAW MILK CHEESE!” Suddenly, the crowd went wild, cheering and stamping their feet, throwing things in the air. It was like Charles de Gaulle had just liberated Paris. Val turned to me. “Did he really say raw milk cheese?” she asked. “That’s crazy!” The next day we asked some French friends about this. It’s true, they said, and they were outraged. They explained that there was a move afoot to force cheese makers across Europe to pasteurize their milk. “This will make the cheese tasteless!” they cried. “Tasteless food – the English must be behind it! “ "Tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are..." Jean Anthelme Brillat- Savarin (was a French lawyer and politician, who gained fame as an epicure and gastronome. The famous raw milk cheese is named after him... Lesson #2: Never underestimate the power of cheese. Keith Van Sickle splits his time between Silicon Valley and Provence. He is the author of One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence. Read more at Keith's blog: Life in Provence.