International Food Tools – France
Jackie Keller: Welcome to Food Exposed and our international cooking
series. You know, when I was a teenager I wanted desperately to go to
France and attend Le Cordon Bleu. I’ve been fortunate during my life
to travel the world and of course I got to do it. I went to Le Cordon
Bleu in Paris and I studied at the Chef’s school there but while I was
there I had a lot of spare time, too to tell you the truth and I did a
lot of shopping around and looking for little, unique, interesting
food tools and gadgets and little markets and you know it’s amazing
what you can find when you go to another country and you really get
immersed in what their food culture is like.
France is a nation of food lovers and the food culture is enormous.
There are over 5,000 restaurants in Paris alone and of course now that
I’m a health coach I’m always interested in how people manage their
health and how they manage their weight and that French paradox, you
know those low rates of chronic heart disease, they’re still a mystery
for us. Despite the fact that the French have a high amount of
saturated fat in their diet, we still don’t really know how they
manage to stay so slender. Some attribute it to the consumption of red
wine and the French do love to drink their wine. The French style of
eating and the low incidence of obesity kind of don’t mesh. We still
don’t get it. The obesity rates are among the lowest in the entire
European Union and particularly French men have some of the lowest
obesity rates on the continent and France has the second lowest
obesity rates among women on the European continent.
So there you go. There are three or four main approaches to French
food. First is the classical French cooking and that traditionally
uses cream-based sauces. That’s the way I learned to cook at Le Cordon
Bleu. There was cream and butter, cream and butter and everything was
made with either one or the other or both. But there’s also what’s
called Haute Cuisine, which is the most sophisticated and extreme end
of the French cooking paradigm, with very elaborate and elegant
dishes, a strong emphasis on presentation and then there’s Nouvelle
Cuisine, which is simpler, lighter, smaller portions, more emphasis on
seasonal and simpler ingredients and more what we see today among the
And finally, the Cuisine de Terrior, the rustic, local cuisine, the
local food traditions if you will, locally grown produce, locally
sourced meats, that’s a big thing right now in France. And joining me
today on Food Exposed is Inge Rouge. Inge is a Munich born citizen of
the world. She spent the past 34 years living in six different
countries with her great husband and her two fabulous sons. Inge,
welcome to Food Exposed.
Inge Rouge: Thank you very much.
Jackie Keller: Thank you for joining me, straight from Paris.
Jackie Keller: Well? Ooh-la-la, I thought we’d do a little classic French
cuisine today, but Nouvelle style.
Jackie Keller: So emphasis again on those locally sourced ingredients,
the simple, fresh herbs, the things that I know you grow at Primrose,
your home outside of Paris. So, our beautiful flower arrangement today
is fresh rosemary and the rosemary of course, you like to store it
like you do flowers, in a vase, right?
Jackie Keller: Did I understand; you put the stems in water and put it in
a vase and that preserves it?
Inga: Yes, it does.
Jackie Keller: Do you have to refrigerate it after you do that or can you
leave it out like roses or carnations or something?
Inga: For a couple of days you can leave it like that.
Jackie Keller: Really?
Jackie Keller: Wow. Well, we’re going to use this rosemary to make some
interesting chicken as I understand it, right? Using this handy dandy
herb stripper tool, it’s called an herb stripper. I’d never seen one
of these before. I understand that you find them in Paris fairly
frequently. So, show us how it works.
Inga: Okay. So this has to go. It had been off, but I put it back on to
make it look nicer.
Jackie Keller: Okay. So you just take your regular piece of rosemary?
Inga: You have a regular piece of rosemary. Here you have different sizes
and I think this one will do just fine. And while we pull it through
it will also measure.
Jackie Keller: Wow.
Inga: Sorry, I…
Jackie Keller: That was not a good one.
Inga: …ripped it off. It was not a good one.
Jackie Keller: Let’s try another one.
Inga: All right.
Jackie Keller: It measures the…
Inga: It measures the leaves already.
Jackie Keller: Oh, how cool. Well, you know cleaning fresh herbs like
this is so tedious. It takes forever to get the needles off of things.
So I see you don’t take it all the way off.
Inga: No. I think it looks really pretty if a little bit is still present.
Jackie Keller: And now what? We have some chicken here.
Inga: We have some chicken here and now I just…
Jackie Keller: We’re going to make chicken rosemary skewers.
Inga: Chicken rosemary skewers, yeah.
Jackie Keller: And these are popular in France, where people grow herbs
in their own gardens and in window boxes, I understand because not all
the French have their own…
Inga: Not in Paris, not in Paris.
Jackie Keller: …homes outside of the river or on the river like you do,
Jackie Keller: So how much chicken do you put on the skewer? A couple of
Inga: Maybe one more. A small one. This one. This is perfect.
Jackie Keller: And then would you marinate this or would you grill it?
Would you pan saute it? What would you do with this?
Inga: Every three possibilities are possible.
Jackie Keller: Okay. And would this be in France, if we were in France
when would we eat this?
Inga: You would eat that probably for dinner, because for lunch you are
out. Most of French people work and they would go out for lunch so it
would be dinner.
Jackie Keller: So brown-bagging is not the thing, huh?
Inga: Not really. Oh, no. They like going out to restaurants and to have
really, they don’t speak of work; they eat their three course meal and
have a glass of wine.
Jackie Keller: At lunch?
Inga: At lunch.
Jackie Keller: Oh my goodness. Wow. That sounds like my kind of place.
Inga: Think about it.
Jackie Keller: I don’t know how you go back to work after having a glass
of wine in a two hour lunch.
Inga: I know, I know.
Jackie Keller: So you set these things up, now I also have some basil.
Now this basil is on a very stiff stem. This is some that I grew in
Inga: Ah, that would work nicely.
Jackie Keller: Should we try that zip stripper thingy with that?
Jackie Keller: Okay.
Inga: I’ll use this one here or this one.
Jackie Keller: Oh I see, there’s different sized holes.
Inga: Yeah. Right.
Jackie Keller: That’s so clever, those French.
Inga: Very clever. Look, it’s done.
Jackie Keller: Wow. Look at that. You know half the time, I’ll tell you
the truth. I don’t even cultivate this basil and use it in my food
because it’s so much work to get the leaves off. This thing is great.
Okay so we made some ahead of time and so this is what they look like
when they’re cooked, right?
Jackie Keller: And that is really a very pretty presentation, very
unique. And it tastes like rosemary?
Inga: It does.
Jackie Keller: It does? Shall we taste it?
Jackie Keller: All right. Let’s see. I could be very gauche and just eat
it off the skewer.
Inga: Why don’t you?
Jackie Keller: Okay. All right. There you go. Here. Mmm. I love the taste
of rosemary. Wow. This is wonderful.
Inga: Very nice.
Jackie Keller: Very nice.
Jackie Keller: And just enough rosemary. Just enough rosemary, because
sometimes rosemary can be pretty overwhelming.
Inga: It can be overpowering. That’s true, yeah.
Jackie Keller: Lovely, lovely. Well thank you for showing us this zip
stripper. And then I think you can use the herbs for all kinds of
Inga: For all kinds of things. Now you can chop them up and put them
wherever you want to.
Jackie Keller: Okay. Great. Well, I appreciate your joining me today for
Inga: My pleasure, again. Thank you very much.
Jackie Keller: And I hope you’ll tune in for another segment of our
international cooking series. If you’d like this recipe or any of the
others on our show, go to the Food Exposed page on EmpowerMe.TV. And
thank you for joining me today. For more Food Exposed check me out on
EmpowerMe.TV and until next week remember, make food your best friend
and exerciser companion for life.