Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cultural Differences

I don't really think very often about the fact that Frederic and I are from different cultures. After all, we are both from Western countries, and I've lived here for over 10 years now, so I'm pretty acclimated. But every now and then something comes up that reminds me.

I cam across this little gem of a reminder yesterday, when decluttering in preparation for my parents' visit. This is what happens when you have a French husband who feels the need to explain why his country's cheeses are superior to American cheese.
In the first diagram, you have French cheese. Milk, with its naturally occuring bacteria, ferments to make cheese. This is ideal, says the French husband ("yum yum!").
That gives you a lovely fermented specimen like this one.
They call that white fuzzy stuff the "fleur" [flora] in French. It does sound nicer than "6 months of good bacterial growth," doesn't it?

Back to our picture: In the second diagram, you start with pasteurized milk, and thus no bacteria. You have to add bacteria to get cheese, but you add limited types of bacteria, so the cheese is boring, bland, and tasteless, says the French husband ("heck!" - I think that is meant to be "yuck," but we'll let it slide). I'd have to agree that the cheese in the picture below looks about as appetizing as plastic.
photo by Steve Spring, Nikon D70,, 11-28-2005.

Maybe for our next cultural differences lesson, we can get him to explain the process of making escargots. That one is always a big hit in my family.


Jordan said...

Haha! I loved that drawing. Good to see it still makes the rounds.

Claire said...

We were discussing cheese just today at lunch....we were wondering what those "Americans" were cheddar wins out with me anytime.