Adventures in Culture and Travel

29 August, 2011

Beignets - French Doughnuts in your kitchen or your mind?

So it's like my birthday. I'm going to be 17 tomorrow... and mom & dad gave me a World Market gift card to ease the pain of spending another birthday in America. I promptly drove over to High Point road and entered the market like a drug feign needing her next fix. It's how I balance the whole reality of finding one's self in a world she doesn't belong in. As Sam Tyler might say "Whichever strange place you find yourself in, make that your home".

So I exited with my drugs. Some Japanese apple sake, a couple bottles of Belgian monk made beer, some Italian wine-infused sausage, several British chocolate bars, and something I've been wanting to try for quite awhile. Cafe Du Monde's Beignet Mix. So you might be wondering why I've not bought it before? Well, first of all, deep-fried doughnuts aren't the healthiest thing in the world (but it's my birthday, so 'what the hell!?') and this mix is from the French Quarter, not France- but Beignets are French:

The word beignet is French for fritter or doughnut meaning "to raise".The early French colonists of the 18th century brought the recipe and custom of making fritters (fritters beignets) to New Orleans.

So being I had a week-long "Being Erica" marathon, and I needed something French, I decided to give it a go, and I'm glad I did. Cafe Du Monde's Beignet Mix is the perfect answer to a weepy, emotional week of door unlocking and epiphany bringing television. So the first thing to do is for you to imagine a door and walk through it... suddenly you're in my kitchen rolling out the dough:

The cool thing is you just add water and mix, roll it out like biscuits and cut it into squares. Light up the deep-fryer, or a cast-iron pan with oil and drop the gooey French goodness into the bubbly:

It only takes about 1-2 minutes per side, and they're done. Talk about fast-food, you've got to love the French. They puff up to a golden brownish color which is then sprinkled in powder sugar:

I'm told you can also fill the beignet with your choice of creams or fruit fillings, or butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. If you're going with the Cafe Du Monde version of the beignet than they should be served in batches of 3 with a lovely cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

And that's it. I sat down for Erica therapy with my coffee (though not from Goblins :( ) my beignets and my fantasies of Toronto, Paris, and Cafe Du Monde in Louisiana. It's like having a little box of regrets in my pantry that I can pull out at any point, deep fry, and eat so that they become part of me.

28 August, 2011

Gavin and Stacey | For the love of God, bring it back.

We just got the recently released series "Gavin and Stacey" through Netflix. Highly recommend it to all. It's seriously one of the best TV dramas I've seen in awhile. It's much like a chick flick type of love and cry movie but broken into a series.... but it was amazingly fantastic.

Basically it chronicles a love story of a boy from the city falling in love with a girl from the country. The two families and their "normal" lives as they collide. I honestly haven't laughed as hard as this in years. Oddly enough the writers are in the show....

I think one reason this show hits home with so many people is you see yourself and your family in much of the characters. For instance Bryn West who is played by Rob Brydon reminds me so much of my father in law. He's so amused by the simple things in life... like the Internet, and digital cameras:

"It's got sepia... although i think it's faulty because it just makes everything look brown"

and protecting his niece:

Bryn - "If I show you how to use the rape alarm and you go to London, England and come back Sunday raped. It's not on my conscience and I'll sleep easy at night coz' I showed you how to use it."

Nessa reminds me of our friend Becky in some odd way:

Assistant: Nessa, you look fabulous

(Nessa waddles in wearing a black PVC dress)

Nessa: I know, I feels it...

Then there is the two moms. These scene reminded me remarkable of the the movie Fools Rush in which deals with the taboos of a rich wealthy Caucasian, marrying a Hispanic girl in Vegas and their subsequent cultural clashes.... As a couple we always identified with the movie because of the huge differences in culture in our family.... so this made us laugh too:

Pam - “Barry Island? You're having the wedding in Wales? Over my dead body. Where you having the reception, on the log flumes? Hot dogs and candy floss served up by some gyppo on a donkey???”

Gwen - "Perhaps Stacey doesn't want to get married in Essex. What is she going to do here, totter down the aisle in a mini skirt and white stilettos?"

Pam - “Shut it you leak munching sheep shagger!”

Seriously... Queue this series immediately...

27 August, 2011

Fanciest Mickey D's Ever? | European Café McDonald's

So I mentioned it before the trip, but had to share. On the last day of our trip we hunted down, Orlando's uniquely one-of-a-kind European Cafe McDonald's- one of three themed Bistro Gourmet McDonald's exclusive to the Disney World area.

This new McDonald’s features in-house chefs providing such pleasures as gourmet pizzas, Panini sandwiches, coffees and delectable desserts.

The two-story restaurant, complete with a two-lane drive-thru, has the appeal of a European café and is outfitted with walls of glass windows encompassing the spectacular view of both Sand Lakes.

This was as close as I was getting to Europe on this vacation. In fact, oddly, it may have been the highlight of my trip. If I squinted real hard I could pretend I was Europe. Actually no I couldn't, this was nothing like the McDonald's in Europe. This was a bastardization of Europe, a Americanized impression of romanticized European fast-food; however, I didn't quite care. This is what a McDonald's should be. Breakfast Enchiladas, Belgian Waffles (technically nothing like them), and tons of other uniquely freshly prepared foods. Chance loved the waffles, and me and Shannon got this sausage and egg croissant sandwich which included two layers of eggs, two patties of sausage, cheese, romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Huge. Definitely not very European... much more American, but then again- distinctly different.

The kids wanted to go upstairs of this castle facade McDonald's where there was trash cans that audible munched your trash, and balconies served for a place for you to sip your coffee. Gourmet Bistro, and the European Cafe McDonald's may not be anything like what real Europe is like, but it's also nothing like anything we have in America- especially in the fast-food landscape- which made it very refreshing.

One thing we did notice though, is that we were the only one's ordering from the Bistro Gourmet menu. Is that the reason we don't have "better" food on every street corner, do people detest freshly made food with a twist in place of recycled, over processed automatically assembled generic adaptations? Or do we just hate Europe that much. I'm not sure... but please McDonald's bring one to Greensboro.

26 August, 2011

Lost in Austen : Watch it.

A Time Travel Romance Movie For Europhiles!
I've read it so many times now the words just say themselves in my head and it's like a window opening, it's like I'm actually there. It's become a place I know so intimately I can see that world, I can touch it.

Probably one of the most favorite things I've had a chance of watching in quite some time was ITV's mini-series called Lost In Austen. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. If you love Darcy, love Jane Austen, and if you love quirky time travel plots, then this is must. Better yet, they're making it into a movie for the U.S. market. Sadly it probably will lose some of it's greatness because it's Americanized, but go Netflix this version which is about 3 hours long. You won't regret it.

Mr. Bingley: We shall have 25 children and name them all 'Amanda'. Even the boys.

It stars one of my favorite British actors, Jemima Rooper, who is just wonderful playing a modern British woman who accidentally stumbles upon a door to the world of pride and prejudice in her bathroom. In a Alice in Wonderland style, she switches places with Elizabeth Bennet who takes her place in Hammersmith in 2008.

Amanda Price: [to herself, incredulous] Elizabeth Bennet is lending me her mobile.

It's really too great, of an idea... and if you've ever read some of my writings then you'd know this is so me. Jemima's interpretation of Elizabeth is so-o me. Which is actually quite ironic if you knew what was going on in my life right now. (shhhh....) So go watch this. It's a perfect Friday night date video, worthy of a proper pizza and a package of twizzlers.

Amanda Price: What's the deal here? Are we live on cable or something? Is this like the Jim Carrey thing, but period? Where are the cameras? Come on! What are you after, guys? A bit of girl-on-girl action under the covers? What do I have to do to get out of here? Snog her? Show you my pubes?
Lydia Bennet: What have you done to yourself?
Amanda Price: That's called a landing strip, Lydia. Standard pubic topiary.

So go on, go rent it....

24 August, 2011

From (a goat in a Argan Tree in) Morroco with Love...

As many of you know, my sister is somewhere deep within Morocco staring at goats. She sent us a lovely postcard of some goats in a Argan tree. Interesting thing about Argan trees is that they produce a fruit/nut which produces Argan oil. One of the rarest, and most expensive oils in the world. (Because the trees only grow in one place: Africa) Cool thing is, while it cost hundreds of dollars here in the States she can go up to one of the Berber women there and buy a coke bottle of the stuff to bring home to me. I will cherish it and keep it on a shelf to stare at.

The tree is a relic of the Earth's Tertiary Period, which ended about 1.6 million years ago, and it grows in only a few other places in the world. It is tenacious, withering and fruitless during extended droughts, and it lives as long as 200 years. So there was alarm that the Argania spinosa, as the tree is properly called, was headed for extinction, along with its precious goat-related oil. (cite:wikipedia)

So if you're ever in Morroco and you see a woman run up to a tree and start beating it silly with a huge long stick... she's either a) knocking out the Argan nuts, or b) knocking out the goats.

23 August, 2011

"I Realize The Entire Horror Of My Nature" - Mankind

One of my more favorite hobbies as of late is watching French music videos. One in particular stuck out for me sung by an artist called Zazie. It got me thinking about how the song is an almost perfect description (within a few sentences) of our history as a species. While I do concede it does tend to show us in a not so glowing light, one can not argue the truth of the facts. The song begins at mankinds begining as cavemen and ends with man becoming "Gods" (Kings) [in their self belief] and through their idiocy and consumerism they become their own punishment as they destroy the earth and themselves. Armagedden musical art... or simply a metaphor for a breakup of a bad boyfriend? You decide. (or maybe you see it completely different?) Either way it's a really cool song:

I'm alone and then millions
At war whatever the season
I make love and the revolutions.

The king of illusions
I build the world my way
out of gold and concrete

I'm in denial, my reality
learned through television.
Product of consumerism

I am doomed.

It's me, the master of fire,
The King, the master of the world
And see what I did,
My frozen Earth, my scorched lands.
The Earth that men abandoned.

I realize the entire horror of my nature

One of the key verses in the song, I didn't completely comprehend when I originally wrote this was the "walk around" bit.... Because in the song they use "tourne en rond", and I wondered why not just use "walk" aka "marche"? Anyways my professor cleared it up.... Tourne en rond is a phrase meaning "trying to go somewhere but not going anywhere" literally "running around in circles"....

Really some deep stuff for a eco pop-singer... of course we here in America have Britney Spears...

It's rather tragic.

21 August, 2011

Give your child a better life... Leave them in Europe.

So this article got me thinking. While I doubt they were trying to better their children's lives by dumping them in Italy...

The mother, Caterina Remhof, 26, and her partner, Sascha Schmidt, 24,
abandoned the children after ordering a pizza at a restaurant in the northern town of Aosta on Sunday, according to police.

I'm wondering, how often it happens internationally? I mean we all grew up with movies and cartoons that depicted the downtroddened mother leaving a basket on somebody's door with a message that says "take good care of her" attached. Mexican immigrants often send their children ahead of themselves to better their lives. I'm just thinking with the state of the economy, the super poor health care in the U.S. and so many people being out of work, that if you were a mother what better thing could you do then abandon your child in a wealthy nation with low crime, great health care, and prosperous expectations. Sweden comes to mind.

I'm not suggesting people do it, (and of course it wouldn't work well if the kid can speak) but it does seem like a sacrifice that might be worth making if your walking the streets, lost your home, and can't get a job.... Use those forgotten frequent flyer miles one last time, and find a nice hospital waiting room corner to set the child in?

Perhaps there's an argument that doing so is even better than putting them in the American adoption system? There are arguments to be made that they would find a loving home, quicker because of Sweden's more inclusive base of adoptive parents.

20 August, 2011

Jacques Brel - Ne Me Quitte Pas

Was introduced to Jacques Brel today and fell in love with the song 'Ne me quitte pas'. Just had to share... watching the expression on his face, and poetry of the lyrics.... wow. What a beautiful song. Of course the first youtube comment made me laugh too.

That’s me in the background, they chose me cos I can stare meaningfully into space.

Interestingly enough Sarah (who is currently in Belgium) responds to me telling me "You know he's Belge?" I'm like, "yeah" I learned that two hours ago. I then ran home and played it for Shan..... now I'll share with you:

Don’t go away If you can’t forgive Believe, just to live You must forget Forget the times You misunderstand Let them slip through your hand With the sand of time Forget those hours When ‘perhaps’ has died At the hands of ‘why’ And our lack of faith Don’t go away Don’t go away Don’t leave

Me, I’ll offer you pearls Made out of the rain That falls in a world Where rain never falls I’ll ransack the earth By day and by night To cover your body With gold and with light I’ll make a domain Where love will be king Love will be everything You’ll be the queen Don’t go away Dont’ go away Don’t leave

Don’t go away I’ll invent for you Words just meant for you And you’ll know what’s meant And I’ll tell you the truth About how other lovers Looked into each other And how they were moved Then I’ll read to you The story of kings Who lived without meeting you Died without knowing you Don’t go away Dont’ go away Don’t leave

And just when you think The volcano’s expired The craters turn pink And the ash turns to fire In a charred barren land You can still be surprised Wheat suddenly stands Like a dream of Julys When the sun sets In a brilliant sky The black and the red Never touch as they die Don’t go away Dont’ go away Don’t leave

Don’t go away I won’t cry anymore I won’t talk anymore I’ll crawl under the bed And I’ll watch you from there As you smile and you dance And I’ll listen to hear How you talk, when you laugh it’s enough In the shadow of you shadow In the shadow of your hand The shadow of your man Don’t go away Dont’ go away Don’t leave.

17 August, 2011

London Dominos

Domino's Menu
Well I thought I'd start off by writing about a few of the experiences we had over in London. I'm certain I'll get to the more common ones here in the next few weeks, but to get back in the groove, I wanted to post this. We had two opportunities for Pizza in London while we were there. One time was at the Camden Market made by an authentic Italian, who wore more Ferrari symbolised clothing then anyone I had ever seen before. His pizza was unique, and mind-blowing... almost unidentifiable then anything I've ever had before. It was cool, but then again almost all the food in Camden is. But one night, we ordered Dominos, purely out of convenience. The odd thing is, no matter wherever we ate we were unexpectedly surprised by how much different the UK counterparts of food were to our American versions. Which was really neat in its own right.

Take for instance this menu at Dominos. In the states, a supreme would be called an Extravaganza and have typical American toppings, but in the U.K.? Sweet corn? Yes, sweet corn! For us this was another instance of Brit's healthy adaptation of life. They sneak veggies in everywhere there. What makes it even more odd is their "Full House" pizza aka "UK Extravaganza Supreme"... has pineapple on it. Sweet corn & Pineapple????? I've heard of Hawaiian pizza, but pineapple, corn, and pepperoni? You can check on the menu I scanned for the other oddities, but clearly they have different preferences there.

As for the actual pizza, as with almost all comparable food, the food (proportions) are smaller. Another interesting thing, and it's not really as though I missed my ounce of soda in a can, or the fact their crust is much, much thinner than the US version. It also didn't seem as glutenous.

The coolest part is the crust dipping sauce included with the pizza. I know Papa Johns does it over here, but their Dominos includes a butter-garlic sauce with every pizza. I assumed it would be like papa johns, but it wasn't. It was more like a garlic ranch sauce, which was awesome, because you know how I love ranch.

If you ever want to know why Americans are fat here's the secret, the food. While the UK Large is 13.7 inches and the US version is a close 14 the big difference comes in the fat and ingredients. The UK Full House Pizza is 8.7 grams of fat per slice. The US Dominos version (Extravaganzza) is nearly double at 16 grams of fat per slice.

The truth is, unless I actually looked it up, I would have never known. Little things like that add up. If the 8 grams of fat is too much, the London Dominos we ordered from allowed to you to order a low-fat version of cheese, or Goat cheese.

But based on taste and healthiness, I'd clearly say that U.K. Dominos is a much better improvement over the U.S. version.

Mario's Cafe Bar - Westhougton -"The £10 Breakfast"

This guy looks a bit too much like Dustin Hoffman
You know, I tend to think of North Carolina being the queen of places to get great breakfasts. I missed my chicken biscuits, bacon and gooey, greasy country ham biscuits when I spent a few years in California. I feel it's one of the perks of being a citizen of NC to be able to get biscuits and gravy almost 24/7 here... and don't get me started on redneck heaven: "Waffle House." (Unfortunately it's not a house made really out of waffles.) The problem is, I think we had it handed to us on this one. Lets say you're hungry. Like 5,000 calories of food hungry. Where do you go? Apparently to the airport for a 9 hour flight. Why should some place in Britain offer this gastronomical atrocity, while local governments look-on and do nothing?

For just over £10 (£10.95) patrons of Mario's Cafe Bar at 67 Market Street, Westhougton will serve you the fullest-full English breakfast in the country. At 5,000 calories (two days worth), owner Mario Frappola will deliver to your stall a platter the size of small bus covered in the following:

10 eggs, 10 sausages, 10 rashers of bacon, 10 slices of toast, five black pudding slices, tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans.

£10 may seem like a great deal, but how about free? That's right, gratis! Mario, personally will double-dog-dare-you to eat his monolithic breakfast, cotton-mouthed, without a drink in under 20 minutes, and if you do... the meal is on him. Dr Atkins would be proud, your heart doctor; not so much.

Somewhere in NC, someone is reading this from their hover-round scooter on their laptop while in the McDonald's drive-thru asking "Why me?"

Knorr Aromat in America?

I get a little upset when I realize there's some product that is supposedly "really darn good" that most of the rest of the world is familiar with, but I can't have because I live in America. Spent nearly 3 weeks tracking down something called Knorr Aromat as it was a part of my "recipe research" and I believed it was a part of a recipe I was trying to clone. It wasn't, but in the process, I did find out that this is an amazing seasoning. It's called Knorr Aromat, and from many of the reviews online, apparently most of Europe, especially Sweden and Germany, pour this stuff on every food they can imagine. Why do we not have it in America if it's so good? I had to try it for myself.

So I started looking locally. Food Lion, Harris Teeters, even World Market. Couldn't find it. Then I looked it up online. Found tons of retailers supposedly selling it, but when you went to check out, it would say "out of stock". Even went so far to place an order, then got an email a few days later saying they couldn't get it, and none of their vendors could either. I was perplexed. Finally I hit success a few days ago with these guys, a caffeinated mint company that also imports other products. I got the package today and they even sent me a sample of their mints, so I was so chuffed!

If you're interested in trying Knorr Aromat, it's only $8.99 and here's the link I ordered it from.

I immediately opened it and it smelled sort of like French Onion soup, potato chips, and all-season salt. Decided to try it on a burrito and it was really, really good. It wasn't what I was looking for, for my recipe, but I can see how addictive this stuff is. With my minuscule experience with the product it appears to turn everything from vegetables to meat into a rich aromatic McDonald's French Fry taste. In fact, I bet it's killer on potatoes. Give Knorr's aromat a try if you're looking for a new way to cook or impress yourself.

So why can't we have it in America?

16 August, 2011

Hiraeth and The Homing Human - The Internal Calling

Homing Pigeon (Chicken?)
And I'd never in my life been so happy.

All my life I've wanted to see London. I used to go to English movies just to look at streets with houses like those. Staring at the screen in a dark theatre, I wanted to walk down those streets so badly it gnawed at me like hunger. Sometimes, at home in the evening, reading a casual description of London by Hazlit or Leigh Hunt, I'd put the book down suddenly, engulfed by a wave of longing that was like homesickness. I wanted to see London the way old people want to see home before they die. I used to tell myself this was natural in a writer and book-lover born to the language of Shakespeare. But sitting on a bench in Bedford Square it wasn't Shakespeare I was thinking of; it was Mary Bailey.

I come of very mixed ancestry, which includes an English Quaker family named Bailey. A daughter of that family, Mary Bailey, born in Philadelphia in 1807, was the only ancestor I had any interest in when I was a little girl. She left a sampler behind, and I use to stare at that sampler, willing it to tell me was she was like. I don't know why I wanted to know.

Sitting in Bedford Square I reminded myself that Mary Bailey was born in Philadelphia, died in Virginia and never saw London. But the name persisted in my head. Maybe she was a namesake. Maybe it was her grandmother or great-grandmother who had wanted to go home again. All I knew, sitting there, was that some long-dead Mary Bailey or other had finally found a descendant to go home for her.

-The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helen Hanff
One of the concepts I've written about off-line this year was hiraeth, a Welsh concept vaguely similar to homesickness. As I read the follow up book to 84 Charing Cross this morning, I felt the above passage demonstrated the concept of hiraeth well.

What draws us to certain places, why does the concept of yearning for our ancestral home rise up in some of us, while others are so blind to the concept they spend their entire lives without leaving the same county, or state?

Is it some sort of built in homing signal in our DNA, like a pigeon bred to always return, some us are designed to find our way back home?

Is it coincidence I grew up one block from Wales road, or that my grandmother gave me a Teddy bear named Cwtchy, a name I never realized was Welsh for 'hug' until last year by some serendipitous discovery? This, my most beloved childhood toy, I had now passed on to my children. The night I found out, I ran into their room grabbed Cwtchy and immediately laughed and cried at the idea I was 32 years old squeezing my childhood teddy bear which I had just now discovered was Welsh, my grandmother dead, and I could no longer tell her I went home just months before. Why she chose that name is, and will be a mystery for ever more but something inside me wonders if Grandma didn't have a bit of hiraeth inside of her too.

15 August, 2011

I want to be an illegal immigrant. | Fake British Passports

See, I need to find me some local news producer wanting to do one of those undercover news stories to fund my pet project. I want to become an illegal alien, and I believe for a few thousand dollars I probably could pull it off. Basically you need a fake passport, and you're practically good to go. The cost? About $1500.00 and you too can fly to Europe, find employment and get free health-care. Sounds good, right? Skeptics are saying it can't be that easy! But it is. See here or here. You can easily order them online as 'camouflage passports'.

What's more is after talking to many of my friendly Nigerian scammer aquaintances, the way to go is "Student Visa". It's the real deal, and you can even work part-time. All you need is a bank account that "shows" you have the funds set aside for college, and an acceptance letter. Okay then, but where are all the Nigerians (regardless of their intention to actually go to school or not) coming up with the money for tuition? I didn't know know Nigeria was such a rich country? With tuition in the neighborhood of £9000-10,000 to go to a University like Swansea or Cardiff, how in the world are they affording it? They must be faking it somehow. I of course am not going to risk my real identity and fake papers. I'd be devastated to be banned from Britain, and sure as crap can't afford $16,000 right now.

What amazes me about all this is that it can still be done in a post 9/11 world. While even if I got my hands on steady work through a fake visa, it's utterly mind boggling that it would pass immigration, but according to the above articles... they have, and do.

So until News 2 calls me up for an in depth story, I'm thinking of heavily going to my local community college this summer. $50 a credit hour, and they take anyone, including me.

The Choker. Why so serious?

Learned an interesting tid bit the other day that just fascinates me. The choker, a woman's necklace- typically a ribbon worn tightly around the neck, is a fashion trend that is derived from the "Reign of Terror" during the French revolution when people were beheaded on the guillotine. The choker represents the slice mark of the blade.

As the Reign of Terror was winding down, social gatherings called "bals des victimes" or "victim's balls" became popular. It is thought that perhaps the balls were a cathartic means for people to freely express their emotions over the horrors of the Revolution. Basically, to get in to these functions you had to have had a relative who was beheaded. I like those odds! As with most scenes, members had a particular dress code known as "costume a la victime." Both sexes would wear mourning clothes or the plain, shabby attire they were left with in the wake of the upheaval. Women would wear red ribbons around their necks, mimicking the bloody slash of the guillotine.

Le Royal Deluxe

Of course the quote below is the infamous line from Pulp Fiction where John Travolta's character explains how the American Quarter Pounder became Le Royal Cheese when it emmigrated to France.

Jules: Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?
Brett: No.
Jules: Tell him, Vincent.
Vincent: Royale with cheese.
Jules: Royale with cheese. Do you know why they call it a Royale with cheese?
Brett: Because of the metric system? 

Of course more recently I watched the movie "From Paris with Love" where Travolta: a shoot-em-up American agent, takes a break from terrorism for a Royal Deluxe. The movie was complete crap, but that one darn ironic line has made me about mad for a Royal Deluxe since I've watched it. Craving it like a mad woman... Luckily I went on a 3.5 mile bike ride today, followed by a 1 mile walk and I decided it was time to allow myself McDonald's for lunch. Of course in the backwoods of central North Carolina, the closest I'll come to the French version of the Royal Deluxe is the oddly coincidentally named Angus Deluxe. It's a suitable replacement to its French counterpart due to it's high-end mayonnaise, (also high calorie). Burgers are burgers, but the French know their mayonnaise, and this one (the American one) mixed with mustard is spot on. (Though the sandwich is 1/3 lb not a 1/4 for us U.S. fatties.) I mean, hold up- wait a minute... Is the American's symbol of fast food secretly disguising a French favorite, the burger every French person loves... as an American item without a disclaimer? [i]"Warning you're about to eat a burger that will infect you with Obama care and make you a socialist!"[/i] What? Hmmm... that's almost treason. I guess for now they're enough different to keep most Americans confused, while I, if I squint real hard looking at Chiquita- my toothless slobbering drive-thru concierge, can pretend I'm on Avenue des Champs Elysees noshing on a Royal Deluxe.