Our travels around the world have now brought us to France, a country with which almost every traveler develops a relationship or at least dreams of developing a relationship with. A country which brought us Athos, Porthos and Aramis with their most popular catch-phrase “All for one, and One for All”; a country which gave us Asterix and and his gluttonous large-hearted strong friend Obelix; a country which brought us the Eiffel Tower, fashion and croissants; a country where art is revered and artists are worshipped.
France has long since been a global center of art, science, and philosophy. It hosts Europe's fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, the most of any country in the world. It has historical and strong links with cinema, with two Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumière (known as the Lumière Brothers) having created cinema in 1895. The nation also hosts the Cannes Festival, one of the most important and famous film festivals in the world.
Fashion has been an important industry and cultural export of France since the 17th century, and modern "haute couture" (high-end fashion) originated in Paris in the 1860s. Today, Paris, along with London, Milan, and New York City, is considered one of the world's fashion capitals, and the city is home or headquarters to many of the premier fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and so on. The French perfume industry is the world leader in its sector and is centered around the town of Grasse.
French cuisine is reported to be the finest in the world and is also regarded as a key element of the quality of life and the attractiveness of France. Michelin Guide - a French publication is the oldest hotel and restaurant reference guide which awards “Michelin stars” to a select few establishments/restaurants around the world. A traditional French meal often consists of three courses, hors d'œuvre or entrée (introductory course, sometimes soup), plat principal (main course), fromage (cheese course) and/or dessert, sometimes with a salad offered before the cheese or dessert.
What's inside this box?
Brioche Pasquier French Mini-Toasts
These are delicious crunchy little toasts you can eat with just about everything. We recommend them to be used as appetizers, in soups or as quick snack bites. The Pasquier Mini Toasts are ideal matches for servings of foie gras, smoked salmon, cheese, etc. but we highly recommend pairing it with tapenades, especially black olive tapenades (which as luck would have it, is what we included in our box for you :-) ).
Delices Du Luberon - French Black Olive Tapenade
Traditionally, tapenade is made from the small, black olives (from the region of Provence). The story goes that, in ancient times, olives would have been preserved in amphoras of olive oil, to re-emerge, when required, as a full-flavored mash – the origins of the modern tapenade. The tapenade can be served as an hors d'oeuvre, in a small bowl, surrounded with tiny toasted bread slices or crackers, but this Provencal favorite is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of French wine.
St Michel French Mini Madeleine
The Madeleine is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France. Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape and are great with your morning coffee or even as a dessert item along with your favorite fruit with a spot of ice-cream to top it off. Yum! This traditional French snack is loved by everyone French and this bag of mini madeleines by St Michel come out fresh with a hint of butter in every bite.
Oui Love It - Langues de Chat Cookies
Based on the ingredients and the cooking technique used to create these divine cookies, it is believed that the very first Langues de Chat came out of a French oven in the 17th century! The literal French translation of the “Langues De Chat” is “Cat’s Tongue” and true to that the shape of each cookie does resemble the shape of a cat’s tongue. So if the advertising is to be taken true, this popular tea-time snack will make you “purr……”.
Carambar Candy - Mixed Fruits
Every adult remembers that one candy they used to gorge on when they were kids. If I were to pose that question to most French nationals this candy would be the one they would remember. In 1954, Mr. Fauchille, director of the Delespaul-Hazard company, and Mr. Gallois, an employee, had a surplus of cocoa and decided to create a new, original recipe to use it up. The legend says that one of the machines in the factory was malfunctioning, making the long bars that still exist today. This chewy sweet, in the form of a bar, was named Caram'bar. We have included the fruit version of the famous Carambar in this box and are certain that this delicious French treat will delight both children and adults!
St Michel Galettes
“Everything began with the little secret recipe of Joseph Grellier, pastry chef at the Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef, in the 1900s. He cooked round and golden patties in his wood burning oven which he baptized - Galettes St Michel. One fine morning his wife Constance had the idea of going around on his cariole and offer these patties to the beautiful ladies of Paris who came to dip on the beaches of the coast”. The idea was born and it succeeded over the past century to bring it to be a French favorite, appreciated for its delicate buttery taste and crispiness. If you look closely you will see that each galette is imprinted with the figure of the archangel St Michel.
TopMunch was formed with a mission to educate people about the different cultures in the world. The learning curve is incomplete if people do not understand the native language, and with this, in mind, we present TopPhrase. TopPhrase provides our customers with basic phrases and their usages in each country so that everyone would be able to conduct basic conversations with locals of that country.
This month, we are traveling to France, where the official language is French - a Romantic language of the Indo-European family. French is the official language in 29 countries and is also the primary or second language of many international organizations including the UN, the European Union, the International Olympic Committee, NATO, WTO and International Committee of the Red Cross.
|Good morning||“Bonjour” (bon-zhoor)|
|Good afternoon||“Bonne apres-midi” (bon ah-pre mee-dee)|
|Good evening||“Bonsoir” (bon-swah)|
|Hi/ Hello||“Salut / Bonjour” (sah-loo / bon-zhoor)|
|My name is…||“Je m'appelle...” (zhuh mah-pel...)|
|How are you?||“Comment allez-vous?” (kom-mohn tah-lay voo?)|
|Fine, thank you||“Bien, Merci” (bi-en, mer-see)|
|Please||“S’il vous plait” (see voo play)|
|Thank you||“Merci” (mer-see)|
|Nice to meet you||“Enchante” (ahn-shahn-tay)|
|Excuse me||“Excusez-moi” (ehk-kew-zay mwah)|
|You’re welcome||“De rien” (dah ree-ehn)|
|Goodbye!||“Au Revoir” (oh-reh-vwar)|
|I Love You||“Je t’aime” (zhuh-tehm)|
|Do you speak English?||“Parlez-vous anglais?” (pahr-lay voo ahn-leh)|
|I don’t speak French||“Je ne parle pas le français” (zhe ne parl pa le fronsay)|
|Where are the bathrooms?||“Où sont les toilettes?” (oo sahn lay twa-leht)|
|How much does it cost?||“Combien coûte-t-il?” (com bee-en coo-teel)|
|It’s Expensive||“C'est cher” (See shehr)|
|I am sorry||“Je suis desole” (jhuh see de-solee)|
|I do not understand||“Je ne comprends pas” (jhuh nee kom-prohn pah)|
|What’s your name?||“Comment vous appelezvous?” (kohn-mahn voo zah-play voo)|
|Where is ____?||“Ou se trouve_____ ?” (oo suh-troov ______? )|
|the train station?||“la gare” (lah gahr)|
|the bus station?||“la gare routiere” (lah gahr roo-tyer)|
|the airport?||“l’aeroport” (lehr-oh-por)|
|Today||“Aujord hui’” (oh-zhoor dwee)|
|Next week||“La semaine prochaine” (lah suh-mehn proh-shehn)|
|Help Me!||“Aidez-moi!” (aidi mwah)|
|Stop! Thief||“Arretez! Voleur” (ah-reh-tay! Vu-leurr)|
|Taxi!||“Taxi!” (tak see)|
|I’m lost||“Je suis perdu” (jhuh see per-duu)|
|Can you help me?||“Pouvez-vous m'aider?” (poo-veh voo meh-dee?)|
|21||Vingt et un (va[n] ty uh[n])|
|71||Soixante et onze (swah-sah[n]t ay oh[n]z)|
|150||Cent cinquante (sah[n] sa[n]-kah[n]t)|
|200||Deux cents (duh sah[n])|
|300||Trois cents (twah -sah[n])|
|500||Cinq cents (sa[n]k sah[n])|
|800||Huit cents (weet sah[n])|
|900||Neuf cents (nuhf sah[n])|
|2000||Deux mille (duh meel)|
We, at TopMunch, aim to provide our customers the opportunity to experience the different cultures in its entirety. If you were to travel to this country, you would need in your kitty a guide to take you around the different local sights along with tips about how to gain an experience that can be preserved in your treasure chest of memories.
With this in mind, we present to you our travelogue – TopTravel through which, we will not only be opening your eyes to the different sights in a country but shall also be helping you plan your next getaway or vacation to that country.
France is the world’s top tourist destination and for good reason. There's a lot packed into just one country – artistic and architectural masterpieces, remarkable museums and natural landscapes, and a history extending far beyond the Romans. To top it off - fine wine, food and a culinary culture that permeates through every city and small town in France!
Paris: Paris - the capital city of France is one of Europe's major centers of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. Paris is known especially for its museums and architectural landmarks. The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world outside of China. The Musée d'Orsay is noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. The central area of the city along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site and includes many notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle on Île de la Cité, the Grand Palais, Petit Palais, the Eiffel Tower and the adjacent Tuileries Garden.
Lyon: Lyon - known for its gastronomy and cuisine is also famous for its famous light festival “Fete des Lumieres”. This occurs every 8th December and lasts for four days, thereby earning Lyon the title of “Capital of Lights”. It also holds a special place in World Cinema since the Lumiere brothers invented the cinematograph in Lyon. The Institut Lumiere (Augustus Lumiere’s home) houses some of the earliest cinematic and photographic effects.
Toulouse: Toulouse is the center of the European aerospace industry since it hosts the Galileo positioning system, the Aerospace Valley, and the headquarters of Airbus. Toulouse is also home to Saint Sernin-Basilica (the largest Romanesque church in Europe) and the most beautiful pipe organ in the whole of France.
Things to do in France
- Walk around the rebuilt fortifications in the reconstructed Roman camp of Alésia Museoparc. It is amazing to think that this was the very spot where Julius Caesar defeated the chief of the Gauls Vercingétorix once and for all in 52 BC. The actors dressed up as Roman legions and the battle demonstrations are particularly entertaining!
- One of France’s strangest attractions - Postman Chavel’s Palais Idéal, is an extraordinary example of architecture and the story behind it is just as astonishing. The palace was built by postman Ferdinand Cheval who for 33 years, since 1879, collected single stones to construct what he called a Temple of Nature - a building built independent of any artistic trend, with no architectural rules in place.
- In the heart of Paris, there is a flying attraction which can be enjoyed by everybody - the Ballon Air de Paris. It is the biggest tethered air balloon in the world where people can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the capital from the skies.
- What is the strangest museum you’ve ever visited? Now you can add the Paris Sewer System to your list. Here you can follow the history of the city’s drainage system from its first ever sewer system in the 1200s, to the epidemics of the dark ages, and to the creation of the modern sewer system of Paris.
- La Butte aux Cailles is one of the Parisian neighborhoods not yet invaded by global chain stores, where most of the neighborhood remains traditional. Imagine narrow cobblestone streets, eccentric restaurants, cafes, art nouveau architecture, and tiny houses, all of which are reminiscent of an earlier era of Parisian life.
- Bask in the shores of the French Riviera - the seaside town of Nice with its cutting-edge art museums, belle époque (beautiful early 20th century pre World War 1 era) architecture, pebble beaches and legendary promenade.
- Visit Champagne - famous for its world-renowned viticulture. Stay in Reims or Epernay and visit Pommery, Mumm, Moët & Chandon and other big-name champagne houses around the area.
- Melt into the beauty of the French Alps - especially during the ski season (December to April) when insanely challenging slopes and trails entice adrenaline junkies from everywhere. For everyone else, the majestic mountain panorama from the top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car is the best there is, whatever be the season.
- Walk by the I Love You Wall (Le mur des je t’aime) in Paris’ Jehan-Rictus Square, which was created by two artists as a rendezvous location for lovers and a lasting monument to eternal adoration.