It’s hard to make it there, says a very interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal (the article is behind a pay wall, I think). Evidently everything from processed cheeses to tomatillos to corn fit for human consumption can be very hard to come by. That’s a big frustration, certainly for foreign food chain operators, but also for food truck entrepreneurs seeking to pull off higher-end versions of American and British lunchtime staples. Where do you get pastrami in Paris? Who knows?
Personally I’m conflicted about French fast food. On the one hand I’m a great believer in innovation and think that people should be able the foods they want. A typical American, in other words. Right now a lot of young urbanites in Paris want access to fast foods (albeit in upscale versions) since like office workers everywhere they’re busy and don’t have time for table service in the middle of the day.
On the other hand it seems a bit of a shame. I think many Americans, while we like to make fun of stuffy French attitudes toward food, also admire the way the French have managed to stave off modernity for so long and stick to their culinary guns. It’s part of the reason so many of us like to go to France! So I suppose, reading the article, I didn’t have great sympathy for the vendors who had a hard time finding the right beef for their Philly cheese steaks. All that changed when I read about the guy who couldn’t find good hot dogs. I’m a born and raised Chicagoan. Access to top quality hot dogs, I believe, should be a universal human right. Can the U.N. intervene here maybe?