One of my first writing jobs (you know, the kind that actually pay you) was for Princeton Alumni Weekly, writing alumni profiles. So when they contacted me last month to write a feature essay on anything I wanted about food, I was over the moon. I thought to myself, “Now I’ve made it!”
I think my editor expected something foreign and fabulous from an ex-pat alum, who spends her life italicizing French dishes and phrases on this blog. But it was for the November issue, and as always when that time of year rolls around, my thoughts turned homeward. Many a weeknight will find me raving around my apartment (or, rather, flat), shouting at Mr. English while we try to put together our Ocado order (that’s British for Fresh Direct), in disbelief over the unavailability of key, essential items. Half sour pickles. Jumbo shrimp (seriously). Thick slabs of steak. Blue cheese dressing. Corn bread. Rainbow cookies.
It feels like such a deprivation that when I go home I plan my meals out months ahead of time, and never miss an opportunity for a real American hot dog, or a giant wedge salad, or a ice-packed shrimp cocktail.
The essay will give you my perspective on why, though I left the States and pursued a love for French cooking, American cuisine is not only my absolute favorite, but also on the rise here across the ocean. Check it out!
And a huge thank you to Catherine Meurisse who did the fabulous illustration. It made me feel like a big timer getting a bespoke illustration, and she couldn’t have captured my sentiments more exactly!