A to Z : How to become a true French for the summer : the « F » words 3/3
How come that what is « French » in English is rarely French in French or (and) systematically derogatory. Some time, the adjective « French » is just a synonym for « sexy ». My advice : please do not translate « French » by « French » into French or you may get « F……d » ( Frenched).
To take the French leave which translate into French as « filer à l’anglaise » ( to take the English leave !) illustrates the mutual admiration between the French and the British. « La lâcheté française », is celebrated on every occasion, since the day when French Minister of foreign affairs Dominique de Villepin, in a famous speech at the United Nations, opposed entering the war with Iraq in 2003. A very courageous gesture for the French but an expression of weakeness, for the anglosaxons, and a reminder of the « great fall » when half of France was ready to capitulate in front Hitler instead of fighting.
On the French side, criticism rarely concerns the lack of courage of the Britons (or Americans) but, of course the callous perfidy of the English. « La perfide Albion » is a high concept invented by Paul Bossuet a catholic writer in the XVIIth century to describe the cunning atttitude of the English at the time of the Crusades.
French letter is a condom, please read my article :
French manucure that is to say as the pink nail with a distinguished white tip was invented in 1975, when film directors wanted actresses' nails to be in harmony with each wardrobe change. Jeff Pink, the founder Orly, a company producing nail lacquer company thought up this natural manucure style which made life easier for everybody. Mr Pink then travelled to Paris, where he had good friends and after runway models donned his new look, he named it "French manucure"… If you enter a French beautician, ask simply for « je voudrais une French » with a very strong French accent.
To French an onion, or to french-cut your onions means to cut the onion into thin wedges from stem-end to root-end. This gives you very thin strips of onion which will be the same length, ready for stir fries or caramelizing. You really need to be French to think in terms of the aesthetics of the onion, don’t you ?
French toasts, were not invented by the French, but by the Romans. The first reference dates back to 4th century, in a cookbook attributed to great cook Apicius ; il was called « Pan Dulcis ». The Romans would take the bread and soak it in a milk and egg mixture, and then fry it in oil or butter and eaten with powder sugar. It was called « pain à la romaine » « Roman bread ». In the middle ages this way of reviving stale bread became « fashionable ». It spread throughout Europe with the name of « lost bread », « pain perdu » in French, « Poor knights of Windsor » in English, « torriga » in Spanish and « Arme Ritter » in German. Taillevant, the creative cook of the Valois (French) king presented a recipe for "tostées dorées" in the XIVth century.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the first « French toast » appear in a cooking book in 1660, « the Accomplished Cook » but without eggs, soaking pre-toasted bread in a solution of wine, sugar, and orange juice. The first recipe to mention the use of eggs is the Dictionary of American Food and Drink in 1870. Hard to say why the French toast are French? According to the urban legend, it would be an Albany inkeeper who in NewYork, launched the dish in 1724 and whose name wouls be Joseph French. iBecause he had a poor sense of grammar, he would have written "French Toast" forgetting the apostrophe.
 Apicius Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling , recipe 296 (p. 172)