Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Roughage rabies

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When my best friend was in town for a day, I took him to my favorite pizza place in Paris. We shared a fixed price menu of two pizza choices and a salad. The latter was not to my liking. I blamed the roquette lettuce (too bitter) and he told me that it was arugula.

This was one of those words from my previous life that feel like they’re trapped in a fog in my mind. I knew that arugula was a kind of lettuce but hadn’t been in an English store in so long, I couldn’t remember what it looked like. Plus, I was sure it was roquette lettuce and told him so. “I think it must be the same as ‘rocket lettuce’ which I’m pretty sure exists.” He agreed that “rocket lettuce” is a thing but assured me that he was eating all the arugula because I didn’t like the arugula.

It was one of those annoying moments that stuck in my mind and was so irksome because I was almost 100% certain that I was right but I wasn’t 100% certain that he was wrong.

You see where this is going, right? You’ve probably known all along what it took me ages to figure out: arugula and roquette and rocket are the same thing. Stupid languages, making me second-guess myself.

Arugula roquette rocket

Check something out

America’s Test Kitchen, the TV and podcast division of Cook’s Illustrated, is the best. (Today’s screen shot is from their online cooking school.) In one of my parallel lives, I stayed in Boston and worked for them, testing cooking equipment and taste-testing cheeses and developing the easiest fool-proof recipes. Their TV show is the best of its kind since it’s about cooking, science, consumer information and food. Their website and newsletter are also significantly great.

Lessons the Cos taught me

I call all kinds of lettuce “roughage” because that’s what Bill Cosby did on his show in the 80s. Remember when the whole country watched the same thing every night at the same time? That’s totally weird to think about now, especially if you actually go back and watch some of those old shows. Most of them are not good.


Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

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