Sunday, March 04, 2012
Little French Lessons: A Sunday Surprise
Growing up, I was always a glazed doughnut girl. My lifelong favorites. They're called beignets here and, as you probably know, there are no holes in a beignet. But during this carnivale season, a few boulangeries around town offer a specialty of what we, in the US, know as doughnut holes.
They make their appearance on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the result of people getting rid of the flour, fat and sugar in their pantries to prepare for lent.
Soft pillows of dough flavored with orange flower water are fried and given a roll in granulated sugar. They're almost a taste of home.
But there's a catch: you have to know what to ask for because in French these little gems are called pets de nonnes (pronounced pay deuh known)...
...and the translation? Nun's farts. Yes, you read that correctly.
For all the politesse required here in France, there are some things that seem like such a disconnect from that very basic value. I'm still trying to figure out this language...and the French, for that matter. Perhaps they can get away with such things because everything sounds so much better in French. Perhaps it's because nuns' farts actually *do* smell like orange blossoms. I wouldn't know.
It does begin to make the whole French idolization of Jerry Lewis make sense...but 'nuff said.
Class dismissed. (And please refrain from teasing the nuns on your way out!)
Yours giggling away,