Food confusion

Last night, David decided he wanted to make fajitas. So we went to Leclerc and finally found the tiny international section (international meaning Mexican and Chinese). There was one brand of fajita mix, Tex-Mex something, so we grabbed it and started collecting the other ingredients… onion, pepper, chicken… and corn? I never ate Mexican food much in the US because I can’t handle spicy food, but I’ve never heard of a fajita made with corn.

A lot of French people ask me about Mexican food because they seem to be fascinated by it. Unfortunately, I don’t even really know the difference between an enchilada and a burrito. I described tacos to David and he seemed to want to try them. Though there was a little miscommunication with the word tortilla. Apparently in North America, a tortilla is the soft shell used to wrap up the food, while in Spain and South America, a tortilla is an omelette with potatoes.

There was a similar confusion with the word kebab. In France, kebab refers to döner kebabs, which are similar to gyros or shawarma, eaten with pita bread. But when I hear the word kebab, I think of shish kebabs, pieces of meat shoved on a stick and cooked over a grill (les brochettes).

Not that I ever really eat these types of food. I’m still a pasta, pizza, nutella, and cereal girl.

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  • Destination Metz

    Kebabs in Australia are doner keba thingys. Very popular with drunk people after a night out! I’m kind of confused about Mexican food as well. Surely it has to be the most universally perverted food in the world, in that every country seems to have a different version of it which resembles nothing like what one would probably get in Mexico or South America.

  • Destination Metz

    Kebabs in Australia are doner keba thingys. Very popular with drunk people after a night out! I’m kind of confused about Mexican food as well. Surely it has to be the most universally perverted food in the world, in that every country seems to have a different version of it which resembles nothing like what one would probably get in Mexico or South America.

  • Jennie

    That’s exactly what it seems like. The French version of Mexican food is so weird!

  • Jennie

    That’s exactly what it seems like. The French version of Mexican food is so weird!

  • dw

    When I lived with a host family I made them chili. They ate it, but it was incredibly obvious just how much it weirded them out.

  • dw

    When I lived with a host family I made them chili. They ate it, but it was incredibly obvious just how much it weirded them out.

  • Leah

    Hmm, I have never heard of corn in fajitas. I actually taught my roomate what fajitas soon after I got here and she LOVES them and will make them on her own now fairly often. I’m so proud…hehe. I agree with you, though, about pasta, pizza, nutella and CEREAL. MIAM MIAM!!!

  • Leah

    Hmm, I have never heard of corn in fajitas. I actually taught my roomate what fajitas soon after I got here and she LOVES them and will make them on her own now fairly often. I’m so proud…hehe. I agree with you, though, about pasta, pizza, nutella and CEREAL. MIAM MIAM!!!

  • Crystal

    I love fajitas sooo much…they are the first thing I eat when I go home. In Canada, when I hear kebab I also think of the bbq kind (meat and veggies roasted on the bbq). To me, a tortilla is the soft taco shell and a taco is made with the crunchy shell? I miss North American food so much..it gets a bad rap, but seriously, I would take a cheesy (mozzarella, not emmental) pizza over paté or steak tartare any day!!

  • Crystal

    I love fajitas sooo much…they are the first thing I eat when I go home. In Canada, when I hear kebab I also think of the bbq kind (meat and veggies roasted on the bbq). To me, a tortilla is the soft taco shell and a taco is made with the crunchy shell? I miss North American food so much..it gets a bad rap, but seriously, I would take a cheesy (mozzarella, not emmental) pizza over paté or steak tartare any day!!

  • frog4america

    “I miss North American food so much..it gets a bad rap, but seriously, I would take a cheesy (mozzarella, not emmental) pizza over paté or steak tartare any day!!”I’d take an evening at any Chevy’s over an evening at the finest french restaurant with 3 stars in the Michelin guide. 6 years since i last had one of their outstanding chicken and beef fajitas.

  • frog4america

    “I miss North American food so much..it gets a bad rap, but seriously, I would take a cheesy (mozzarella, not emmental) pizza over paté or steak tartare any day!!”

    I’d take an evening at any Chevy’s over an evening at the finest french restaurant with 3 stars in the Michelin guide. 6 years since i last had one of their outstanding chicken and beef fajitas.

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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