Whenever I thought about post-grad life, I envisioned hole-in-the-wall apartments, cubicles, crowded subways, and sad desk lunches. Although it sounds overly pessimistic, I was convinced these things were a rite of passage into "adulthood." But come senior year of college, I was feeling pulled in a very different direction. And by different direction, I mean a whole other country.
Throughout college, I did everything I could to learn more about food, from reading Michael Pollan and Dan Barber to spending spring break of my senior year volunteering on an organic farm. When it came time to decide what my next step would be, I knew one thing for certain: It had to involve food in some way, shape, or form.
So I packed my bags, took a big leap of faith, and moved to a small village in the French countryside to teach middle school English, and, more importantly, to fully immerse myself in their gastronomic culture. Over the course of close to a year, I foraged through countless markets, experimented with making everything from beef bourguignon to baguette from scratch, and cringed as I tasted escargot, tripe, and gizzards for the first time.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, France was slowly yet steadily working its magic on me and completely changing my relationship with food in the process. Here are a few things I learned: