Le Gland

Photo: a mini gland © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

Leave it to the French to create a pastry called “the Gland.” Sounds a little strange in English, right, but what does it mean in French? Well, it means “acorn.” It can also mean something else a little less arboreal and more anatomical … but I’m not going there. I’ll let you do it: Google Translate.

Read the rest of this entry »

The French 75

The French 75

So, judging by the traffic on the Facebook pages of my friends back in the United States, the French 75 is all the rage these days. I can understand why. This classic concoction of gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and champagne is quite refreshing on a hot summer day—the perfect elixir against the oppressive heat currently smothering South Carolina or DC, where most of my American family and friends live.

Interestingly, this cocktail was created at the New York Bar in Paris back in 1915 by the barman Harry MacElhone (who later acquired the New York Bar and changed its name to Harry’s New York Bar). I say that this is interesting, not because I happen to be in Paris while this drink is apparently undergoing a renaissance in America, but because my perception of Harry’s New York Bar was soured during my first and last visit there on July 4. (You can read about why here.) I swore off Harry’s after that, but maybe I owe it to myself—and to my friends who are French 75 fanatics—to go back at least once more to imbibe this classic in the very place of its birth. And maybe this time, the waiter will actually know what I’m ordering. Continue reading The French 75