Rooster Nation

I am a big fan of facts and geography and history and stuff. Everyday when I browse the web, read newspapers or magazines or even overhear people’s conversations, my mind sort of picks on little tit-bits of facts and figures and what-not here and there…

It was no surprise then that I learned a lot of new facts and trivia-like stuff on France while I was reading the ghastly news of Avian flu outbreak in France in The New York Times. I learned that the Rooster has been the national emblem of France since ancient Gallic times adorns official seals, church steeples, the garden gate of Élysée Palace, even the uniforms of the national soccer team.

The New York Times reports that, in the early 17th century, King Henry IV declared the right of his subjects to have a chicken in the family pot once a week, and even today, the ritual family lunch on Sunday is defined by a perfectly roasted chicken.

I’m a big fan of french food and I like the French atittude to liesure and all things good in life. Their cooking is more elaborate and detail oriented and very rich in form and texture. Like Indians they too take the time and prepare their dishes. The French women smell the big chunks of cheese in the French markets before they buy it. That makes the whole shopping, cooking, eating experience much more pleasurable. Unfortunately in America if you want to do it you have to go to a high-priced organic store… and the cheese is still wrapped in transparent wrap foil.

Today I learned how important the bird is to the elaborate French palatte. And I can truly sympathize with how this flu strain has affected the French lifestyle, not to mention the economic loss to the bird farming industry. So let’s hope this flu business is taken care of soon. Because when I visit France sometime in the near future, I still want it to be the “Rooster Nation”.

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