Friday, November 5, 2010


The French influences in Madagascar are obvious and omnipotent. Of course they ruled for many years, and still today there are at least 15,000 French living in Madagascar - more than in Algeria, Cote d'Ivoire or Senegal.

I'd like to write about the positive influence of the French in Madagascar.  It has four letters: E-P-F-D. Everybody knows the French love their food.
French influence in Tana

When we get invited by French friends, the meals last long. It's like dining in a 4-star restaurant, with an entree, plat principal, fromage and dessert, or EPFD as I call it. When there are other French guests the dinner conversation turns around what they like to eat, where the best artichokes are from (Bretagne), how awful the lamb meat in Madagascar is (true), where to buy the best strawberries (nowhere), who makes the best French bread in Tana (Divina bakery), and how to make an excellent rillette de porc (with pig head, love and patience).

After a year-and-a-half of rice and beans and beans and rice in Belize, where the culinary highlight of our week was Sunday lunch in a Chinese restaurant, we are really truly enjoying the food in Madagascar. The choice of charcuterie (cut meats), cheeses, fresh crispy baguettes, duck meat, fois gras... all the good French food has been well adopted here.  Of course you have to dig deep in your pockets but there's always the local variant for which you pay half or less.

Made in Madagascar
One good thing I noticed is that eating well seems to be contagious! Not a culinary person by nature to say the least - I'am more the bread and peanut butter type - I do enjoy trying to eat better and more varied, also for my daughter's sake. French kids are exemplary, they munch on artichokes and raw courgettes with vinaigrette, they eat crab and prawn!

There's only one problem I'm having with all this fancy French food and good eating habits. No, it's not the calories, it's not the fact that I have to go to three supermarkets to buy it, or the time it all takes to cook (read: have it cooked)'s the fear to receive the French! I am not sure if I am capable to do the EPFD thing!

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry about receiving the French! We found out that they're open to new things, so we serve them food from our part of Europe, the husband goes mad on Indonesian and Curries style food, and I just stick with my Belgian traditions.
    They love it! (just don't forget to have bread on the table and cheese at the end. Even though it seems weird with/after a stirfry!)