Wednesday, May 5, 2010

France Fun Facts

While researching France I found some interesting facts to share, but first I want to tell you about a book written by a friend of mine, Margot Justes. Margot and I give food and travel programs at libraries and will be presenting “A Taste of Italy” at 7 p.m., Monday, May 24 at the Elk Grove Village Library, 1001 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove, IL. If you live in the area, come by for a beautiful slide presentation and tasty treats!

Margot was born in Poland and has lived in some of the world s most wonderful places, including Israel, France and South Africa, and has traveled to many countries worldwide. Her book, A HOTEL IN PARIS, features Minola Grey, an American painter who decides that a trip to Paris is just what she needs to re-capture her muse. Soon after her arrival, a murder in the hotel disrupts her peaceful contemplation. Pick up a copy to see what happens next!

In the meantime, check out some Fun France Facts that might surprise you!

1. France is the largest European country in terms of land area after Russia and Ukraine.
2. French people cheek kiss to greet each others between family and friends, even between men. The number of kisses varies according to the region, from 1 (e.g. in the tip of Brittany) to 4 (e.g. Paris and most of the North), and occasionally up to 5 in Corsica (wow…a bit much for me!)
3. According to a 2004 IFOP survey, 44% of French people are Atheists (How sad.)
4. The French are the world's biggest consumers of psychotropic drugs. About one fourth of the population admits having taken anti-depressants or tranquilizers over the past year. (Hmm…any connection to Fact #3???)
5. Nicotine was named after Jean Nicot (1530-1600), a French diplomat and scholar who introduced the tobacco plant to France in 1559 (from Portugal).
6. In France, in exceptional cases, it is possible to marry a deceased person with the authorization of the President of the Republic. (Okay…why? And one more comment…ewww.)
7. Famous French inventions include the adding machine, the hot air balloon, the airship, the parachute, the submarine, the ambulance service, photography, animation and cinema.
8. 72% of the adult French population finds it difficult to understand French wine labels.

My final post on France will provide some interesting sites and another recipe
. Stay tuned!


  1. But I'll bet they have their drugs with cream. They know how to eat! Had pizza there is '70 and it was wonderful!

  2. I love anything French, Paris is a stunning city and I have to go back every few years for what I consider therapy, they have great shoes in Paris.
    I learned something new fromo the fun facts you mentioned.
    Susan, thank you so much for such a wonderful promo for A Hotel in Paris.
    Margot Justes
    Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger's death changes her life.