We spend all summer in America…well, specifically New Jersey…on the sandy beaches, enjoying crabs and clams, the sun and heat, the diversity of New Jerseyans. It is so nice to return to our roots and family after spending the rest of the year in France. I was thinking of what to write about this summer while spending the two months here. It is not an easy summer. My dad is still sick and weak and is recovering from a bad bout of pneumonia in April plus the effects of his devastating stroke. There are so many health topics I would love to share here to continue to encourage everyone to take control of their personal health! But it hit me a couple of days ago, after laughing and enjoying a HUGE ice cream cone, labeled small; when it was really HUGE. YES, this summer I will write little stories about our cultural “shocks” or differences between living in France and America and the impact of these differences on our health. So, I am very happy to present…
Part 1 of the Summer Series: Differences between France and America; Portion Sizes
Gotta love the portion sizes here in America, you really get your money’s worth. Took the kids to play miniature golf today, at a fun place that was connected to an ice cream take out. How so cool, how so American! After playing a long round of miniature golf it was time to get the ice cream cones. So many flavors to choose from, yet my kids only like the basics: vanilla or strawberry. My oldest says that the other funky flavors like cotton candy or moose tracks taste so “synthetic.” So, we order the boring flavors, and portion size: SMALL , and I am emphasizing SMALL because what a shock when the cones were handed over to us. They each looked like the Tower of Pisa, and each cone must have had at least 4 scoops of ice cream on them. My 11-year-old daughter said “These would be like extra-large in France!” and I thought “no, maybe like extra extra large”… You know, I do get shocked on how big American portion sizes are and find it sometimes almost over the limit on finding food appetizing when it is so much of it presented at one time. And for our ice cream cones…how do you take home an unfinished ice cream cone? (Should you even leave an ice cream cone unfinished)? But my four and six year old kids just couldn’t finish them and left most of it to melt. Everything here is big in America, including the take out coffees, drinks, dinner entrees…why? What happened along the way that we want and can actually finish these huge portions? Do you agree with me? Do you find the portions too big? Or do you think that we pay a lot and should have these oversized items? Compared to France, the food and drinks served over here in New Jersey are just so much bigger. Are too big portion sizes adding to our obesity problems, especially in children? I think so. But the consumer asks for this, so the demand is there. The customer is king!
Yes, the customer is king (or queen!) Our ice creams were served with a huge smile, and a frozen gummy bear on top, and a caring employee who brought out to our table a bowl of samples of all the “non-boring” ice cream flavors that my kids didn’t want to try. He was so friendly, which is a good transition to: Part II Summer Series: Differences Between France and America; Service With A Smile…coming up in a few days! Stay tuned and please submit your comments!