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Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ham and Pickle roll ups....in France

I made these special for the photo and then ate them.

I feed ham and pickle roll ups to the French… and they liked it.

Yes, yes, those ham and pickle rolls that you either love or hate; the things that appear at almost every family party and disappear faster than the 7 layer dip.  Many consider these simple snacks a lowbrow culinary disaster and a guilty pleasure.  I served them at the annual village party and I didn’t even get to fill up my beer before they were gone, and I put them down right next to me. Who says the French are snobs when it comes to food?

French food will always have its impeccable reputation, but there is a trend I’ve been observing: the appearance of American finger food.  Pigs in a Blanket are now listed on caterers’ menus and dips have been spotted at weddings.  Not that they are called Pigs in a Blanket or the French know and practice the “double dipping rule”, but these items are replacing the traditional dried sausage and olives.  There is something to be said about that, but for the American counterpart, I’ve also seen a change: Brie with fruit compote is replacing cheese balls and sliced baguettes are in place of Chicken in a Biscuit crackers (and oh, how I loved those crackers).  Do I think the American palette is destroying the French cuisine?  Absolutely not.  The French staples will always stay even though there might be an ebb and flow in food trends.  Philadelphia Cream Cheese has been available for years, but placed in the “English Section” of the supermarket it was ridiculously priced at over six dollars a packet.  No one was going to touch it.  (I’ve tried explaining it’s not English, but even with the “Philadelphia” in its name, my cries fell on deaf ears.)  Recently, reasonably priced store brand cream cheeses have appeared that have conveniently piggy-backed upon the appearance of the real McCoy on Top Chef.  Cream Cheese’s popularity is growing which has tempted me to venture into my culinary dare. It’s worth saying again: I feed ham and pickle roll ups to the French… and they liked it, no they loved it. 

Will I try to pull out something even more profoundly American at next year’s festivities?  Absolutely.  I’ve got a catalog of dip recipes that need to be dusted off and broken out.  Will I partake?  No, not yet.  The French are devouring our finger foods, but until they get the “double dipping rule” down, I’ll search out something else.  Maybe I'll make a cheese ball.... with crackers, Chicken in a Biscuit crackers.  That should do the trick.


  1. These are not real pickles, though, are they? Love these with cornichons, but it's not the same thing, is it? Kind of like the baguette instead of Chicken in a Biscuit. (I always thought those crackers were disgusting, btw. Sorry.)

  2. Oh, yes, they are made with real pickles! Until last year we would bring a jar back and horde it for as long as we could, but now I make pickles (fridge recipe - very easy) and have enough to share. I think I'll go eat one right now.