7 Dumb Myths About France You Probably Believe

There are tons of myths about France that most people believe: That French people are all gorgeous specimens who enjoy foie gras for every meal and turn up their noses at American food and culture. It’s an amusing fantasy, but are these myths necessarily true? Find out below!

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Everyone Who Visits France Goes to Paris

Paris is a world-renowned city for tourism, and attracts 32.3 million tourists per year. As the top tourist destination in the world, most people assume that if a person is traveling to France, they must be going to Paris. What people don’t realize is that there are tons of other parts of France that are famous: There are magnificent chateaus and cathedrals all over France, as well as places like Chamonix and St. Tropez that are prime outdoor vacation destinations.

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French Women Don’t Get Fat

Most people assume because French women tend not to diet, and generally don’t go to the gym, that some magical quality makes them permanently skinny. Only 10% of French people are obese, compared to 33% of Americans. There are a few things that differentiate the French way of approaching food to the way that is more typical in North America. Most importantly, French cuisine demands to be savored, rather than devoured all at once. On average, it takes a French person 2 hours to eat lunch.

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French People Don’t Like Fast Food

This is a very understandable myth, since French cuisine is world renowned for being decadent, delicious, and definitely better than McDonalds. However, since the pace of life in big cities like Paris, Marseille, and Lyon is picking up, more people are turning to fast food to provide a quick meal on a busy day. In 2013, for the first time ever, fast food revenue was greater than revenue from traditional restaurants in France. Many traditional boulangeries are cashing in on the trend, and supplying more fast meal options.

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Most Intense Long-Distance Marathons (Not for the Faint of Heart)

For those among us who love a challenge, these long-distance marathons and outdoor challenges are activities that can only be attempted after years of training, with the right gear, and only by those who are mentally ready to undergo such a feat. Here are some of the most intense and challenging marathons in the world.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from South Africa

South Africa’s incredible biodiversity and rich cultural heritage has given it a unique cuisine unlike any other place on Earth. There are visible influences from the Dutch, German, French, and Cape Malay colonizers, as well as indigenous dishes that have been passed down for generations. If you’re spending your next holiday in South Africa, here are some amazing dishes you must try.

Culture Palate: Dishes from Ukraine

Typically, Ukrainian dishes are hearty, filling, and made with a variety of cooking techniques. In one dish, it’s not uncommon for cooks to have to boil or fry multiple ingredients before they’re finished together in the oven or in a bubbling stew. If you’re visiting Ukraine, make sure to check out some of these dishes. If you get a chance to taste them in their ideal form, you can easily recreate them at home.