One thing you have to keep in mind when comparing the U.S. to any other country is: we’re pretty damn big, geographically speaking.
France is a little smaller than the state of Texas. But wheras Texas has a population of 25 million. France has almost triple with 62 million people living in the same area. Talk about cramped quarters.
Especially when most of the population is centered around the biggest cities. In fact - one sixth of France can be found in and surrounding Paris. (where I live)
Yeah- In case you were wondering - Das a lot uh people.
In order to accommodate everyone, the government built lots of absolutely ugly shoddy sky rise apartments (outside of Paris, so as not to disrupt the beauty of the city). Houses and apartments are built smaller and are getting smaller every year. Most places don’t have yards and if they do, there’s a barrier built around it so that nobody can see into your business or easily get into your house.
Roads are small. Cars are smaller. Those stereotypical French mini cars aren’t just for show- they’re a necessity. And, ofcourse, French kitchens are just ridiculous. My fridge is about half the size of an American fridge- same goes for my washer and dryer. When I cook a turkey in my oven, it looks like I’m roasting a human. The cabinet sizes in my apartment are pitiful. Which brings me to what I originally set out to talk about today:
Portion sizes. Little French house + little French kitchens = little French products.
With the small country, small roads, cars, and houses- it’s almost bizarre that the people aren’t smaller here than in the U.S. But then again ,they sort of are- in width rather than height if ya get mah drift.
Boxes of cereal here are about the size of a regular hard cover book. Boxes of rice about the size of a paperback. (I knew you writers would get these references:)
In the photo below I have French products on one side and a couple American products I brought home on the other. I can fit a box of cereal, a box of milk (because we don’t buy it fresh in jugs but rather sterilized in small 1 liter cartons) and a bottle of soda in the same area as an American bottle of mustard, jar of peanut butter and maple syrup container.
Here we have a jar of peanut butter taken from the U.S. and the jar of fluff taken from France. See the difference? I can’t even fit my peanut butter into my cabinet for crying out loud.
Which is why I’m almost freaked out by the enormous quantities offered in the supermarkets when I go back home to the U.S. Don’t even mention Sam’s club. It makes my palms sweat. Whenever I went grocery shopping those first few weeks home I kept wondering how the hell my parents planned on fitting everything into their cabinets. I’d forgotten storage space in American homes are about the size of my bathroom here. And it’s not just food. Bathing products like soap and shampoo are all sold in smaller bottles here than in the U.S.
Even though I gotta say american homes/cars/countrysides are so much more comfortable than the french and really inspire 'the BIG american dream' in most european countries- humans make due with the little space their given. If only we could be like those crocodiles or gold fish that only get as big as their environment allows. But then again, if that were the case- the french would be midgets.