What do Americans in Paris do on July 4th? I can’t speak for everyone, but I eat a burger. In years past, I’d invite friends for a hamburger dinner, complete with all the ‘fixins’: bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, relish…and serve them with cole slaw and potato chips. It wasn’t so easy to organize at the time — buns were hard to find and American style bacon was a specialty item. Even the cheese squares were not an ordinary item on the grocery store shelf.
All that has changed in the last five to ten years. Now, there’s a burger on every café menu in France and some of the French are starting to learn to eat them with their hands instead of a fork and knife! So, there’s no point in dirtying up the kitchen any more, just to slave over the grill when any café in town can come up with the goods. Unfortunately, it’s just not the same to celebrate Independence Day surrounded by the French eating hamburgers as if they were Coq au Vin!
One year eons ago I attended a Fourth of July Barbecue sponsored by one of the American organizations at a beautiful château outside of Paris. We met at the Trocadero and boarded a bus to take us to the event. Military men had volunteered to cook the burgers (and hot dogs) over big grills. Unfortunately, the rains came pouring down, killing the fire on the grill so that the burgers and dogs weren’t getting cooked. People in line to fill their plates were getting hungry and subsequently ornery. Little verbal disputes ensued among the members. Only a part of the seating was covered and everyone who couldn’t find shelter was getting drenched. Those who had the shelter didn’t want to give up their seats. It was a ‘memorable’ occasion and left a bad taste in my mouth (not to mention, hungry), so I never joined the organization (which shall remain nameless!).
Sometimes Democrats Abroad is inviting – to attend, just RSVP to email@example.com.
What you could also do, is take hamburgers from a foodtruck, go home and watch this movie: