human behavior

Freedom fries at the Louvre

Posted in American Culture & Politics, Anti-Americanism by humanb on October 7, 2009

The AP reports that McDonald’s will be opening a restaurant in the underground food court adjacent to the Louvre.


I appreciate that McDonald’s has infiltrated most corners of the world, and I have even digested that it is curiously popular in places you wouldn’t expect.

I’ve ‘dined’ at the McDonald’s in Rome and been shocked to find it packed with Italians. Aren’t these guys the experts on fresh, quality ingredients?

I’ve easily found my way to the McDonald’s in Jerusalem – thanks to numerous signposts displayed whichever way you turn – reading “McDonald’s 100 metres”. That place was boomin’. But aren’t these guys trying to promote kosher restaurants in the city? (Actually, if memory serves, I think someone claimed this particular McDonald’s was kosher.)

I was never surprised to find McDonald’s popular in Australia. But as Australian cuisine continues to evolve under Asian and Mediterranean influence, I am surprised to find ‘Mackers’ as they call it, still the busiest restaurant on a block (after Burger King – a.k.a. Hungry Jacks).

I suppose it should therefore not come as too much of a surprise that the French, despite their discriminating palate and culinary expertise, can appreciate a triple cheeseburger. But the French don’t just like McDonald’s. They friggin’ love it. Of the restaurant moving to the Louvre:

The pairing could serve the interests of both. The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum; France is McDonald’s top market outside the United States.

In France and elsewhere, McDonald’s is emblematic of U.S.-driven globalization and the homogenization of cultures. However, the fast food chain’s chief executive, Jim Skinner, said in an interview published Monday that the reason McDonald’s is such a hit in France, where it has over 1,000 outlets, is that “we are perceived as a French enterprise.”

The McDonald’s on the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue is the most profitable in the world, he said.


I’m sure tourists are in large part responsible for the success of the restaurant on the Champs-Elysees, but there must be a significant proportion of French enjoying a Royale with Cheese.

Who would have thought that the French would be gourmands for freedom fries?

Maybe nobody likes Americans because we give them heart disease.


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