Friday, October 10, 2008

The French Chicken

Chiclette inspects macarons,watercolor on Etsy,
You'll see French chickens everywhere in Paris.
 In a chocolate shop window... As a decorative item - here a fat hen. And here a rooster. There a rotisserie used to display shoes.As window dressing or on a T-shirt bien sur. Easter chickens are displayed au natural in a pastry shop window on rue Montorgueil.Before, during and after, Paris is litterally blanketedWith chocolate chickens the likes of which I've never seen.And artsy eggs to boot, like this "Vlaminck" painted egg.One aligator egg I can easily do without.

Big merci to KRIS for info on the  French Chicken.
In Roman times 2000 years ago, France was known as Gaul. The Latin word "Gallus" not only meant "a person who lives in Gaul" but also was the word for "rooster". The Romans liked this joke, and over a period of time, this play on words meant the rooster = Gauls.
During the 20th century, the Cockerel became associated with French sport. It's the emblem for the country's sports teams, representing French pride, tenacity and courage.



  1. We really enjoy your Blog. Love teh imgaes and wht they convey to us.

    Greetings from Canada

  2. CarolG: Can you explain the Parisian's passion for the chicken? Is it some kind of romantic fantasy that at heart they are all farmers in the way that Marie Antoinette was a farmer? Inquiring weasels want to know.

  3. Your blog makes me so hungry to return to Paris. I bought my wedding dress there, at Galeries Lafayette in 2001. I've lived in France for several summers of my youth, and taken the night train from Frankfort to Paris. My heart aches for it often, so it's refreshing to read your blog.

  4. I wish I knew this French obsession with the French chicken..
    It could be something to do with the Excellent Bresse chicken Bocuse favored. I do find that Europeans have a better sense of where their food comes from = the farm. Rather than some extrusion machine fabricating processed chicken.
    They do also have a propensity as well for long country walks.
    I will be researching this avidly in about 16 days bien sur!

  5. Oh I love the chickens too. especially that black and white hen you posted. :))
    You seem to always time it to be in France about the same time each year is there a reason? Is it cheaper or less crowded or...?

  6. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Here is an interesting explanation about "le coq sportif" as a french icon:

  7. Love these French Chickens. Le Coq has been associated with France for eons. Goes way way back to Rome I think. But I always think of Chanticleer. These are fabulous! Love little yellow chick of yours..

  8. ahh, those inexplicable French

  9. Finally able to get online today-just arrived in Olympia, Washington and was greeted by your sweet bird and macarons, Carol--charming! I love the last photo--amazing!

  10. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Perhaps the alligator and the egg is a suggestion that alligator Tastes Just Like Chicken.

  11. Anonymous5:15 AM

    French chicken?

    Isn't the beak too small!!!

  12. Anonymous6:25 AM

    I may have whined to you about those cold Payne's blue backgrounds, but giving credit
    where it is due - those red cherries are bang on!


  13. Anonymous1:21 PM

    Bonjour Madame Carol,

    Thank you so much for the great Paris Breakfast stories (?)- they brighten my day!!!! I too love Paris. My husband & I went for the first time last year this time so I'm a little heart felt though I do have a "commitment" from him for the beginning of next year to return. Merci my dear universe.

    Your watercolors are just FABULOUS! I do some watercolors & art on the subject too. Very different but our hearts are definitely in the same place. And I love your pix & stories....the Pierre Herme' one was so funny & also yesterdays with the chocolate chickens!!!! Here is my photo from last year of the Patrick Roger window in the 6e. Of course I didn't even know what the chicken symbolized in France until I returned home & my brother explained how the chicken is France's "animal" symbol.
    The Chocolate shop windows were my favorite in Paris. My husband & I would ahhh & ohhh every time we saw one.

  14. Little chicklette is too cute.

    I need that decorative hen, bad!

  15. I have a BAN on Roosters and Chickens of all sorts in my house. I agree they are EVERYWHERE in France. I am sick of them personally lol! But I am French so I should get a free pass lol! Love all the pics!

  16. Anonymous5:22 AM

    May I add a few facts about the French rooster?
    Yes Suetonius was the 1st man to mention the 2 meanings of the word "gallus" in his book "The Lives of the 12 Caesars".
    But the rooster became a real popular symbol with another book in the Middle Ages (12th century): "Le Roman de Renart" - a series of stories in which all animals are cheated or abused by Renart (the fox). Only one manages to thwart the fox's plans: Chantecler, the rooster. It becomes the symbol of courage, craft, ...and pride.
    Maybe the "ancestor" of The Little Red Hen !?!

    During the French Revolution, the rooster became even more popular, being the one that "shouts first" (is that English?)

    more than a popular figure:
    The rooster is on top of our war memorials
    on top of our churches (weathercock)...
    a symbol in sports.

    But although it has become very popular, it still remains popular:
    The 3 official symbols of our Republic from our Constitution are:
    our flag, our hymn, our motto.

    excerpt from the text:
    "L'emblème national est le drapeau tricolore, bleu, blanc, rouge.
    L'hymne national est la Marseillaise.
    La devise de la République est Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité."

    Rooster= official symbol of rugby league, rugby union, fencing and soccer.
    Also the symbol of trade mark: "Le Coq Sportif.

    And that of French cinéma trade: Pathé.

    COCORICO !!!


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