"Flanby" studied American fast food...
President Obama was in a good mood on Friday after unveiling a massive new global food security initiative in the morning. During a press availability after his very first bilateral meeting with new French President Francois Hollande, Mr. Obama, America's foremost beef lover, joked about cheeseburgers and French fries. Hollande reportedly has a taste for burgers after traveling across the US more than three decades ago for an academic exploration of American fast food. (Above: In the Oval Office)
"I was interested, when I was reading the President's biography, that he actually spent some time in the United States in his youth, studying American fast food," President Obama said.
"We'll be interested in his opinions of cheeseburgers in Chicago."
"I will say nothing against cheeseburgers, of course," Hollande replied.
"I just want to remember that cheeseburgers go very well with French fries," the President said.
Perhaps both will be on the menu this evening for the President's 8:00 PM private working dinner for G8 leaders at Camp David, his retreat in Maryland. And perhaps caramel custard will also be served: Hollande's nickname in France is "Flanby," a brand-name for the sugary treat. He lost 26 pounds in the run-up to the presidential election.
Hollande's fast food expedition across America, reported The New York Times Magazine, was done in 1974 with a travel grant from a business school. Hollande drove from New York to San Francisco in what he remembered as “a very difficult period for the United States.” He later wrote a report saying that fast food would come to France.
“I could have made a fortune in cheeseburgers, but I finally chose politics,” Hollande said. His girlfriend--now the First Girlfriend--is the journalist Valérie Trierweiler.
Hollande "has kept a certain taste for hamburgers,” she said. He was sworn into office earlier this week, on May 15th.