>Why do the French call it that?! Confusion with candy and movies

5 Jun


I credit my love for candy to my father. He always had -and still does – a healthy stash of candy somewhere in the house. Since I know my mom reads these things, I won’t disclose said location, although I wish I could because it’s super funny. He’s like Stan Smith with that candy: top governmental secret that nobody cares about except my mom. When I lived on the west coast, my father would use this crazy thing called the post office to mail me a roll of Necco Wafers just to let me know he loved me. Cute huh? What’s even cuter is how here in Guadeloupe they have ‘post offices’ yet I’ve unveiled the fact that such locations are only fronts for people who need a place to hang out and say things like, “this line is closed”, or “that’s not possible”. Hey, everybody needs a place to be.

All men candies are not all created equal. I’m still not sure if that quote is grammatically correct but whatever. Let’s say that it is, and let’s agree that it’s true. All candies are not the same the world over either, even if we do share some of the same name treats. There are however some universal truths about candy:
1. Off the shelf chocolate bars such as KitKat are better in Europe. Why? The chocolate. It’s different. It. Just. Is.
2. Treats from your childhood were awesome. Really they were. But they’re kind of like old high school friendships – when you try them again years later, more often than not it’s a case of some things are better left in the past. Those dried up little pellets sold in cheap sandwich bags that you looked forward to so much as a kid? Skip ’em. Trust me. They suck now, and your friends won’t invite you to fancy parties anymore if you tout them as excellent.
3. If the same candy that exists in Boston, USA exists in Guadeloupe, FWI, it surely does not have the same name. As they do with movies, the French love to give things that already exist with perfectly good names new names.

Cotton candy would be a good example. it looks like cotton. In French, this is even almost exactly the same word: coton. And it’s candy. So we call it cotton candy. Easy.
It’s called Barbe a Papa here. Yeah, like the cartoon Barba Papa, except the literal translation is papa’s beard. Now, normally I will admit to getting hysterically agitated over the changing of movie names because they don’t make any sense at all. But this renaming of a treat I happen to like…Barba Papa. It works. Nice one, France!


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