It’s funny which ideas travel and which don’t. Tonight I relayed to a Frenchman and two Americans how my son was attending an ‘International’ event at his school dressed as a “French Onion Seller”. Judging from their bemused reactions, it appears the Brit perception of the archetypal Frenchman wearing a stripy T-shirt and beret and pushing a bicycle strung with onions hadn’t reached their foreign ears.
Googling for French onion seller isn’t that rewarding, but funnily enough many of the top links relate to the North East such as an episode of When the Boat Comes In, and this amazing archive footage of Newcastle in the 1960s: We Know Our Onions – French Onion Sellers in TynesideNRFTA). Just love that Bretonne/Geordie accent, “why aye, mon cherie”, “au revoir, pet”.