My Italian brother went backpacking through Ireland as a teenager and I will never forget how disgusted he was when he realised that the youth hostels he was staying in did not have a pasta strainer! Norwegian friends of mine just cannot get their heads around the fact that I do not own a cheese slicer, and my English friends are forever trying to find my potato masher in my cupboard when they stay with us. I do not understand how anyone could survive without a salad spinner, which is completely essential in my opinion!
I guess what we use in the kitchen reflects the way we eat and we are all pretty convinced that our national culinary delights and way of eating are the best in the world. In a time when you see Starbucks appearing on every corner in Paris and every other major city in the world, it is nice to see that we are still fighting for our own cultural identity, even if it is only in the kitchen!
(By the way, I would love to hear about other cooking utensils used in other countries…)