One of the things I've noticed since being back in England is the difference between English and French Rice, Couscous, and Lentils. The Rice here seems to be fluffier (I only buy Basmati), the Couscous lighter and easier to prepare, and the Lentils cook quicker and break down easier (for making Dhal).
The products themselves are probably exactly the same in both countries, so why the noticeable difference?
The only explanation I can summon, is that it has something to do with the water.
Could it be that the very hard water in France is responsible for making things remain less tender when cooked?
I think we should be told!