Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Eating like the french

We have been in France for 3 months now observing the mysterious ways of the French. A few months ago at a BBQ in Paris we were baffled by the weird ways of french eating, however, after spending more time with the french I can reveal the secrets:

1. Bread: Baguette is eaten at every meal. In the morning with butter and jam and dunked in coffee and with lunch and dinner it is ripped into small pieces and held in the left hand and used like a knife, or like a sauce scoop. Mini sandwiches are never made midway through a meal, when you do make mini sandwiches (especially with chips) the french will stare with a bemused look.

2. Wine: Wine is drunk with lunch and dinner, but only one or two glasses, certainly not a bottle each (!)

3. Eating order: This is a strange one, you eat your meat first and once that is finished you eat your vegetables/salad. One night I cooked both green beans and potatoes - this confused the french, only one accompaniment with the meat! The separate eating thing doesn't count if you are not eating french food, so if you have (Spanish) paella and a piece of meat these can both go onto your plate at the same time.

4. Cheese: Cheese comes after main course or dessert (plat) and can be used to mop up remaining juices that haven't been got with the bit of bread

5. Other drinks: Aperitifs and digestifs are one of the great pleasures of France and the type depends on your location. So, in the Charante you might have cognac for a digestif and a Pineau for aperitif and in Paris you might have a Ricard.

6. Snacks: No

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