Friday, September 2, 2011

On Eating in France – I. Intro

One of my favorite things about France is the focus on food. I know many Americans who skip breakfast on a regular basis, and eat lunch on the go and then grab a fast microwave dinner. I have yet to meet a French person who would even consider skipping a meal, and since I love food (aka I’m pregnant), this suits me just fine. Eating is central to the daily routine, and it starts off in the morning with le petit déjeuner which can be croissants with jams and honey, or for those with a sweet tooth, pain de chocolate. Breakfast cereals are available on store shelves, but not as ubiquitous as in the USA. Still, whenever possible we spoil ourselves with fresh croissants from the boulangerie down the block.

I have written about the difficulties in eating lunch while traveling; in many areas everything shuts down from 1200 to 1400 for le dejeuner. If you arrive even five minutes late, be prepared to be told that food is not being served any longer. The next meal after lunch, especially for families with children, is le gouter. Lauris has one of these when he is at the halte garderie in the afternoons, and I have started to have one at home as well, because who can’t resist cheese on a fresh baguette in the afternoon. Plus, of course, I’m eating for two!

The French dîner is a multi-course affair and can have elaborate themes, decorations and settings. We have been lucky enough to be invited to friends’ homes for a traditional dinner as well as had the experience at a few nice restaurants. The thing about good friends is that they will explain the customs, provide an authentic experience, yet not be offended by a lapse in custom-knowledge on our part. When in the US, we often had friends over for dinner and integrated Latvian customs into American dinners, and my hope in Clermont-Ferrand is to stick with the French traditions, yet allow our Latvian-American roots to show through. Please enjoy my dinner-related blogs next week leading up to our very first dinner party here in the apartment!

The kitchen help taking a break

Vēlos novēlēt manam krustdēlam Imantam daudz laimes 8. dzimšanas dienā!!! Astoņi ir Roberta mīļākais numurs, un tā zinam, ka būs varens gads!!!


  1. Interesting post - thanks for the info. I love the pic of your little one. So cute.

  2. How fun that you will be hosting a dinner party soon. It will be interesting to hear about how you combine French and Latvian, and maybe some American, traditions.


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