If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie, France should be top of your travel list. This country is known for its delicacies, from croissants at breakfast to escargot during dinner, and they certainly take their dining seriously here. Eating and drinking are sacred activities to the French – below is some information about the culture they squeeze into each of their daily meals.
If you like to start your mornings with a hearty sausage or a slice of bacon, you may be a bit disappointed while in France. The French can’t imagine eating anything savoury right after they’ve woken up, let alone something as heavy as meat. However, if you like a lighter brekkie or have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck. The most common foods are a piece of a baguette, a croissant or toast with butter and/or jam washed down with tea, hot chocolate or a café au lait.
I have three favourite ways to take my midday meal while in France, each depending on whether I need to tighten my purse strings or I’m willing to splash some cash:
- Budget-Friendly – Head to a nearby outdoor food market and pick up some ingredients (a baguette, cured meats, pastries, wine and cheeses – the stinkier the better – are lunchtime favourites) for a picnic in a park. Not only is the shopping experience unique, the meal will be delicious, inexpensive and likely in a perfect people-watching spot.
- Midrange – Not in the mood to make your own lunch? Get a takeaway sandwich, quiche or pizza for an on-the-go snack. Alternatively you can find a street food vendor and grab some falafel or a panini.
- Splurge – If you’re happy to shell out a few extra euros, you’ll have any number of cafes and brasseries from which to choose.
Dinner can often be an extensive event – especially if you’ve been invited to a dinner party (they’re known to last as long as five hours in some instances, and much of the time is spent around the table). When dining out, many restaurants have fixed price menus, meaning you can get a delicious, filling meal for good value. Oh, and the best part? Wine is incredibly affordable in France… so go on, indulge in that bottle of vino.
Top Tip: A long dinner is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t stuff your face as soon as the food hits the table – eat slowly and consistently so you’re not full after the first course.
You can read about it all you want but there’s only one way to truly experience the culture that surrounds French food: take a trip to France and eat your three meals a day there!