10 Foodie Things That Makes France One Of the Best Countries To Eat In
What could you say about France? What are the things about France that you cannot find anywhere else?
That got me thinking. Hmm. I am not an expert on everything about France, but I do know the culture and I do know food.
So here is my list on what I really believe are the most magical foodie things about France and what makes this country unique.
10 Foodie Things France Does Better Than Anywhere In the World
#1 The Apéritif
What better way to get your appetite moving? Small bite size finger foods, a drink (or two) and a good long hour exchanging conversation. Mmm, I am feeling hungry already!
The art of apéritifing is truly and art. Tchin Tchin!
#2 The Café
Sitting in a café having a coffee, glass of wine, an apéritif or a tea is the second foodie favorite of mine. Not only are French cafés quaint, inviting and a great way to spend an hour (or two), the art of ‘caféing‘ is perfected by not being pushed out the door by the wait staff to leave. J’adore!
#3 The Wine and Food Combo
Here is how a special meal goes: the apéritif drink of a sweet liquor, first course of seafood with a dry white wine (perhaps a Muscadet?), the main course with light red that goes perfectly with your lamb chops, and a stronger Bordeaux red wine to complement the taste of a strong Tomme cheese served from the cheese tray. And the finish? With a bubbly coupe of demi-sec champagne with dessert.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is all part of the French way to combine the food course you eat with the right wine. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert. It is just part of the culture to know how to combine. Can you hand me that tire bouchon, (cork screw) I need to open up a bottle!
#4 The Child’s Meal
This was the children’s meal that one of my children ate at a restaurant. Here kids eat real food. Whether at home, school, or at the grandparent’s house, French kids (in general) eat the same foods the adults eat. At bistro style and fancier restaurants, the child’s meal is usually a fresh-made dish that most kids like (such as steak haché (hamburger without the bun) and frites (fresh fries) but the chef also knows that some French kids would eat smaller portions from the regular adult menu. In France, children eat like grown-ups because it is part of the foodie culture to educate and feed kids the ‘adult’ way; eating with manners, appreciating food and enjoying the time spent autour de table (around the table).
#5 The Presentation
A sprinkle of herbs here, a dot of sauce there, a swirly twist of chocolate over the dessert. The possibilities are endless and with the French emphasis on food presentation as an art, showing the meal on beautiful plates and the additional swag of oh lá lá color, you will drool even before you slip one single bite into your mouth.
#6 Everyday Three Course Meal
Why should the three course meal be reserved for special occasions? Ah non! For the French, a three course meal is an everyday event! All three courses on the same plate, only the timing changes. Salad, soup, charcuterie, crudites; these are just a few examples of the first course that the French enjoy before their main meal. The first course is served on the main plate (for the everyday meals) and the piece of baguette bread stays on the side of the plate to ‘clean’ the plate off from leftover salad vinaigrette or soup. And voila, the plate is ready for the main dish. The everyday three course meal is a fantastic way to keep your appetite happy, meals slower, your weight in control and increase your meal satisfaction. Bon Appétit!
#7 Le Marché
The French food markets. If you have been to one you know exactly why this foodie part of France makes it stand out from anywhere. These food markets are one of the most common ways to shop for food and fresh produce. In some in the bigger towns the markets are open daily, and are located in Les Halles, a covered food market building. For a foodie, talking directly to the farmers growing the food, selecting the products that are the most appealing, and dreaming of what you will make from your selection is the ‘height’of food paradise. The best products picked from the soil and made by hand is there at Le Marché.
#8The Extended Lunch
Food and eating should not, (will not) be rushed in this country. The French may drive like crazy speeding maniacs (I know a few of them), but sit the French down at the table on a Sunday lunch and they do not move for hours. Ah, la joie de vivre~!
#9 Gastronomic Quality
No matter where you live in France, or what region you visit, or what city grabs your heart, each geographic area in France has its own gastronomic specialites. And you don’t mess with these been around forever foods and drinks because they are protected with an appelation contrôlée. You sip and savor these French regional specialites, (champagne comes to mind) because they really are a unique part of the French culture.
#10 Dining Outside
A touch of sun hits the sky and the French move outside to eat. It is true, food taste better outdoors. There never seems to be the bugs around, (although these little birds are scavenging for food) which makes dining outdoors even more pleasant. With many houses, apartments and dwellings having some type of eating outdoor arrangement, out pops the tablecloth and voila, lunch is served dans le jardin!
Did I leave anything off the list? Is there a French foodie comment that you would like to share?
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