French Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health: Lighter and Later Dinner
Oooooh! Full moon out, it is evening here in France. What are the French doing? Thinking about dinner…or should the term be supper? A light and late supper-dinner. This cultural aspect of eating a light but later supper is typically French and is included on the list of ways to eat for pleasure and good health. Enjoying a soup and salad, or a bowl of pasta and a slice of ham, a light omelette and toast and between 7:30- 9 PM. This is a typical supper scenario in many French households. The verb in French, souper, is the action of having a light dish of food before retiring soon after to bed. Check out this article by Wikipedia on the term suppertime and where it originated. By moving YOUR supper-dinner an hour or two later at your house, you also could reap some interesting benefits such as more family eating together time, less snacking after dinner, hungrier eaters, lighter dishes and more relaxing sleep as you go to bed without digesting a large meal.
How does souper supper work in France?
The reason it works here is because it has to. First, kids and some adults eat their sacred French goûter (snack) (see my article about this) which ends around 5 to 5:30 PM. Already with this snack schedule, dinner must be later. Who is hungry for food one hour after snacking? For working people, the average time getting home from work is around 7 PM which is quite late if you need to start thinking about dinner and cooking it. Thus a later suppertime fits in nicely, with lighter foods and later option to the big meal that the French normally enjoy at midday. The other benefits of pushing supper later are that you can get the whole family together to eat after everyone is home from their activities and work. Having a sit down supper is a great way to have family time and finish the day in good form. So tonight, think light and later and let me know what you are serving on your plate. For us, again it is Soupe de Bonne Femme, see the recipe here from the recipe section on the website. We have leeks and potatoes waiting to be cooked! Yum Yum :) Bon Appetit!
Just added: Here is a image/link to the English version of a French cookbook I use. A reader named Cathy, who is interested in cooking the French style lighter and later dinners tickled my brain asking for a good resource. Here it is Cathy! And for anyone else looking for a good cookbook for simple and real food, check it out!