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French Traditions and Stereotypes

Croissants: do French people eat croissants for breakfast every day?

No! Most French people eat breakfast at home so don’t eat fresh croissants from the ‘boulangerie’ on a daily basis.  Croissants and pain au chocolat are popular on more relaxed days for example at weekends or on holiday.  Many people also eat them for breakfast on the run.  It is however very common for French people to eat fresh bread such as baguette from the boulangerie on a daily basis to accompany their meals.

 

Long lunches: why do French people take such a long lunch break?

French people often eat their main meal of the day at lunchtime and a lighter meal in the evening.  French children also have ‘goûter’ or an afternoon snack around 4pm.  This pattern of eating means that French people often have a hot cooked meal in the middle of the day and unlike many other nationalities, they don’t agree with eating on the run.  They take their time to enjoy a meal with friends, colleagues or family.  Many children go home from school for lunch, adults may go home from work if they don’t work too far from home.  If they work further from home, they will often enjoy a ‘Plat du Jour’ in a restaurant with colleagues.  Nearly all French restaurants offer a ‘Plat du Jour’ at lunchtime which is a freshly cooked daily special at a reasonable price for workers.  French people often work later in the day, typically until 6pm or 7pm so they need a lunch to sustain them through the afternoon.

Wine: do French people drink wine with every meal?

French people drink little and often and really savour and appreciate their wine.  They pair wine to food and will sip a small glass of good quality wine instead of drinking large amounts of cheaper wine.  Most French people know a lot about the different wine regions of France and take an interest in where their wine comes from, the grapes and the production.  The majority of French restaurants feature mainly French wine on their wine lists.

 

Berets & striped T-shirts: do French people really wear this?

No, French people rarely dress in berets and striped tops! However, French people take pride in their appearance.  However they interpret fashion, they are mostly well turned out and don’t believe in going out in their jogging bottoms! In most French towns, you will find a mix of larger chain fashion shops in addition to many independent fashion boutiques and numerous shoe shops.

 

Cheese: why are there so many varieties of French cheese?

French people often eat cheese towards the end of their meal.  Unlike many other nationalities, they eat cheese before dessert or sometimes instead of dessert.  Most French regions have their own cheese specialities.  De Gaulle said “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?”

 

All French people eat Frog’s legs and Foie Gras

French people definitely eat a wider variety of parts of the animal than many anglophone countries.  For example pigs trotters are commonplace on a French menu, as are brain, sweetbread, pigeon, tripe, andouillette sausage, horse meat, giblets, tête de veau, kidneys, steak tartare (raw ground beef)   Foie Gras is a popular French dish for a starter in a restaurant and special occasions.

 

 


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