The French Eating Habits

The French Eating Habits

Healthy Meal? One of my favorite things about the French is that they are friendly and hospitable. Locals dress colorfully, explore a new culture, inquisitive, enjoy reading, stay updated with latest happenings particularly around politics and more importantly have an interesting eating culture. Join me as I take you on a roller coaster ride and give you more insight into the French eating habit.
Recently, I went holidaying in France and I discovered something new which you must learn from as well – the French people have a unique eating culture and enjoy small portions. They enjoy drinking a lot of water while eating.

They usually eat together and as such, they never stop talking to each other while at the table. For some, it’s a bad table manner but for me, it’s a way to strengthen bonds. As a matter of fact, the French have some positive eating habits that everyone could learn from
During my short stay in France, I can only but conclude that the Traditional French eating habits are still very much alive, even though many think otherwise. France is a country where eating is not just about giving the body what it needs but it is seen as a pleasurable activity. For this reason, France has a unique way of doing things than many other countries the world all over. Here are some few eating habits I took back home with me and from which you could all learn from

Fixed meal times
The French has just three meals daily and generally eat nothing else asides these fixed meal times. Kids get serves a small snack right after school hours, but note that there is a set time for this, and adults don’t do snacks. They’d rather stay hungry than eat anything between the three meal times. If you visit any restaurant before fixed meal times, you’d be surprised at how deserted it looks hence the reason for the limited opening hours of eating places in France.

Lunch is the main meal
Surprisingly, lunch is the main meal of the day in France. Basically, they have 2 hours for lunch. One of the reasons for this is that lunch meal gives them more energy to complete the day’s task and gives them more time to digest the meal. Funny enough, if you visit a few businesses after lunch hour, you’ll see many falling asleep at their desks.

Eating together
Another thing that caught my attention is that the French enjoy eating together. This is why the fixed meal time culture still lives on. Note that it is not only applicable to family alone, it goes for colleagues as well. While in the US, a colleague might decide to go have lunch alone, it is not the same in France. To them, it is disrespectful, weird and even rude. Virtually every local eating breakfast, lunch or dinner with other people, be it friends, family, colleagues or even strangers. For locals, eating is something that should be done collectively.

Small portions                                                                                                                                            I’ve observed personally that the French likes eating smaller portions. Apparently, if we’re given more food, we never stop eating. In the US, for instance, we eat an oversized portion and consume more calories than required. At first, I felt a bit ripped off when I got served a small portion at a local restaurant but surprisingly it filled me up.

No kids’ menu
Unlike in the US or UK that serves burgers and hot dogs for kids, the French have no kid’s menu. Kids learn to eat healthy meals beginning from an early age. Even in schools, healthy lunches are a priority.

Healthy Meal
Traditional French cuisine originated from fruits vegetable and home-grown meat, and it’s still evident in their eating culture today. Of course, stores are selling lots of imported food and processed ready meals but farmer’s markets remains an important part of the economy. And I love a good farmer’s market, especially in France. They sell fresh produce and seafood that are highly rich in nutrient.

French recipe you must try
Nobody cooks like the French, that’s a fact. I love the taste of French dishes and cooking them on my own has never been easier. Here is my most preferred recipe.

Ratatouille        

Two meals for six are sorted –how to prepare this colorful local vegetable dish
Recipe
• 125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
• 2 brown onions, coarsely chopped
• 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 large (1kg) eggplants, cut into 2cm pieces
• 2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, cut into 2cm pieces
• 10 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
• 4 medium (500g) zucchini, halved lengthways, cut into 2cm pieces
• 2 x 250g punnet cherry tomatoes
• 250ml (1 cup) passata (tomato pasta sauce)
Cooking Method
• Heat the oil in a heavy-based stockpot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring for at least three minutes until the onion is soft
• Add the capsicum, eggplant, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and stir
• Reduce heat and cook for five minutes. Add the tomatoes, passata, and zucchini. Leave to cook for at most 2 minutes
• Best served with cooked pasta, couscous or rice

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