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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food in France

Sunday, I spent all day doing something very French: eating!

After "une grasse matinée" (sleeping in), I met Ira and Marcia and their friend Peter for lunch in the fifth.  We arrived around 1230 and took our time.  We took our time ordering, took our time eating (entrée, plat, dessert, café), and took our time between each course.  Everything was, of course, delicious.  We finally left the restaurant at 4pm (the cook left the building before we did!)- and then I went to dinner at 730 and although it didn't take quite as long (only a bit over an hour), I still felt as though I had lived a very "French" day - eating, eating, eating!

French culture places a great deal of value on food: preparation, cooking, eating, drinking...  Food is not to be rushed and is a pleasure.  I love having the option to simply eat cheese and pain grillée (toast) after dinner each night!  And then ... dessert!  I'm learning that chocolate isn't the only option... yogurt nature (plain) with some jelly, or a piece of fruit.  Last night, my host Mother taught me how to cut an apple à la francaise - which includes peeling the skin with a butter knife!  I'm learning...

Along with French eating comes French table manners.  You must never leave your hand under the table (because who knows where it could be?), and cutting the lettuce in your salad is considered rude - better to fold it with your knife and fork.  I've also learned which napkin is mine (each family member has their own, with their own specific napkin holder, never to be confused...)  Whew!  Luckily, it's getting easier every day.

Bon appetit and gros bisoux (big kisses)!

P.S. You'll have to excuse all the French I threw in ... it's hard to talk about French food without the French vocabulary!


  1. Sammy I love you but it is a good thing I am not France with you. I have horrible table manners...and manners in general. BUT I really miss you!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! Tufts just ain't the same.

  2. And I'm done with my hair! Ahhh it sounds like you are having an awesome time! That's so funny about the lettuce...I would have never thought that would be rude haha. Is it true that you can't like, take food to go? Agnes told me that even taking a water bottle from a restaurant is weird because people will assume that you are cheap or something...haha. She was really happy to see that here you can just finish your food at home!

  3. so... what do you do with your hand, then? keep it on the table? is it awkward?

  4. Je vois que tu prends des leçons de bonne manière à la maison... Courage, c'est pas tout :on ne t'a pas encore dit, par exemple, qu'on ne "sauce" pas son assiette avec du pain avec les doigts mais en piquant délicatement le morceau de pain avec une fourchette... Bref, tu vas finir par être plus experte que moi qui, tu l'auras bien compris, est perdu tout mon savoir-vivre dans mon école (cf. un dîner ensemble ;)

  5. Ah wow I never realized this post got so many comments !!!

    Joyce - it is true that you don't take food to go. Mostly you just finish everything, it's considered horrible manners not to. I had a cousin though, and he used to bring his own tupperware container - to the place he ate lunch at every week - they knew his order haha.

    Eva - you keep your hand on the table, ready to use to cut something, etc.... mod to low awk.

    Marguerite - ah t'as raison ! il y a encore a apprendre, tu me verras cette semaine (n'est-ce pas?) tu me diras si j'ai appris qqchose ou pas ... ahaha c'est vrai manger en famille - ca peut etre tres different de manger avec des amis, quand on na pas assez des utensils etc... ahaha gros bisous!!

    jessie - lurve, duh. come here anyway, there's cheese ERRDAY ooc

  6. samantha, you finally found someplace that likes to eat at your pace :) relish it....we americans eat too quickly and end up with indigestion miss you and love you!