There are certain things that the French do in regards to food that Americans simply do not. Countless books and articles have been written, attempting to figure out the svelteness of the french form. It’s really not all that hard. There are 5 rules that should be adhered to when eating like une Parisienne!
1. Les Fruits should be eaten every single day. In French life, dessert does not mean cake or ice cream, dinner should always be finished with a fresh fruit! If you’d like to spruce it out and get extra fancy, you could have roasted peaches, or raspberries (fromboises) and champagne (recipes to come!)
2. Ne Grignotez Pas. In Paris, there are posters everywhere with those words. What do they mean? Do not snack. In New York, I’ve heard countless times how it is important to eat several times a day. That may be, but when you’re snacking on potato chips? It’s not healthy, and it’s not French. In France, daily mealtimes are to be respected. They adhere to a very strict eating schedule. Le petit dejeuner in the morning, le dejeuner around midi (noon), et le gouter ou l’apéro at precisely 4pm. Le diner is around 7pm. Wine is always.
3. Il Faut Boire de l’Eau. Water is pretty much the very essence and nectar of life. So, why do we avoid drinking it so much? While in New York, I’ll see employees around the water cooler chatting, in France they’re filling up on water. It cleanses your system, hydrates your body from the inside out, and energizes you! Why are you drinking anything else? C’est de la folie!
4. A la Table. The only time the French ever eat is when they are sitting down at a table. Food was not meant to travel the city with you en main. You’ll never see a Frenchman rushing down Boulevard St. Germain with his Starbucks vent latté in hand. In fact, Starbucks is quite different in Paris- all café comes in porcelain, and guests enjoy their drink and cigarette en terrasse. Doing this creates not only a more relaxing experience while eating, but also a sense of ritual. Food is to be savored and appreciated, not scarfed down on the way to your next meeting.
5. Tout en Moderation. Everything in moderation. While it is unhealthy to eat chocolate and pizza all day long, it is also unhealthy to never splurge! The French are the biggest foodies there are, and they believe in feeding the soul! There are so many delicious things to try and experience, and it would be quel dommage to miss out on them!