Ch3 Culture Notes
By: Ben Knoebber
In France and in many French-speaking countries, people often do their grocery shopping in small neighborhood stores. Although convenience and lower prices are making supermarkets more popular, many people still prefer specialty shops for fresh food of high quality.
Meals occupy a central place in French family and social life. Lunch and dinner usualy consist of several courses: an appetizer, the main course, a simple green salad, cheese, and a dessert. A special meal might have as many as nine courses! As an appetizer, the French might eat cold cuts, vegetables in a vinaigrette sauce, or soup. The main course consists of meat or seafood. The French eat a wide variety of meats, fowl, and game such as duck, goose, guinea hen, and rabbit. Potatoes are very common, and you may be served a variety of vegetables like turnips, endive,eggplant, or leeks. For dessert, fresh fruit is often served. Pastries or ice cream are usually reserved for special occasions. The evening meal is generally lighter and often meatless, Eggs are eaten at dinner, but rarely at breakfast.
Special French Meals
In France, a meal is often a way to celebrate friendship or a special occasion. The New year's dinner is usually spent with friends, while birthday and Christmas dinners are traditionally family celebrations when people exchange gifts and cards. Young people often receive a small gift on their saint's day as well.