Culture notes Chpt 3
In france and in many french-speaking countries, people often do their grocery shopping in small neighborhood stores. Although super markets are cheaper and more convenient, many people still prefer specialized shops that are more expensive but higher quality.
Meals occupy a central place in french family and social life. Lunch and dinner usually consists of several courses: an appetizer, the main course, a simple green salad, cheese, and dessert. A special meal might have as many as 9 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, foul, and game such as duck, goose, guinea hen, and rabbit. Potatoes are very common, and you may be served a variety of vegetables, such as, turnips, endive, eggplant or leeks. For dessert, fresh fruit is often served. Pastries and ice cream are usually reserved for special occasions. The evening meal is often lighter and meat-less. Eggs are eaten at dinner but rarely breakfast.
In France, a meal is often used as a way of celebrating a friendship or special occasion. The New Year's dinner is usually spent with friends, while birthday and christmas dinners are usually spent with family, exchanging gifts and cards. Young people often revieve a gift on their saint's day as well.