The French eating culture has become so complex that it becomes a sub-culture in its own right. It is quite interesting to know more about this subject. We could start with breakfast or le petit dejeuner. It is often consisted of croissants, baguette and slices of bread or tartines. They are often eaten with boiled eggs, cheese, sliced ham, chocolate spread and jam. There are popular pastries that are eaten during breakfast, such as Pain au Raison, which is pastries with custard and raisins, while Pain au Chocolat is pastries with chocolate paste. During breakfast, adults eat tea and coffee, while children eat hot chocolate. Lunch or Le Dejeuner can actually become an official instition in the France. It starts from 12 PM until 2 PM. Many restaurants in France are crowded between 12PM and 2.30 PM. In school and large companies, lunch is served in cafeteria and it’s often a complete meal. In fact, many schools provide three-course lunch. Workers in France are often given vouchers that can be used in restaurants and various eating places.
Dinner or le diner is a family activity and it is also a 3-course meal, which starts with hors d’oeuvre, which is usually soup, while plat principal is the main course. The dinner is often finished with a cheese course or a type of dessert. The dessert during dinner is usually quite simple, consisted of yogurt and fruit. Restaurants start offering dinner from 7PM and it ends at about 11PM or a bit earlier. When visiting France, there are many places where we can find great food. Many restaurants open only around mealtimes and not in between. This provides them with an opportunity to prepare different meals and clean up the places. Some restaurants offer only vegetarian options. In France, bistros are typically smaller eating places, smaller than restaurants. There’s no menu book, everything is shown on a chalk board or informed verbally by the waiter. Bistros typically offer local cuisine, which is different in each regions of France. Bistrot a Vin is a type of tavern that provides affordable alcoholic beverages. Some of them offer food like normal busters, while some only offer light meals, such as toast, sausage and cheese.
Brasseries are popular eating places in France and they were first set up by refugees from Alsace Lorraine at the end of the 19th century. They serve wines and beers from the Alsace region, as well as cuisine heavily by German food, such as sauerkraut. Brasseries typically open all day long. Other than alcoholic beverages, they also serve pastis and cocktails. In France, there are many cafes that we can find, with chairs and tables that are set outside. It is a place where people can enjoy cold or hot drinks, as well as alcoholic beverage. Common snacks that we can find in brasseries include moules frites and croque monsieur. Cafes open in the morning and closed around 9PM. Salon de Thes is similar to cafes, but they don’t serve alcohol.