Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eating Like the French

Day 6 of my month of French fun, in anticipation of the publication of Naughty in Nice on Sept 6th:

If you want to know why French food tastes so good, there are big differences in their approach to cooking.

1. The word processed is foreign to them. The French like their food nautral and fresh.

2. Fresh food means shopping daily at the market, smelling, touching, examining each item bought. This is still the norm in France in spite of supermarkets.
Bread is bought every morning for breakfast at the local bakery.

3. The French are not afraid to use butter and cream (unsalted butter for most things) and yet their cholesterol count is lower than ours. Why is that? Could it be the red wine? Could it be a less stressful life-style? Or could it be all those chemical compounds we put into our bodies in that processed food?

4. Most of the time they eat very simply, and one flavor at a time--a green bean salad with oil and vinegar dressing, followed by a grilled piece of meat or fish, followed by some cheese and fruit. On big occasions they go wild with banquets that would daunt the stomachs of anybody not used to them.

Do you have a favorite French food or food memory? I'll share mine tomorrow.
And don't forget to comment for a chance to win a prize at the end of the month.


  1. I've been catching up on the blog, and learned that Lady Georgie is headed to France. Some time ago, you asked if she should visit the U.S., and I think, yes, absolutely, she should attend the Presidential Inaugural Ball. Or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, with its own bawdy royalty.

  2. Cheeses (of any nationality) and fresh baked bread top my list. Love the market picture.

  3. Rhys, thank you from the bottom of my...stomach! I was supposed to be in France near the end of August, and had to change my plans. So your blog will be my France.

    A favorite memory, though not about food. I went to the Carnavelet Museum in Paris specifically to see one painting. The room where the painting was hung was under construction. I was disappointed until I asked if there was any way I could get in. Certainly madame! The head curator himself took me to the painting, escorting me through the sawhorses and equipment!

  4. My favorite French food memory is cooking it at home while my husband sits at the counter, reading to me, chatting, micro-managing :)... he with a glass of red wine, me with a flute of cheap champagne. I always get a hug and a kiss between stirring, chopping, and sauteing.

    My other favorite French food memory is going with my husband to farmer's market, finding our favorite food stand, and buying onion tartes and chocolate brioche for breakfast before we begin our shopping.

  5. My favorite French food memory is of the New Year's Eve celebrations I used to spend with a family in the Paris suburbs, when I was a teenager. We began at 10 with fresh oysters brought up from Normandy by an uncle. When midnight struck we were still going strong, but everyone duly jumped up from the table for kisses and hugs. The meal would finish at 4 a.m. and then the dancing would begin. Now THAT's eating. Of course every course was followed by an hour or so of talking... another great French custom!