Sunday, September 30, 2012

Eating Without Fear

One of the first things Colleen asked me on our Skype date after my arrival here was, "What are French meals like? Do they eat small portions?"After having spent about a month here I can confidently say - no the French do not eat small portions. The French eat sans peur.
Breakfast is a very simple meal. Something not very formal, usually a cup of coffee and some bread with jam. There is not a lot of snacking in between meals, but really it isn't needed because once lunch time arrives the French eat well.
Every true meal (lunch and dinner) consists of courses. Always courses. My French family actually laughed at me once because I almost put the tomato soup on my dry noodles. Everything is eaten separately. And when I eat meals with my French family I probably eat the equivalent of three meals alone in one sitting.
I will explain:
The other night my host parents had a niece over for dinner. So our meal was a little more formal and put together. At a formal French dinner, once everyone is served the first course, the whole table says bon ap├ętit, almost as a prayer before they begin eating.
We started with tomato soup with noodles, of which we all took a huge bowl-full. With it we ate bread = meal #1
Next we moved into the vrai repas of grits casserole with carrots. It was delicious. We all took two servings of that with more bread = meal #2
Next we had a cheese plate with some chevre, rockaphor and ghuda (others included but I can't remember all of them).
And for dessert my host mom made an amazing apple tart and whipped cream (that of course she whipped herself) = meal #3
This is what I mean when I say the French eat without fear. They begin and there is no doubt, no second guessing, no "what did you put in this?" or "I don't know if I can finish a second serving". The French just eat. They eat quickly and efficiently and afterward they wipe their plates clean with bread. Not a morsel is wasted.
When I am not the last to finish my portion and when I can stop placing my food at the edge of the plate to make room for other things, then I will know I have mastered the French art of consumption.

1 comment:

  1. Still think you should take a cooking class over there.