10 Interesting Facts About French Food and Drinks
France has a perfect climate and geographical location which makes it possible to locally manufacture most types of foods enjoyed anywhere else. Additionally, the importation of global goods makes it easier these days for the local population to access most products that are otherwise not possible to locally produce at a large scale.
However, the culture around food is unique here. Although Frenchies eat things that some people in the world might judge them for, that doesn’t really matter to them. Their cuisine is unique, diverse, and delicious. They love their outstanding cuisine, and they know they aren’t alone.
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Many come here so that they can learn how to cook, but aren’t always sure old-school cooking for the modern woman techniques.
10 Local Facts About French Cuisine
Putting all this aside, many don’t have the extra money to invest in a trip here to learn from the chefs but are still likely curious about how to do what they do, and the cultural differences which are implemented into the local cuisine. Here are some of the most interesting things you will quickly learn about the cuisine if you came here.
1. Baguettes are Free!
Most restaurants in Paris and the surrounding area will serve baguettes as a free side. The best part about this is that they are also served in unlimited quantities in most circumstances. However, keep in mind that although baguettes are a wonderful treat for anybody, you should still focus your attention on the starter course, main dish, dessert, and so on.
Upon your arrival in a French restaurant, the first thing that will be served is a small basket filled with a baguette cut into serving sizes of about 2 inches. That will allow you to calm your hunger while waiting for your order, raising your satiety sensation sooner, and allowing you to concentrate on savoring every bite, spending quality time with your friends or family.
Just keep in mind that since bread only costs €0.50 to €1.00 in a typical bakery that it is inexpensive in the first place. Places that offer free bread do so as a means of getting your appetite fulfilled for less.
2. France Is the Second Largest Wine Producer
Outside of high-quality cuisine, France also produces enough of this alcoholic beverage to be placed second in total production. Although trailing just a tad to Italy, global export is higher than almost the rest of the competition combined. As a result, if you want to experience some of the most expertly fermented drinks around, this is the place to come.
Of course, with high production come lower prices. As a result, this is a place to go if you want to have a glass or two without spending your entire paycheck. It is common to find bottles with a price tag around $5 USD or less here. Just be sure to indulge in moderation. Although you won’t be judged you if you don’t.
3. The Drinking Age is Only 16 Years Old
Anybody who wants to have wine or beer only has to be 16 years old to do so. However, if you choose to drink hard liquor (over 21% alcohol) you will need to be 18. In comparison, the United States has a drinking age which is 21 years old. If you are a parent who has a teenager or young adult seeking to come here, this could be one reason why.
4. Breakfast is Not the Most Important Meal
The main meal here in Paris for many of the locals who live here is usually lunch and dinner. Breakfast is normally something small. Typically, a typical breakfast is something like a croissant served with coffee. Lunch is a bit heavier. This might include a starter dish and the main course, sometimes finished with fromage or a desert.
Then, appetites are build up for dinner. Typically, dinner won’t be served until past 7 PM, or later. Much of the fun for dining is to spend quality time with those who eat together. As a result, a dining experience here can take much longer than it does with many other cultures.
5. Snails & Oysters Are Popular Dishes
One of the common delicacies here is boiled snails served with a sauce made of butter and parsley. This product, known as escargots is a common starter dish here and is absolutely worth eating if you get the chance. This is a popular delicacy that dates back all the way to ancient times.
Another wonderful product that you should try is the raw oysters. Although there are a wide variety of great recipes, they can be served with bread and butter, cheese, lemon, and salt & pepper, paired with a glass of Sauvignon blanc. If you are an open-minded traveler and you visit France, you should try both of these.
6. Lunch Breaks Are Up to Two Hours Long
As briefly mentioned above, a meal is an important part of people's daily lives for bringing families and friends together. It is a privilege to be around others that care about one another and they take advantage of these moments here. One thing all Frenchies love to do is eat. As a result, extra long meals are frequent and lunch breaks are sometimes up two hours.
However, this often only adds up to an hour or so when you clock in the time needed for getting there and actually receiving your dish. Additionally, taking a lunch break this long routinely is a great way to illustrate to your employer that you aren't committed to your job.
It is nice to enjoy your dining experience instead of simply gobbling your plate down into your stomach like a starving animal. Take small bites, savor the taste, and enjoy the delicious taste of your plate. If you keep all of these things in mind when you see Paris, you will fit in perfectly.
7. Different Regions Have Different Cuisines
Part of the fun of visiting this country is that you can explore many different varieties of products if you travel around outside Paris. For example, as you travel around you can experience local varieties of cheeses seemingly not found in any other countries.
Many local markets provide their own eating specialties. One common popular dish in certain regions of central to southern regions named aligot is made with a wonderful mixture of mashed potatoes, butter, garlic, cream, and melted cheese. This is just another example of how diverse the products can be as you travel around.
8. Ther are More Types of Cheese Than You Know
With over 365 different types of cheeses here, it will take a long time for you to even have the time to try them all. If you tried a new one each day of the year, it would take an entire year to sample it all. Most interestingly, with all the different variations, the total number may actually be over 1,000.
This is a product that French appreciate all its variety. In fact, it is possible that they consume more of it than any other nation on Earth. As a result, this is something that you really need to try when you are here. Start by ordering a chariot de fromage when you dine out. Odds are, you will instantly fall in love with some particular fromage after experiencing it, or not.
9. Throwing Away Spare Food Is Unlawful
Unlike most countries on Earth, supermarkets here cannot throw away unsold products that are approaching its expiry date. Instead, the spare products need to be donated to charities which will feed the poor, who have a difficult time providing for themselves. This also helps eliminate them from the dumpster diving outside of supermarkets.
Although you can decide for yourself what you think about this law, it is a different approach to what other parts of the world may do for processing waste. It may also prove to be a great way for ensuring that more people have a bite to eat each night.
10. French Fries May Not Actually Have Been Invented in France
In the United States, everybody says "French fries". This is perhaps due to the fact that Thomas Jefferson brought the recipe back from France after serving as the American Minister to France from 1784 to 1789. However, the history of the potato stretches much further back than we even know.
The Native Americans who lived in modern Peru and Bolivia were the first to cultivate the potato. Since they also had access to cooking oil, odds are high that fries were actually invented by the Native Americans. If this isn’t the case, then the next in line would be the Spanish, who were the first to bring the potato crop back to Europe.
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