Interesting Facts About Food and Drink in France
Did you know that France produces over 8 million bottles of wine per year? What about that it grows large vanilla crops in Guadeloupe and Tahiti or that it's a big tea supplier thanks to the tropical Reunion Island? If you didn't, you're not alone.
French food and drinks have many interesting and shocking facts that many don't know about. This article will highlight some surprising things about this cuisine you might not have been aware of and can help you to gain a new perspective on the intricacies of French cooking and baking. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Cheese is Popular
While it probably doesn't come as a surprise that this is popular here, the intensity of it might be. The French eat over 57 lbs. of this dairy product per year and they have a wide selection to choose from. There are over 400 different types of it and you can even find some made out of horse milk. This country is also known for being home to one of the smelliest types in the world: Epoisses.
If you happen to be an extreme cheese lover, you can even sign up for a 2 years degree at the Ecoles Nationales d'Industrie Laitière to become a maître fromager.
Escargots are Consumed a Lot
Over 500 million snails are consumed every year here. While expensive, they are considered a delicacy here which is why many people enjoy their taste. One of the most popular snail types to eat is the Burgundy snail. This creature only measures about an inch long but is packed with flavor.
There are Special Baguette Rules
A traditional baguette has a very specific recipe that needs to be followed. In fact, if you don't follow it you'll be breaking the law! Traditional baguettes can only be made out of flour, yeast, and salt and weigh exactly 9 oz. The French eat about 10 million of these each year.
Bakers also have the chance to compete against each other for the honor of making bread for a year for the French president during the annual Grand Prix de la Baguette de la Ville de Paris.
Wine is Essential
A glass of wine is considered to be one of the most important parts of a meal in this culture. It's vital to have a glass nearby. If you happen to be celebrating something special during the meal, champagne is a must.
They Have Many Unique Pastries
You'll find many bakeries that offer creative and unique pastries that only France could have created. One of the most iconic types is the macaroon which is one of the most popular cookies here. The éclair is also popular and translates to "lightning" which is believed to symbolize the strip of chocolate glaze on the top of it. Other common pastries created in France are Madeleines (a tea cake), the Paris-Brest (circular-shaped praline pastry), and Frasier (cake filled with whipped cream and strawberries).
Butter is an Essential Ingredient
Most food features butter, a vital ingredient in many dishes, pastries, and breads, especially croissants. While many countries around the world believe butter to be an unhealthy ingredient, the type created in France isn't. Most of the butter is produced locally from happy cows who are grass-fed. Because of this, local butter can be healthy to consume as there are no hormones or preservatives in it. Each person here tends to eat about 18 lbs. of butter per year!
There are many Creative Coffees
Coffee is an important part of the cuisine here, especially during breakfast. One type that's only served during breakfast is the Café Crème which is similar to a cappuccino with its fluffy foam topping.
Another type you'll find here is the Noisette which is an espresso with a little milk. An Dèca is a decaf espresso that you can try if you don't want much caffeine.
However, one of the most recognizable coffees from France is Café au Lait. This coffee is made from lightly roasted beans and features a creamy steamed milk. It was one of the first coffees to be made with milk when originally coffee was just drunk black.
The Regions Have Their Own Essential Ingredients
Every region in France has its own essential ingredients to make their iconic meals. For instance, if you visit Provence you'll find that they're big on aromatic herbs, olive oil and vegetables. However, if you travel to the Alps, you'll find they're more inclined to use dairy in their dishes.
Lunch Breaks Last Up to 2 Hours
In many parts of the globe lunch breaks last only 30 minutes to an hour. However, in France, you'll be able to enjoy eating your lunch for a relaxing 2 hours.
There's a Special Afternoon Snack
Known as Goûter, this afternoon snack is designed mainly for kids but adults enjoy it as well. It consists of sweets such as crêpes, brioches, croissants, and hot chocolate. Healthier versions are also frequent, like fruit yogurt or fromage blanc. It's a way to help keep them full until dinner.
There are Thousands of Restaurants in Paris
When you visit this city you won't have to worry about not finding a place to eat. There are over 5,000 in the city alone you can dine at. Going out with friends enjoying quality time over delicacies and drinks is a must for socialites.
There are Four Different Approaches to Meals
Meals are taken seriously here and because of this they are classified in four different ways. The first type is the Classic meal which is heavy in cream and butter and focuses more on traditional cooking methods. The second type is Haute which is used to describe meals that are refined and elegant. The next approach is Nouvelle which is one of the newest types and focuses on quick and seasonal meals. The last approach is Cuisine du Terroir which specialized in rustic dishes, like stew.
As you can see, French cuisine has an intricate history and has quite a few interesting secrets that many aren't aware of. Hopefully, these facts will help you to gain even more interest in this amazing cuisine.
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