For Less is More visitors, my card is over at the Teapot but you could stay and read this as well, if you wish. You'd be very welcome!!

Well! PomPom & Mags have really helped me out with inspiration for a couple of blog posts...

As Pompom's questions are mostly food based, I'll answer those here, first... But do remember, I'm not French. I'm only a British girl who has been here for 8 years...It doesn't make me an expert!!

1. Yummy French breakfasts: I have a confession... Much as I like croissants, pain au chocolat and the rest, I don't have a French themed breakfast at all. If I did, I'd be as fat as a mouldiwarp in no time at all. For my breakfast I have a glass of orange juice, a slice of toast with a thin slice of cheese, a handful of nuts and dried apricots, a Danacol yoghurt and coffee. And, hating to disillusion you some more...when I ask my students what they had for breakfast, most of them admit to having only coffee, or a "tartine" with jam - basically a slice of bread (possibly yesterday's stale baguette, toasted) with jam. The yummy croisant-and-coffee (or hot chocolate) combo is a Sunday morning treat! And we don't even have it then...We only have it when we have guests (so when you come and stay, Pompom...!)

2. The fact that French people don't eat in between meals I don't know how true this is... Children certainly have their gouter after school (my friend's children have a prepacked crepe spread with chocolate spread for their gouter) and I have seen lots of people eating food in the street, or in MacDo when it isn't really meal time. Coffee time with my students is often a time for the snacks/ biscuits to be produced and wolfed down...The French are starting to struggle with obesity, as the British & Americans, so I think this is a generality which no longer holds water. Of course, there ae the stick thin women who only push a salad around their plate (as there are in any country) but for every one of those, there is someone who eats far too much!

3. How old are kids when they learn to cook in France? I don't know, TBH! I don't even know if Home Ec/ Food technology or whatever is taught in French schools. I do know that when Flynn and India, my friend's chidren, started school, they used to have regular food tasting sessions, when cheese, or fruit or vegetables would be introduced to the children. And while the children no doubt complain about school meals, the menus are certainly very different to school lunches in Britain

I've just taken this from the internet - the week's menu for schools in the Montpellier region:
  • Pomelos et sucre (grapefruit & sugar)
  • Omelette aux oignons (onion omelette)
  • Ratatouille (ratatouille)
  • Fromage à pâte molle (cheese with a soft rind)
  • Fruit : pomme (apple)

  • Mélange de crudités (carotte, chou blanc, céleri) (mixed salad - carrots, white cabbage, celery)
  • Navarin de mouton (lamb navarin)
  • Pommes de terre vapeur (steamed potatoes)
  • Cantal AOP* (Cantal cheese)
  • Purée pomme/banane (apple/banana purée)
  • sans viande : des sardines à l'huile remplaceront le navarin de mouton du menu. (non meat eaters can have sardines instead of the lamb)
  • Oeuf dur mayonnaise (egg mayonnaise)
  • Suprême de poisson blanc et citron (supreme of white fish & lemon)
  • Pâtes à la tomate (pasta in tomato sauce)
  • Fromage frais nature (natural fromage frais)
  • Fruit : orange (orange)
  • sans viande : des pâtes à la tomate cuisinées sans bouillon de viande remplaceront les pâtes du menu.(non meat eaters: the tomato sauce is cooked without meat stock)
  • Mélange fraîcheur (batavia, carotte, maïs) (mixed salad - beetroot, carrot, corn)
  • Saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse sausages)
  • Gratin de courgettes (Courgette gratin)
  • Crème Anglaise (custard with a chocolate fondant cake)
  • Mœlleux au chocolat AB*
  • sans porc : des chipolatas de volaille remplaceront la saucisse de Toulouse du menu.
  • sans viande : des oeufs durs remplaceront la saucisse de Toulouse du menu. ( chicken sausages for non-pork eaters/ hardboiled eggs for non meat eaters)
My first thought is that this is a bloomin' good menu for children, and that it's probably fairly well received. And secondly, it's nothing like the British school dinners Here's a link to a PDF of one county's lunch menu - to be fair, it's not as bad as I expected, but it's not as tempting as the French menu!
"My, that looks nice. Can I have some?"

4. Dishes. Are actual china and crystal used in France? Do French people like to set a fancy table/or simply a well-appointed table? I think it depends on who you're visiting and how well you know them, and their individual tastes. We have eaten at a friend's house and she has had lovely glasses on the table, and her best crockery and china out for us...but we have eaten at other friends' where we have had mismatched glassware, slightly cracked plates and knives and forks that were from different sets: but the quality of the food, the camaraderie and the welcome was the same at both houses. Horses for courses, I guess.

5. Who are your most famous cookbook authors? In France, I don't know who are the well known cookery book writers. I think Jamie Oliver is quite well known over here, but I'm not an afficianado of French chefs/ cook book writers.

So, Pompom, I'm not really sure if I've successfully answered your questions - but thank you for some food-based questions to give me inspiration for a blog post!
I'll answer Mags' questions on Monday over at the Teapot (which seems to be loading okay today!) but tomorrow I'll be back here with the week's menus. See you then!


  1. Wow! The French school menus sound like actual FOOD! Our school menus are somewhat boring and don't involve a lot of real cooking. Sad.
    Floss had told me that French people don't eat between meals as much, but I am not surprised that things are changing everywhere. People here dine out way too much and they eat the food industry's offerings of highly palatable but also HIGHLY fattening and addictive foods. We have The Food Network and my students LOVE to watch it. They love Cake Boss. I rarely watch cooking shows. Maybe I should!
    Thank you so much for answering my questions, Mouse!

  2. A very interesting post. I've been considering going straight through one of Julia Child's cookbooks. I've not cooked much French cuisine up to this point, but adore eating it. :)


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