Some French Food Facts
1. The French people call the English people les rosbifs, meaning - the roast beefs!
2. In France, they eat snails (les escargots), frogs' legs (les cuisses de grenouille) and horse meat (la viande de cheval).
3. Before eating a meal, it is polite to say Bon appétit. Literally, this means 'good appetite'.
By saying 'Bon appétit!' you are wishing everybody 'a good appetite' so that they will enjoy their meal.
4. The most popular French bread is la baguette (little stick). It is a loaf 5 or 6 cm. wide and up to a metre in length.
If it is a thinner version, it is called une ficelle (a string) and if it is wider it is called une flûte. Bread rolls are called petits pains (little breads).
La baguette magique is 'the magic wand'!
The shape of la baguette makes it very easy to carry under your arm!
5. The word for breakfast is le petit déjeuner (the little lunch). In France you dunk your croissant into a milky drink at breakfast-time. The word 'croissant' actually means 'crescent' because the pastry is a crescent shape. The shape is very good for dunking!
6. Although croissants are associated with France, they actually started in Austria. The crescent was the symbol of the Turks. When the Austrians defeated the Turks in a battle over three hundred years ago, the French chef employed by the Emperor of Austria decided to make crescent-shaped pastry (in the shape of the Turks' emblem) for the Austrians to eat in celebration - meaning they were crushing and chewing their enemies!
When the chef returned to France, he made his 'invention' popular there too. This type of pastry is referred to in French as la viennoiserie, meaning - Viennese pastries. (Vienna is the capital city of Austria).
Above is the symbol that inspired the invention of the croissant.
7. Officially, it is said that France produces 365 different types of cheese! That is to say, a different cheese for each day of the year. However, it is believed that there are even more than this!
Photo by Semnoz
French cheese can be made from the milk of cow, goat or ewe.
A few French cheeses are - Boursin, Camembert, Roquefort, Brie, Beaufort, Emmental de Savoie.
The list contains around four hundred names..........
8. A special French cake:
During the first days of January, a special cake is prepared called La Galette des Rois (Kings' Cake) to celebrate the Three Kings who followed the star to find the Baby Jesus (L'Enfant Jésus.) This occasion is called L' Épiphanie.
Inside the cake, a special trinket (une fève) is hidden.
On the 6 January parties take place in France and the cake is served. The lucky person who receives the trinket becomes the 'king' or 'queen' of the party.
To read more about the period of Christmas and New Year in France, click HERE.
9. La quiche is a savoury tart. It is a pastry base filled with a creamy egg mixture. Various ingredients can be added, for example, cubed bacon, onion, cheese, tomatoes, etc.
Photo by H. Padleckas
10. La ratatouille is a vegetable stew from the area of Nice in the South of France. Its full name is la ratatouille niçoise. The stew contains aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, onions, peppers, herbs and garlic. The vegetables are tossed together in a pan. La ratatouille is served warm and can be either a side-dish or a main course with rice or bread.
Une poêlée de ratatouille
Photo by M. Guimaraes.
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