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French in France


Eating at Home

The French eat four meals each day: breakfast, which is usually a light fare of coffee and a piece of baguette with butter or jam; lunch, eaten between 12:00-1:30, consisting of a simple sandwich or a salad; an afternoon snack (“gôuter”) of baguette with chocolate eaten between 4:00-5:00 p.m., and, finally, dinner, starting between 8:00-9:00 p.m.

Even during the week, dinner is a complex affair of at least 3 courses and lasts between one and two hours. It is considered an important and necessary family event. Dinner is often preceded by an “aperitif,” or appetizer - a glass of wine and peanuts - an hour or so before the meal itself. The first course of a dinner, or “entree,” is usually a salad, followed by a main course of meat and vegetables. The next course is cheese with fruit and crackers followed by dessert.

Dessert might be something simple like yogurt or fruit depending on the occasion. Bread is eaten liberally throughout the meal. Wine and water are the only common dinner drinks; the French don’t drink sodas, and orange juice is normally only served to children.

The most important meal of the week is Sunday lunch, especially in Catholic families. It is the time when the extended family gets together.


Videos

  • "What Do You Want for Breakfast?"
    Transcript document:
  • "What Are We Going to Eat?"
    Transcript document:
  • "Enjoy Your Meal!"
    Transcript document:
  • "What Are You Eating?"
    No transcript
  • "Hello, I'd Like to Order Two Pizzas"
    No transcript
  • "Making a Chocolate Cake: Part 1"
    No transcript
  • "Making a Chocolate Cake: Part 2"
    No transcript
  • "Making a Salad Dressing"
    No transcript