True, in some big cities like Paris, a few people may commit the sacrilege of hastily eating a sandwich.
But for the majority of French people, lunch is a highly valued moment to take a break from work and socialise with peers and friends over good food. Once again, a typical French dinner depends on the region. However, the structure of a basic French dinner tends to be unvarying. Sometimes there is also a salad course, which would follow the main course. If both fish and a meat course are being served, the fish would come before the meat.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are served along with small appetizers, such as nuts or olives, to stimulate your appetite. By contrast, the digestif happens at the very end of the meal. Guests are served drinks with a high alcohol percentage, such as whiskey, bourbon or a liqueur, to aid digestion. Despite the hoity-toity reputation that many French dishes have, most have humble origins — not created for kings, but for farmers and labourers.
Now-famous regional specialties were largely based on the local products that were available at that time. In Provence, the cuisine features the olive oil that comes from the olive groves of the region.
Traditional Lyonnaise cuisine is hearty, stick-to-your-bones fare that should be avoided by vegetarians or anyone who prefers eating light. The cuisine often features pork in every permutation, from snout to feet , chicken and duck particularly the livers and offal from a variety of animals.
The less adventurous among us will go crazy for quenelles de brochet, a delicious fish dumpling covered in a creamy lobster sauce. If you want to sound more adventurous than you are, try cervelles de canut. When in Lyon, be sure to eat traditional food in a bouchon. A bouchon is a tavern-style restaurant that once served the silk workers that populated the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. In contrast to the heavy fare of Lyon, in Provence food seems feather light.
Provence is a region in the south of France, known for its lavender fields and olive groves. The cuisine is distinctly Mediterranean, featuring plenty of fish, vegetables, olive oil, garlic and herbs. Coming in second for best-known is likely ratatouille , a vegetable casserole made of tomatoes, zucchini, aubergines, onions, peppers, garlic and a healthy dose of olive oil.
Also popular is petite farcie — assorted vegetables, from tomatoes to peppers, stuff with minced meat. Even in Provence, dishes can be narrowed down to a precise origin. Other ingredients, such as potatoes or string beans, may also be included, but will inevitably upset some purists. Each have their distinctive dishes, but being so close to the ocean, both are known for having excellent and huge variety of seafood and shellfish.
Normandy, dairy country, is also known for its excellent cheeses, most notably the famed Camembert.
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These are made with buckwheat flour and are commonly served with eggs, ham, and cheese although fillings can run the gamut of ingredients. Sweet crepes are often slathered in salted caramel, or chocolate, or simply sprinkled with butter and sugar. Writing about all the regional cuisines of France could fill a book.
The main French TV channels schedule their main evening programmes to start at 8. In town and city restaurants, dinner service often does not start until 8 p. For more details, see the next section. The Best value Paris pass. Prices start at just 19,90 Euros for a two day pass for children and France is famed for its gourmet delights, what the French call its "gastronomie"; and though many big cities now vie with Paris for the title of world capital of eating, there can still often be something special about dining out in France. It's not just about great Michelin-starred restaurants, it's about the great dining-out experience to be had in many thousands more restaurants all over France.
They're not all good - far from it. But there are still, even today, and in cities, towns and villages across France, plenty that are. The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more. Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
Full site index. Guide to the regions of France Beyond Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions. Tourism in France The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more. Maps of France Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes. A-Z dictionary of France Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.
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