The King, the Prince and the Beggar

Figs!

Figs!

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I have read a few books about french food and the way the french eat.  Before arriving here, I explained to my family that the french are very strict with their eating habits.  I think they brushed me aside until yesterday when Aaron and I were chastised, in a friendly way, about our american way of eating.

We had our friends, the Dargeunce family over for lunch after church.  We had a wonderful time with them and they are a very fun family!  We were talking about all different subjects when food came up.  They began to tell us that our children ate too much, ate at the wrong time of day, ate the wrong foods and that I was spending way too much money on groceries!  The french eat like “a King for breakfast, eat like a Prince for lunch and eat like Beggars for dinner”, with NO snacking in between except for little children who have a snack at 4pm.  Breakfast is at 8 or 8:30, lunch- 12-1:30 and it includes the meat for the day, with 2 pieces of bread and dinner around 7 or 8, which might include fish and 2 more pieces of bread.  One cannot eat much fruit because it is fattening!  Meanwhile, all the “frenchies” were picking the figs and prunes off our trees and eating them all afternoon!

Prunes

Prunes

Fresh figs off a tree in our yard!

Fresh figs off a tree in our yard!

Another interesting fact about the french and their food is that the mother is the “dictator” of the food in the house.  No one is allowed to open the fridge unless the mother is asked and does it.  If an adult member of the family visits his or her parents it is impolite for respective son or daughter to open cupboards or fridge looking for food.  One is always served by the mother at a certain time of day.  I do not think this is practiced in every family, but I do think it is the traditional way in french families.  The French are very strict with their eating habits and are so stubborn when it comes to new ideas.

For example, the french have a hard time understanding why Aaron would be vegetarian.  They are not open to new ideas and only think their way of eating is correct.  Perhaps this is the socialist mentality that the French have been accustomed to for so long!  It is almost as if they have been programmed to do a certain thing at a certain time.  Where is the free agency is this life style?  Do the French feel like they have their agency or are they blinded by the socialist influence?  I know many might think food and socialist influence do not go hand in hand, but maybe it does.  Maybe the way one is forced to live is reflective in all aspects of one’s life?

I like the idea of a scheduled eating time, but I also enjoy the pleasure of food at any time of day, like an ice cream cone at 2 in the afternoon!  When it comes to food, I think the French could learn some things from the Americans and we, as Americans, could learn some things from the French! :)

5 thoughts on “The King, the Prince and the Beggar

  1. I kind of like the idea about kids not going to the refrigerator any time they feel like it! Or at least asking if they can have something. But the French way seems a bit stifling and a bit too strict for me. Do the French have the obesity problem that we have in the US?

  2. PS – I would be eating all the figs on your tree. My mouth watered when I saw the picture. Those are my very favorite and I didn’t get any this year at Costco. What a treat!!

    • They are delicious Mom! There are two different trees in our yard, “blanche et violet”. White and purple. Plus we have prunes, grapes, hazelnuts, almonds, sage, bay tree and lots of herbs.

  3. This is so interesting! I love reading all of your posts and learning so much. You need to post some pictures of the yard. Sounds beautiful with the fruit trees!

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