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!
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!