Aero: Claire Darling – France 2014 – Food and Dining


Aero: Claire Darling – France 2014 – Food and Dining
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Claire Darling – France 2014 – Food and Dining


Claire Darling

Cafes can be found on every corner with indoor and outdoor seating just as you’d imagine. “Coffee” in France means a double shot of espresso or a latte (espresso and milk.) Some menus had a Café Americain which I imagine is watered down espresso but I didn’t bother with that. The only semblance of “American” coffee I had was the instant coffee at my host families’ house, which is a coffee sin at home. 

Bread, cakes, crepes and cookies are very prominent in the French diet. I never thought I’d get sick of bread but I really did. They also like spreads such as Nutella, caramel, butter, and cheese. These things were available for breakfast and snacks. My host family ate a variety of foods for dinner. Ophélie was a pescetarian although she just called it vegetarian. There was always bread at every meal. We had scallops, salmon, pizza, shrimp, chicken, beef and all sorts of things. One thing I found really odd was when my host family ate plain iceberg lettuce and referred to it as salad. I also noticed that my family had tons of drinks, not only wine and alcohol but different juices, hot chocolate, a huge tea selection and of course instant coffee. My favorite meal with my host family was a scallop mixed in some kind of cream sauce plus bread and tons of other things that were always on the table. The French girls absolutely loved the Samoa Girl Scout cookies that I brought as a host gift for them and even asked where they could find them!

Of all the different foods we had one of my French favorites was the Croque Madame, the best ham and cheese sandwich you ever had with a fried egg on top. I also tried regional specialties like gallettes and cider in Brittany. In Paris, especially, there is food from every imaginable culture. The Italian food was the best I’ve ever had, especially the Bolognese sauce. Kayli and I also had amazing Indian food for lunch. The Indian servers were notably more attentive and nicer than the French. Even the “Speed Rabbit” buy one; get one free pizzas near our hotel were good!

We also got to see the public market in Rennes which was incredible. We had seen the market area empty a few days before and it looked like a totally different place after it was set up. They had every fresh food you could think of. They also had tons of flowers that I was dying to take home.

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

Because I work in a restaurant I found it very interesting to observe the differences between ours and theirs. Most of the differences stem from the payment of the employees. French servers do not make tips because they make full wages unlike the United States. Although you might leave “Un pour boire”, some change for a drink after work, the waiters do not have to “earn” their money through good service. In the United States servers depend on tips which completely dictate their behavior toward the customer. I found French servers for the most part to be pushy, rude and awful employees by our restaurant standards. I’m sure that this also had to do with the fact that they were waiting on Americans. It is hard to accommodate large parties in many restaurants but this is especially true in France, our group seemed like quite a lot for the restaurants to take on. One main thing I learned is that although the food is to die for, the most important thing is spending time and having conversation with the people around you.

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Claire Darling

Creative Commons LicenseThe LEAF Project
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike