A French Christmas

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This post is about not so local food. Bex from WyeDean deli has just got back from visiting family in France’s Mayenne region. Now, we are often told that the French place a great deal of importance on their food, but is this true?

A great Christmas seeing family in France
A great Christmas seeing family in France

 

Respecting the sanctity of lunch time…

Well, in many ways it is, although the traditional long lunches and meals cooked from scratch are dying out in cities and large towns. However, rural areas such as much of the Mayenne remain steadfast in respecting the sanctity of lunch time and some supermarkets even close for lunch – something unheard of in the UK! Then, of course, is the French sense of pride concerning local produce.

Another fantastic place for cider!

The Mayenne is an agricultural region (and France’s leading horticultural region in fact), with prevalent dairy and pork farming. It is also home to some superb cider farms. Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are both renowned cider counties and driving through the Mayenne you’ll also spot trees full of mistletoe just as you would here!

Residence of the Cobhams (senior)
Residence of the Cobhams (senior)

 

Regional specialties

If you get excited visiting supermarkets and food shops abroad, you’re not alone! One curious thing about France is the price of food, which is generally higher than in the UK. Possible exceptions are in-season fruit and veg, local produce (pork products and locally made cheese in the Mayenne). Lidl isn’t even a discount store in France – it’s rather pricey! Perhaps this is why food waste isn’t such an issue in France.

Vive la différence!

So, you may be wondering what the French have for Christmas. Well, it’s not so different to here. However, the attitude to food is different.

A little something we picked up from the Super U!
A little something we picked up from the Super U!

 

Lunch is the main meal of the day and a social occasion. Although life in cities and busy towns has become more like ours, other parts of France still value the long lunch break, with people going home to enjoy a proper meal before they tackle their work for the afternoon. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Interestingly, Christmas Eve is the ‘big day’ for the French, with Christmas Day being more like our Boxing Day.

Cultural differences in attitudes towards food are fascinating, so we’d really appreciate hearing your stories. Wye Dean deli Confidential wishes you a Happy New Year of eating, drinking and being merry!

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