Thursday, 3 September 2015

Pesky Food in France

Two of my favourite hobbies, if they can be called that, are cooking and eating out. Despite being a lover of food and trying to push myself to eat new and interesting food, especially on holiday, I am what some people would class as a picky eater. This is because I don't eat meat, just fish. I gave up meat when I was 13 and so have been pescatarian for over half my life. I hadn't heard of the term pescatarian until I went to Uni but I quite like it and most people seem to have heard of it if you mention it.

When we decided to live in France for a few months some people said they thought I would struggle with eating out. The French after all are notorious for their love of meat! It actually hasn't been that hard because I eat fish and almost every restaurant we have looked at has had fish or seafood options.

The only time it has been difficult has been in Carcassonne. At least the first 5 restaurants we saw had the choice of Cassoulet (made with duck and sausage) or confit duck, nothing else. My husband was determined to try the Cassoulet as it is a speciality of the region and so luckily we found a restaurant which had that and some fish on the menu. If I had been vegetarian I am not sure what I would have eaten!

Rural France is not really a place that caters to vegetarians. In the major cities there is much more variety but in smaller towns like in most countries you are more limited. Regardless of that, I love the French attitude towards food in general. They seem to have a much better appreciation for locally sourced, freshly made food which isn't always the case in Britain. One of the things I like most about French food culture is the 'la formule' which every restaurant has (I think by law!). This means that they have a set menu for lunch usually at a very reasonable price. For example the restaurant in a town 10 mins drive from us has a 3 course meal with 2 or 3 choices at each course and 250ml of wine per person for €12.50! And the food is really good. That isn't unusual value either and even eating in touristy places, you will be able to find excellent food at good value. The French believe in good freshly cooked food for everyone, not just for people who can afford to pay a lot of money which is refreshing.

No comments:

Post a Comment