The List of 50 strangest, interesting, odd facts about French Food

The List of 50 strangest, interesting, odd facts about French Food

So what is it so special about French and Food? Actually, there is a lot! I am sure even though you have some ideas about French people already or you don’t get this nation at all, I can assure you that French LOVE food & eating. It can be really surprising as it was for me because I would assassinate France only with the fashion, wine and cheese but not really with the lifestyle which is dictated by food…On top of that what surprised me a lot was the fact that actually French people don’t eat so often. But then, when they start…it lasts long…actually there is no end to be seen…drink, aperitif, starter, main course, cheese, dessert…wine, water, baguette and a lot of talking…So they are quite specific about food and eating and that is why I felt I want to share with you some, many actually, facts about French attitude to food. 50StrangestFacts-FeatureSo here you have a List of 50 strangest, interesting, odd, some well-known and some to be discovered facts about French Food. I hope you enjoy finding out all of this!

Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard
  1. French people live to eat and the Rest of the World eat to live…French pays a high priority to enjoy the life and food! It’s a part of their culture & tradition and lifestyle!

    View from Pont du Gard
    View from Pont du Gard
  2. Surprisingly, they don’t eat often, usually 2-3 meals per day. The breakfast is not that important for French people and it will be smaller in size. The lunch is served pretty early around midday. It has a starter, warm main dish, the bread to accompany it and a snack/dessert. After this, the French do not eat anything till dinner which can and is usually very late! Their dinner may start around 7-8pm or even later! It has a starter as well, the main warm dish, always the baguette to nibble and wine. After you finish your main plat, there is a cheese to follow or/and dessert. The meal can last a long time…there is a lot to eat and talk about. But no snack in between the main meals makes it possible to finish all courses.Lyonnais Sausages
  3. As I said, French people do not have afternoon snacks and coffee/tea and cake breaks. But it exists in France something called goûter or quatre-heure.5481906649_a8c13e70f5_b It is an afternoon snack for French children. It has been invented for kids to handle their smaller stomachs (that is what I think anyway). They eat smaller portions during main meals but then they get hungry quicker than adults. So to handle their appetite and hunger, here comes the goûter which usually consists of the crepes, croissants, brioche, cookies or hot chocolate. It makes me wanna be a kid one more time…phantomImage1997-original
  4. As many regions there are in France, there are so many types of French cuisine! Let’s start with Alsace which is the most different French region in terms of culture & food. It has a lot of German influences so the main specialities include beer and sauerkraut. Provence area is well known for its olive oils, tomatoes and herbs used for cooking. The food of Normandy is based on butter, crème fraiche and apples. The Alps region loves its cheese so there are many cheese meals like fondue and raclette to name a fewLyonnais Specialities
  5. We all know that the best baguettes are being produced in France. It is not surprise really. The traditional recipes are being followed when baking the bread and what is more the French law make sure that no mistakes made. Did you know that the law in France says that the traditional baguette can only have three ingredients: flour, yeast and salt, and must weigh 250 grams, just short of 9 ounces. So as you can see, strict rules are followed and the best baguettes are delivered only in France!Baguetts
  6. And do you know when French started to produce bread. Long wide loaves have been around since the time of Louis XIV, and long thin ones since the mid-18thMarche
  1. Le pain (baguette mainly and its variations in different shapes and sizes) is served for free and unlimited in restaurants. It is actually interesting that French people will not get filled up with bread and they enjoy their full, long, big meal.EatingFrenchWay
  2. Did you realize that there is a special way of eating bread in France? I would call it even the bread etiquette! So firstly, you should not start to nibble it before the meal arrives; secondly you don’t use the knife to cut it but you break it with fingers, thirdly, you don’t use butter to spread on the bread but more likely you clean your plate with the bread…preferably dipping it in the sauces if they are being providedBread
  3. And guess how many baguettes are being baked in France each year. Ten billion! This is true and not surprising actually. As you can imagine that French people eat baguettes for lunch, for dinner and it accompanies each meal! French eat baguettes when they are hungry but they also nibble it as a part of big meals and with cheese. What is surprising they even don’t pay attention to nibbling it; it’s a habit & French way!
  4. Also, did you know that the bakers have their patron..the saint actually! This is Saint-Honore and there is the feast day to celebrate him and all the bakers. It is happening on 16th May!Snails
  5. Snails – we know this is a French speciality and anyone who visits France should have an experience of eating them. But I was surprised to learn on how many snails are being eaten in France…approximately 500,000,000 snails per year. Well, at the end of the day, they are tiny so you need many to get the taste!
  6. High in protein, low in fat – those are the healthy benefits of eating snails! You might really want to try…FrogLegs
  1. And have you thought that snails are the strangest thing that French people eat? Well, I am gonna to surprise you here.

    However scary and odd it is, how disgusting it might sound, French are not afraid to try it out and eat! You can easily order in the restaurant the horse meat, frog legs and rabbit just to name a few interesting foods…So make sure you study some French before going to restaurant, so you know what you ordered…it’s a way of avoiding a bad surprises when a horse meat arrives on your plate!FrenchEatingAll

  2. And how many of cheeses does France have? President Charles de Gaulle said ‘How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?’ But he was a little bit wrong about it actually. There are many more cheeses in France then 246 as he stated! The very traditional ones and the new ones are coming all the time…the number is constantly growing… It is said that France has a different cheese for almost every day of the year. It is true but tricky because there are more than 365 types of French cheeses! Can you believe that there are actually over 400 kinds of cheese traditionally made in France?Cheese
  3. Do you want to know more about the different types of French cheeses? Do you know the Roquefort cheese? Well, there is a famous legend which describes on how it was discovered! So…there was a young guy eating his lunch of bread and ewes’ milk cheese, he noticed a pretty girl nearby. He left the meal and ran after her! He came back to the lunch spot few months later and what did he see? Well the cheese was there but covered with the mold (Penicillium roqueforti). So that how the Roquefort has been created! Sounds yummy? Well it doesn’t have to; the most important is that it tastes yummy 😉
  4. On top of that, Roquefort has been also used to help delaying the aging process! This is true, apparently it has some super anti-inflammatoryqualities so the French Scientists are not wasting their time and started to work on Roquefort cheese to make the beauty products which will delay the age progressing. Let’s keep the fingers crossed!Patience
  5. Patience – this is what you need to learn in France. Not only you wait in shops as the service is so kind to talk to each customer and you are just dreaming to be FINALLY this customer. But also, you wait years for the wine to mature, and for the meal (well me anyway…) But also I have found out that you wait for a cheese to age and it takes long time in some cases…There is the famous Comté cheese which is the best when aged between18 and 24 months. Oh the end of the day, it is worth it!
  6. And now something opposite. As Swedish it sounds, it is actually French! The famous Petit Suisse (“Little Swiss Cheese”) of Gervais does not come from Switzerland, but from Normandy, in France.Saint-Felicien
  7. If there is a bread etiquette, there is also the cheese etiquette! When eating cheese in France, it is about the quality not quantity. So when the cheese tray arrives, cut the pieces of the cheese like you cut the pie and place the samples on your plate. Try out up to three different types of cheeses and make sure the bread and wine will accompany the consumption

  8. Another thing that surprised me is that French people love fast food! They love to eat at McDonald’s, Quick and they love Burger King! When the city gets the new Burger King this is a huge event for people. And there are always long queue to eat at the fast foods! When you think on what best quality of food it is being served in France (and it is really the top quality as French do not go on compromises when it comes to food), you would think the fast foods will not be popular…but as we can see not only the top quality of food the French people love but also they like to change, try new things, and they will never get bored with eating the same thing all the time…
  9. Another weird thing about the French love for fast food! At French McDonald’s they serve a beer and a Croque McDo..but the beer?! I want to scream! That is really so wrong!
  10. And this is not all about famous fast food chains in France. The prices of most meals and snacks are more expensive there than in other countries. This is caused by the fact that the 90% of products used at those fast food chains are produced locally. But obviously, the high prices will not stop French people of enjoying the fast foods…they simply love it.French cuisine
  11. Alexandre Dumas in 1873 said that the wine is the intellectual part of the meal. So, oh well, you cannot argue with this, all is left for us is to enjoy the intellectual meal with the win. Because the wine is an important and un-missable part of the French meal.
  12. Thankfully…this is 17 of the wine region in France!
  13. Also interestingly, the younger French can start drinking light alcohol like wine and beer when they are 16 years old. But the official and legal drinking age in France for strong alcohol remains 18.
  14. And now about the French obsession for the quality of food! Have you ever seen the phrase – Grand Cru? It means the great growth and identifies everything what is the best quality! So look for it if you want the best of the best of the wines! It usually refers to the best vineyards no matter if this is about the area, or a property or a single owner..always the best grounds for the wine production!map-wine-regions-france
  15. And what about the abbreviation AOC. Do you know what it stands for? It is an acronym for Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. As so another thing that assures the top quality of food. AOC is to tell us about the origin of a product and its quality. This is a system of labelling products, not only the wine but also cheese, chickens, olive oils, potatoes and even lentils
  16. There are 15% of all French wines which are named with the AOC designations. If you take into consideration that France have 450 different wine appellations in France, tens of thousands of smaller producers of wines, this 15% stands for an impressive number!Beaujolais Wine Tasting
  17. France is the world’s first producer of wine and liquors.
  18. Did you know that the wine production in France has started in the Roman times?
  19. And did you know that many of the world’s famous liqueurs, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple Sec, Mandarine Napoleon, Cognac, Armagnac, Crème de Cassis, Pastis, Chartreuse, etc. have been produced in France?IMG_4470 copie
  20. In 2014, according to the International Organisation for Wine and Vine, France was the top wine producers’ worldwide. They contributed with the incredible 4.5 billion litres of wines to the world!
  21. Now it is time for Champagne. This is the French celebration drink. Each holiday and especially Christmas has to have the Champagne! But how French it is? Well, very as it comes from Champagne in France. However, it was not invented there. According to the legend, monks brought the recipe for the drink up from the southern region of Languedoc. They discovered that the region’s soil made the drink taste better than it had further south. So now Champagne produces very good and famous Champagnes…
  22. The Champagne, which, if produced anywhere outside of the Champagne region of France, can only be called sparkling wine.
  23. And as it comes to Christmas…starting with the Champagne, did you know how much seafood do they eat…loads…they start on the Christmas Even with raw oysters, smoked salmon, scallops to carry on during following days with the escargots and fois gras. But obviously this is just a small addition to the Christmas French Menu as they have more food including meat, vegetables, baguettes (always!) , cheese, festive cakes and the best wines!Maccarones
  24. Macarons are one of the French speciality and its pride, but actually they were not invented in France. It was Catherine de Medici who arrived from Italy to marry Henry II in 1533 and brought them to France.Croissant
  25. The croissant hasn’t been discovered in France either. But this is famous fact yet pretty controversial. As the croissant is the quintessence of the French bakery but it actually comes from Austria. In the 13th century, in Austria, it was called – kipferl. It was a type of the bread that is said to give the croissant its beginning. So are you ready to hear on how this kipfer appeared in France? It was 1839 when an Austrian baker opened a bakery in Paris. He was serving the Viennese specialities which included the kipferl and Viennese loaf. French loved all those bakery goodies and therefore they started to open the bakeries imitating the original Viennese one. The kipfer got its French version and its new name (after the shape). Since that time the reputation & taste of the French croissant, become famous & popular all over the world and actually it cannot be copied elsewhere!
  26. And what about the French toast? Well, it has been present and known in the medieval France, at the court of Henry V. It has been called the pain perdu. But this this type of bread was also known and eaten in German and Spain territories long time ago. So at the end of the day we cannot be sure if it was invented in France or in Germany or in Spain, But, it does not matter, does it? What matters is the fact that we have the opportunity to eat it J
  27. Do you want to know what was the journey that the foie gras did to arriveto France? Having been now an important part of French cuisine, it has not actually been invented in France. The foie gras has appeared for the first in Ancient Egypt 4,500 years ago. Then the recipe went to Greece (500 B.C.E.) and from there finally the Romans brought its recipe to Gaul.Creps
  28. If you have lost the confidence in France to invent any of the food, I have something for you to assure you that France can be still counted as a country of food! So they don’t only enjoy eating but also create good cuisine. So if you think about Crêpes – one of the most popular food in Europe – the famous, simple and beloved by all, served sweet or savour, thin or thick pancakes originate in France, its western part and to be more précised – in Brittany.
  29. And now do you want to learn the history about the little, delicious and shell shaped famous cake of France? Yes, the Madeleine! This is as simple and as delicious as you can only imagine …before trying it out! The cake is a real national pride and French people love it. This cake has been around for centuries and no one is sure who made it. There are several legends and one of them tells that Madeleine has been invented by a young maid at the court of King Stanislas of Lorraine. She helped out once during the party when the top cook did not want to prepare a dessert. He made the little cakes which the King and his guests loved a lot. They called them after her – Madeleine.
  30. This is bizarre but true! Many people in France drink their hot beverages from bowls…coffee, tea, hot chocolate…I still do not understand why and how…And they have mugs but what for then?PaulBocuse
  31. And did you know that France has a Pope? Yes, this is true 😉 There is a Pope of the French Cuisine. He lives in Lyon and his name is Paul Bocuse.Crowded Lyonnais Bouchon
  32. And do you know what the Capital of the French Gastronomy is? It is my beloved Lyon! And we all know why or you can get to know about it in more details here FrenchDesserts
  33. Talking about French desserts… the French actually eat more cheese and have a fruit or yogurt after their meal rather the sweet desserts. Their delicious tarts, cakes are usually served when French invite others for a meal or when they are invited. They don’t bake so much either. There is too big choice of amazing pastries bakeries around which sell amazing gateaux so you cannot compete…
  34. France produces a lot of agricultural products for export. It is the Europe’s largest and 2nd in the world’s exporter of those products.French best wines
  35. If you plan to go shopping during your lunch time, make sure the shops you are visiting will be open! Yes, this is true. Most of the French stores will be closed between 12pm and 2-3pm. French people take their time when it comes to eating! And this is their 2-3 hour lunch break!
  36. And this is not all surprises with doing shopping in France. The food shops and supermarkets and all shops actually are closed on Sundays! And I am not kidding!Happy Wine Tasting
  37. Santé” is a traditional toast in France, it means good health. Clink glasses but don’t cross over someone’s arms when you do, it brings bad luck (or seven years of bad sex!) You don’t want either!!!Wines Gifts
  38. The per capita wine consumption in France in 2012 was 44.2 litres! However, this is a number that has declined over the years, because in 1965, the amount of wine consumed per head was an unbelievable 160 litres, falling to 57 litres by 2010.

50 Facts! Impressive isn’t it? Well, I guess I could find more as I needed to stop my researches and observations cause you would never look into the list. But maybe you know others, more surprising and interesting facts about French Food? If so, please do share with me. As you remember, I am on the mission to explore France even more! Thank you …


I am a Polish girl who felt in love with Lyon from the first sight! Jadorelyon is my way of exploring France, the French way of life, their cuisine, sharing the experience from visiting beautiful places in France. Jadorelyon is my new way of adding some Polish influence into French lives and watching on how they like it...

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