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Life around the world

What should I eat today?

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Without a doubt it is very important that we eat a healthy and balanced diet. I thought I would write this blog entry about the differences that I have found between food and meal culture in England and France. It is clear that food is very important in French culture and is a key thing which brings the family together.

The main difference that I have found between the French and English diet is the meal at lunchtime. When I was at school in England we only had one hour for the lunchtime and would typically eat a sandwich and snack, and we would eat our main meal in the evening. However, in France at lunchtime in the schools where I am working as an English language assistant, there is a two-hour lunch break and the majority of the pupils and staff go home to eat a wholesome three-course meal. This idea of a long lunch break took me a while to get used to but I think it is a good idea as it means you have longer to relax. The longer lunch breaks means that the primary schools finish later in France than the primary schools in England. Schools in England normally finish around 3 p.m. whereas the schools I am working in finish at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

Another difference that I have found between France and England is the way in which people shop. When shopping in England it is typical to buy all of the things you need for the week, and you plan your meals. Shopping in St Amand Montrond (the town where I live in France) is much more carefree and spontaneous. There is a market twice a week which sells fresh meat, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. I also love going to the bakery each morning to buy fresh bread and if I want to treat myself, I will buy a beautiful pastry or cake. Yesterday I had a cake called a passion framboise, which is a passion fruit and raspberry-flavoured cake layered with cream and fresh fruits. It was delicious! A typical lunchtime meal in France will consist of a starter of cold meats or salad, a hot main course – vegetables and meat – and sweet dessert. Tarte aux pommes (apple tart) is a favourite. The French also love their coffee after a meal. 

Food is a big part of French culture and I am loving discovering this. I wonder what new food I will try next? I think it will be delicious, whatever it is!

Where do you usually have lunch and what do you like to have? 


youaretheonlyone29's picture
youaretheonlyone29 2 May, 2016 - 12:34

I always have lunch and also take a nap at school because we have to study in the afternoon, from 1h30 to 4h with a 15-minute break ;)) That maybe sounds weird but we get the mats out and lie on it. About desks and chairs, we always put them on one side for more spaces. In one class, there are about 40 to 50 people, is really uncomfortable :)) And about the food, i can't say that it is bad or it is delicious. It is normal '.' usually with rice, soup and fish or chicken or tofu. For me, i love having lunch at a cafeteria. I've never tried it before =))

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sona's picture
sona 26 October, 2015 - 18:51

I always have lunch at my home,because the school in Albania finishes at 1 o'clock. However,I often eats alone,because mum comes back from work at 2 o'clock and my dad comes home at 3 o'clock. This way lunch doesn't bring my family together,but at the weekend evrything changes.

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iva10's picture
iva10 17 October, 2015 - 18:28

I eat lynch with my family.I especally like vegetables baked in oven with fish.It's very healthy and my mother always cooked that when was summer.

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Muskaan's picture
Muskaan 17 October, 2015 - 16:12

We have 20 mins. of lunch breaks twice a day. That's quite different from the other areas I think .

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Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 15 October, 2015 - 19:49

I usually have lunch at school because our lunch time break is less than an hour so we don't have time to go home and have a nap……..….. I used to go to school cafeteria but it was very crowded and took time, so recently I buy some bread or rice ball which are convenient to have a quick bite! I usually eat a lot in the morning for our good circulation, as Giang says. I'm wondering that the main difference of the diet between Europe and Asia might depend on daylight hours, or at least depend on climate in which we live….? Anyway I like to have any kind of food if they are good for our health, I like to eat actually!! :)))

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gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 15 October, 2015 - 17:26

I have lunch at home and I like to have vegetables, tofu,fish....Having lunch is not important to me. ( Although lunch is said to be a big meal in most Vietnamese families). I often eat a lot in the morning. It is necessary for us to have a big breakfast every day because it provides energy to study all day long. In the evening, a half of my plate is made up by vegetables.Everyone has different ways to choose a healthy diet. You can base on Healthy Eating Pyramid for more information :)

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hadia's picture
hadia 15 October, 2015 - 16:05

I usually have lunch at my home :) I love having lunch with my family! Actually I can never miss my Mom's home-made Dishes! That's why even I've to go earlier for my biology class, at about 2.30 , I go late because I firstly come back to home and have lunch and then get ready for my class! My friends always say me that let's go directly to the class, we can have snacks after class! But I always refuse.....I always go back to home.....I can never miss my Mom's dishes which are having flavors of love and sincerity! They're healthier than any thing :))

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