World Food Customs

Final Paper
"France and it\'s Culture"

Food & Café
France, located in the center of Europe, contains a population of around 58 million different people. Most of these people reside in urban areas; 73% to be exact with Paris being it\'s largest city. Within France, the café is a very big part of their life. So much so, France literally shuts down for two and half-hours during lunchtime so everyone can eat at their favorite café.
Since it is one of the most important parts of French life there are many different aspects of the café\'s that can be talked about. For instance, in France it is not uncommon to see people at the café eating by themselves. The French don\'t seem to see anything wrong with eating that way. In fact, they have actually been quoted as saying that they like to sit there and watch the afternoon go by while enjoying the great French cuisine.
During this time there are so many people in the café that the waiters are very rushed.
They are so rushed at times that the waiters may actually forget to give you a menu! The waiters tend to speak very quickly during this busy period and it is hard for one to understand just what they are saying if you do not speak fluent French. Along with all of the fast speaking they (waiters) rarely make up the bill when you want it and often confuse the orders when they arrive at the table all due to the inordinate amount of people that come into the café during the busy lunch hours.
The people that iterated this to me said that this is all understood and taken very well by the French public, and that no one seems to mind very much. After 2pm the friendly, relaxed pace of France returns to the atmosphere, and the waiters return to normal. This is not at all said to downplay France\'s great cuisine, for which they are very proud of.
The menus in France are not all that lengthy. Normally, during lunch some vegetables, a slice o ham, steak with potatoes and a tart for desert. On the menu, the only other things usually offered are sandwiches, much like the United States only a little different in content, along with salads, ice cream, and the various tarts.
Due to international business standards, French businesspeople are having their lunches shortened more and more. The foreign businesspeople are not overly thrilled in taking a two-hour lunch every day.
Luckily in France there isn\'t much else to do during that time frame.
Breakfast is usually a simple meal served with a croissant, coffee and cream. Water is always, by law, served at the table with any meal. This is to help the luxurious lunch and dinner meals get digested a little better, maybe the sole reason the French seem to be functional after their long meals.
The AOC (Appellagation d\'Origine Controlee) is the national system that requires wine, spirits, butter, cheese, poultry, fruit, and vegetables, which have certain qualities dependent on the origin of their production and the way that they were produced. The French law strictly governs the quality of French food and wine since the time of Napoleon. Whenever eating in France and you happen to see the "AOC" label, one can rest assure that the food is what it says.
Coffee is a huge part of the dining experience in France. The total cost of a coffee in US dollars is about one US dollar. The French normally drink their coffee in little cups, very strongly brewed. Adding hot milk can expand the express which is called: a café crème or watered down and served in a large cup, café American. No respectable café owner would consider disturbing the long peaceful perusals of a client, even one who buys something as little as an express. If one more of these powerful coffees are too much one might try a citron presse, the freshly squeezed lemon juice to which you add sugar and water until your taste is suited. One could also add a number of non-alcoholic sirops, flavored concentrates that are already sugared that you can dilute with water. Also the lovely herbal teas called infusions are quite tasty the people say.
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