Home French Language Truths and Myths Of The French Christmas Meal 🎄 🥂

Truths and Myths Of The French Christmas Meal 🎄 🥂

Truths and Myths Of The French Christmas Meal 🎄 🥂


We do have many Christmas traditions within the completely different areas of France, and a lot meals to select from ! So, it’s true that, on the whole, the French are inclined to feast and splurge for his or her Christmas meal.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of exaggerations about what dishes you may very well discover for Christmas at a “common” French desk. So, let’s begin debunking the truths and myths of the French Christmas meal.

A Fairly Desk and a Fancy Dwelling Meal

christmas table in france

The factor you possibly can anticipate for certain is that the French will make an enormous deal about their Christmas meal.

The desk shall be set with a number of care, even for a household meal. We actually wish to set a fairly desk in France, and it is a sturdy a part of our French tradition and custom.

The Christmas dishes could have been rigorously deliberate, and likelihood is that the prepare dinner will fancy making an attempt one thing daring, and push his/her culinary talents. The presentation shall be additionally refined.

The thought is to not show-off (nicely, possibly just a bit…) however to please your friends and household, present them your love and care by treating them to a wonderful and exquisite meal.

Oysters, Scallops and Smoked Salmon For Christmas in France

typical French Christmas meal dishes in France

Smoked salmon is a well-liked dish round Christmas, and it’s value is actually cheap. To deliver it up a notch, we might serve it over “blinis”, a buckwheat pancake available in a small measurement in all French supermarkets. Add a little bit of heavy cream, a skinny slice of lemon and a contact of recent “ciboulette” (chive) or “annette” (aneth) and you’ve got a fairly, tasty, and tremendous straightforward to make “amuse-gueule” (actually “amuse your mouth” – savory chew).

France having a whole lot of shoreline, oysters are straightforward to search out, and in addition a well-liked – and typically comparatively low-cost – dish for Christmas. We serve them recent with a squeeze of lemon or a pink wine and shallot French dressing, or we prepare dinner them for a fancier model – poached in wine or oven roasted…

Many individuals love oysters – sadly Olivier and I don’t which is actually too dangerous since right here in Brittany, we’re in prime oyster producing area and they’re in every single place round us – actually, on the rocks on the seaside!!

What we’ve got lots off right here and which we do love are scallops: “les coquilles saint-jacques”. One other extremely popular ingredient for the vacations in France. In our area, they’re actually reasonably priced when you open them your self (right here is Olivier’s video exhibiting you who to proceed to open a scallop). In Paris, they get fairly costly.

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Seafood Platter For Christmas? A Bit Risqué

A pleasant seafood platter can also be a sometimes French Christmas dish – however it will possibly grow to be expensive fairly quick, particularly in case you have many friends. Moreover, it’s not probably the most sensible / elegant meals to eat. French desk etiquette is sort of fancy.

Not all people can peel a shrimp with a fork and knife, and also you don’t wish to be elbow-deep right into a steamed crab on the Christmas desk !!

Foie Gras For Christmas in France Is A Given

typical French Christmas meal dishes in France

The dish you possibly can definitely anticipate round Christmas in France is foie-gras. Simply go to a French grocery store throughout the vacation season and also you’ll see how overflowing with foie-gras the central meals aisle will get!

Foie gras is usually served as a paté over heat toast, however there are a lot of different makes use of for it: Olivier likes to serve sauteed scallops with a foie-gras sauce for instance, but it surely’s additionally broadly use with meat or recreation meat, sliced over/ beneath it, or as a sauce.

You may additionally pan roast some recent foie-gras. It’s a bit an excessive amount of for my style buds, however thought of a delicacy, and extremely popular for Christmas or New Yr in France.

Each my father in regulation and Olivier make their very own foie-gras paté. Didier does a standard model when Olivier has invented a recipe with a Japanese twist to it: plum wine and 5 spices! I like it but it surely’s to not all people’s style and we acquired some frowns from “French purists” over time – LOL 🙂

Lobster, Contemporary Truffles, Caviar – Nonetheless Simply For The Wealthiest

typical French Christmas meal dishes in France

These delicacy are nonetheless tremendous costly in France. So overlook it in case you have a big numbers of friends for Christmas.

Even for a pair, a good portion of French lobster goes to value minimal 30 Euros… So sure, the French sometimes splurge for his or her meals, particularly throughout the holidays… however these discover produce remains to be very a lot reserved for the wealthiest.

Be aware nonetheless that you’ll simply discover “some” (hint) of truffle in a ready foie-gras paté or different French charcuteries… Imagine me although once I say it’s nothing examine to an actual recent truffle.

Olivier as soon as acquired one as a present (from one in all our college students really 🙂 and served recent scallops and recent truffle over recent pastas and coral sauce… It was actually scrumptious.

And don’t even get me began on caviar… There are numerous differing types, and what we name “caviar” in France is just not salmon or lumpfish roe (des oeufs de saumon ou de lump) ! Caviar in France means Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga… They value an arm and a leg, and most French folks have by no means had any.

I used to be fortunate to strive a (tiny) sampler (for my thirtieth birthday), and naturally, choose the costliest one: beluga (typical for me, a foul behavior 🙂

Fowls and Recreation Meat Are Well-liked Across the Holidays in France

Recreation meats corresponding to “le cerf” (venison) are a well-liked dish for Christmas in France – or possibly a flowery beef roast, possibly “un rôti en croûte” (roast in a crust of dough, like a beef Wellington), like my father in regulation typically makes.

Different fowls corresponding to “les cailles” (quails – you possibly can stuff them with foie-gras !!) or “le faisan” (pheasant) are additionally fairly widespread.

I’ve heard of goose “une oie”  being cooked for Christmas – I’ve by no means had it myself.

Roasted Ham or Turkey – A Cheaper Resolution For Giant French Christmas Tables

typical French Christmas meal dishes in France

So, what do you prepare dinner for Christmas when you’ve got a big sized household? Sometimes, a big rooster, “un capon” (chapon) or possibly a turkey. Or a roasted ham. That is what Didier did for us final Christmas – miam!!

The standard method to serve turkey in France for Christmas shall be with a chestnut, veal and parsley stuffing (actually really stuffed into the hen 🙂

13 Desserts – A Distinctive Provençal Custom

The online is all the time raving in regards to the “13 Desserts” French Christmas custom. However it’s not common in any respect in France! It’s a typical custom from Provence, but it surely’s not widespread in the remainder of France.

There are numerous, many regional traditions in France: “Bredele” and “Kougelhof” in Alsace Lorraine, a cake referred to as “bras de gitan” in Catalogne, goat with corn and polenta or sea-urchin omelet in Corsica… Until your loved ones comes from these areas, it’s unlikely a French particular person would learn about these regional French Christmas dishes.

La  Bûche de Noël – The Quintessential French Christmas Cake

Regardless that it’s not a really refined cake, and plenty of different French pastries are extra advanced and engaging when you ask me, la bûche de Noël is actually the quintessential French Christmas dessert.

Fortunately, they now promote frozen ice-cream in form of a log, which are sometimes served as a substitute of this fairly heavy cake…

I’m spoiled it’s possible you’ll assume, however after one, two or three bûches de Noël in a single season, you merely have sufficient!

Do French Folks Go Out to a Restaurant for Xmas?

Historically, Christmas is well known at dwelling.

But many eating places do provide a particular Christmas menu, so I suppose a lot of French folks do exit for Christmas. In the event you plan on going out on Christmas eve or day in France, I strongly advocate you verify what restaurant is open, and ebook forward of time!

What About Ready Meals For Xmas in France?

Right here once more, sometimes, the Christmas meal is a house cooked meal in France. Lot’s of French folks get pleasure from cooking, however that doesn’t imply all people is a chef! For this special day, the wealthiest might use a caterer (un traiteur).

Christmas meal in France
Poularde farcie, farce au foie gras et airelles Picard

There’s a retailer specialised in frozen meals which could be very widespread in France. It’s referred to as “Picard” (identical to Jean-Luc 😉 they usually provide an incredible collection of frozen high quality produce and able to prepare dinner dishes for Christmas. And naturally, all kinds of frozen bûches – we will definitely get one there for our Christmas meal!

Champagne and Good Wines Will Be Served At Christmas Time

In France, one factor is definite, you’ve got entry to glorious wines. And there’s no feast with no particular bottle (or many) – the nice factor is that in France, you possibly can simply discover a first rate bottle for a good value.

French Champagne remains to be comparatively costly, so many French folks will serve “crémant”, which is a less expensive sparking wine model.

But, for Christmas, if they will afford it, French individuals are prone to splurge and indulge into a real Champagne, even typically a well known home corresponding to Veuve Cliquot, Roederer, Moët et Chandon…

I completely love Champagne myself, so I’m very a lot trying ahead to ingesting some across the holidays!

French Christmas dishes in France

Now for these of you finding out French, right here is a number of the French vocabulary used round Christmas meals.

Typical Christmas Meals French Vocabulary

  1. Le Réveillon de Noël – the French Christmas meal (to not be mistaken with “Le Réveillon du Nouvel-An – New Yr’s Eve French Meal title)
  2. Le dîner de Noël – the Christmas dinner
  3. Le déjeuner de Noël – the Christmas lunch
  4. Faire un festin – to feast
  5. Se régaler – to have a culinary blast
  6. Faire la delicacies – to prepare dinner
  7. Préparer un repas fait maison – to prepare dinner an home-made meal
  8. L’apéritif – earlier than meal drinks and finger meals
  9. L’entrée – the primary course (appetizers)
  10. Le plat principal – the principle course
  11. Le fromage – cheese (I don’t assume that we’ve got a particular Christmas cheese in France)
  12. Les treize desserts – 13 desserts – a Christmas custom from Provence
  13. La Bûche de Noël – Christmas Xmas log cake
  14. Mettre une belle desk – to arrange a fairly desk
  15. Un centre de desk – a middle piece ornament
  16. Des bougies – candles
  17. Plier les serviettes – to fold napkins
  18. Des canapés apéritif – appetizer toasts
  19. Du saumon fumé artisanal – small scale produced smoked salmon
  20. Des huîtres – oysters
  21. Du foie-gras (frais, poêlé ou en pâté)  – foie gras (recent, pan-fried or served as a pâté)
  22. La volaille – fowl
  23. Le gibier – recreation meat
  24. Un rôti – a roast
  25. Une farce aux marrons – a chestnut stuffing – word: there’s a confusion in French between “un marron” – a horse chestnut which isn’t edible, and “une châtaigne” which is a candy chestnut as is edible. We frequently use “marron” when actually, it’s “châtaigne” which are getting used (for meals).
  26. Un jambon fumé au feu de bois – firewood smoked ham
  27. Un jus de viande – gravy
  28. Des bredele – typical Alsacien cookies baked at Christmas time
  29. Des truffes au chocolat – chocolate truffles
  30. Des marrons glacés – candied chestnuts
  31. Des marrons chauds – roasted chestnuts
  32. Du vin chaud – spiced wine

In case you are invited to a Christmas meal in France, my article on methods to remark positively (and negatively) about meals in French might be helpful!

Now, the one remaining query is when do the French have their Christmas meal – December twenty fourth or December twenty fifth ? I allow you to learn my article to search out out!

What about you? Care to share a few of your nation or area Christmas specialty? Depart a remark beneath – I like studying feedback they usually do encourage me to write down some extra.

À votre santé, joyeux Noël et joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année!
To your good well being (cheers) merry Christmas and comfortable holidays!