I did not expect that I can enjoy French food before I lived in France because I had an image on French food which is polite and a little bit stressful or unfamiliar. However, I found me enjoying French food and parties now. I think that this is one of good aspects of this program that students can live with host families and experience local French food culture. The first French traditional plate that I had was galettes and crepes. Galette is a large, thin pancake mostly associated with the region of Brittany and is frequently garnished with egg, meat, fish, cheese, cut vegetables, and ham. Pancakes with a sweet filling are called crepes. I love both galettes and crepes. In my host family, we eat them every Friday diner with Cidle which is alcohol made with apples. When I go back to Japan or America, I will definitely miss these galettes and crepes.
(Picture1: My host mother’s Crepe with Peach and Sugar)
In the class of French Civilization, my professor told us that couscous is the most popular food in France. When I looked couscous at first time, I was surprised because couscous in France and in the US have different shapes. We ate couscous with vegetable soup and sausages in family gathering by taking so long time like three hours. I experienced so long lunch for the first time in my life, but it was really exciting. French people value time with family and friends and take so long time for eating and taking. I’m so glad that I could experience this culture of family gathering in France. I also experienced some lunch and dinner parties. Before the meal starts French people have the aperitif. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (often champagne) are served along with small appetizers, such as nuts or olives. I really like the appetizers because these are cute and delicious, but I have a problem that I always eat too much before the meal. After the appetizer, we have a main course, cheese and dessert.
(Picture 2: Cocktail Parties in a supermarket Lidl)
(Picture 3: Cocktail Parties in a concert)
In the cocktail parties, we have alcoholic drinks such as wines and champagne with some kinds of canapes. A canape is a type of a small, prepared and usually decorative food, consisting of a small piece of bread, puff pastry, or a cracker topped with some savory food such as salmon and cheese, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite. People enjoy social time with drinks and some canapes while they are standing. I was surprised that there were a huge cocktail party at supermarket when the supermarket opened. I visited the party with my host family, and we could eat oyster unlimitedly.
(Picture 4: Moors)
I think sea foods are also specialty of Bretagne. When I went to Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo, we ate lots of moors. I haven’t eaten such amount of moors before I came here. When we have sea foods or fish, we normally drink white wine. We chose moors, but there were oysters also in the menu. I really enjoy French food and cuisine, and I appreciate my host family for sharing French traditional cuisine and explaining the culture.
Soka University of America