Friday 28 December 2012

French Insights: The French breakfast

Breakfast at my parents' house

Being from France, you can imagine how I rolled my eyes the first time I was offered an Irish breakfast. I wasn’t used to the concept of eating something savoury and so filling. I could have never imagined myself eating bacon or sausages in the morning a few years back. Now I enjoy it from time to time, at the weekend or when someone from outside Ireland visits me, just to make them discover what a traditional Irish breakfast is. Also when Mr. FFID cooks his bacon on a Saturday morning I often get tempted by the delicious smell but the little French person in my head often says “Non, it’s good for your taste buds but not for your bottom!”.

Because I don’t live in France anymore, as soon as I visit my native country I like my first breakfast to be indulgent and French which means croissants, pains au chocolat, my mum’s homemade jams and some nice fresh crusty baguette. I also have a hot chocolate and a fruit juice. I love it, it’s a way for me to feel at home and that I’m in France but I couldn’t eat it every day.

Do French people only eat croissants and pains au chocolat for their breakfast? No, of course not, if they did they’d be fat.  French viennoiseries  are full of butter and sugar. They’d often be eaten at the weekend as a treat.

The Programme National Nutrition Santé (French national program for Health & Nutrition) whose slogan is « Eat, Move » have a website that gives nutrition advice to people.

Their recommended healthy breakfast is exactly what I usually have during the week:

-    1 product containing cereals: bread, cereals
-    1 fruit:  1 apple, 1 banana, 2 apricots, 1 pear or a 100% fruit juice
-    1 dairy product: milk or yogurt
-    1 drink: tea or coffee preferably without sugar

Basically, they recommend you eat sources of calcium, vitamins and fibres to start the day in a healthy way. Oh la la, I hear you Mr.  FFID where is the black pudding and the sausages?

So what do you usually eat for breakfast? Continental?  Sweet?  Savoury?