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?
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12 comments

  1. Ooooo can't beat a full French breakfast Madame! I'm indulging in plenty of croissants and pain au chocolats in Brussels at the moment, but it'll be back to cereal in a few days, I better make the most of it while I can!

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    1. Enjoy Brussels L.! You're right, indulge while you can! I spend my time eating here :-)

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  2. Having lived in both France and Ireland, I love BOTH breakfasts, from time to time! I enjoy your blog, keep it coming :) Bonne fin d'année!

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    1. Exactly like me Miriam, enjoying the best of both worlds! Thank you for your comment, I'm glad you enjoy the blog. Bonne fin d'année to you too.

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  3. Well, being French, I like to dip my toasted bread and butter in my cooffee. Can't help it, that's the way I like it, even if my Irish hubbie finds it SOOO gross! I also like to make brioche or my own bread as I get tired of the industrial bread very quickly... And of course, an Irish breakfast is a great treat every so often at the weekend (or brunch I should say really since I don't think you'd eat anything for lunch after such a feast)...

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    1. Oh yes, I forgot about the French thing of dipping our bread into our coffee. Miam! I love brioche too.

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  4. Well being Polish mean you eat for breakfast sandwiches. However you can eat sandwich with jam, or scrambled eggs, so we are well prepared to live in France or Ireland. On workday however I choose musli, milk and fruit :)

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    1. Breakfast sandwiches sounds good! I like my scrambled eggs too, on a Saturday morning with feta, chili and coriander so yummy :-)

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  5. Most French people I know skip breakfast .. coffee and ciggies are the only thing that pass their lips before midi.
    The kids eat chocolate cereals, chocolate spread on toast or bread, hot chocolate drink or fruit juice,.. they cannot believe that our kids eat porridge ( yuck, c'est quoi ça?) or weetabix!!
    Love the French brekki once in a while, but like the full Irish, only indulge once in a while. Wobbly bottom not accepted in the South of France :)

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  6. Jaysus! Coffee and ciggies? Non, non, non, so unhealthy.
    The French love their Nutella don't they? Even if it's full of fat.
    Porridge is good, I started eating porridge when I moved to Ireland, it's a nice brekkie during winter time :-)



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  7. I must say I enjoy both types of breakfast; but, for now, I eat viennoiserie much more often than sausage and bacon:-). Where I grew up, it was grits (cornmeal porridge) and bacon, creamed chip beef on toast, or a bacon, egg and cheese on toast with plentyofhot sauce! Very un-French, I must admit:-)

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  8. I had a bit of bacon for brekkie during my stay in France. Shhh! I couldn't resist ;-)

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