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Traditional French Seven Course Meal

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on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Traditional French Seven Course Meal

Traditionally, a seven course French dinner takes up to six hours to consume, not only because of the many courses involved, but as well as it is custom to slowly enjoy the good food and company. Although the hosts of the dinner will provide all food and drink, the guests are expected to come bearing a gift such as flowers and wine. Usually wine will not be opened during the meal, as it rarely matches the food being served. Throughout the entire meal, bread is present as it is traditional and viewed as a symbol of hospitality. The seven courses are:
L'Entrée (Appetizer)
Many people believe entrée refers to the main course in a French meal, but it actually refers to the second course, the appetizers. Being the first food-course that is presented to the guests, it is always well thought-out and prepared. Once in the dining room, L'Entrée is served at the table and eaten just prior to the main course. The appetizers served can range from hot to cold, and can be simple or elaborate. The first bottle of wine is also served to compliment the dish. Some popular cold dish are Roquefort flan, salmon mousse, or beef carpacio. Some popular hot dishes are cheese soufflé, sole filet terrine, and French onion soup.
Le Plat Principal (Main course)
The third course served often includes a very wide variety of cooking styles, based on the regions of France. For example, areas in the northwest of France use more butter and cream, while areas in the East use more sausages in their meals. The main course typically includes either fish or meat (beef,chicken, pork, lamb, duck) accompanied with vegetables and/or starches such as rice or pasta. Wine is served throughout the meal, red wine to go with red meat and white wine to go with white meat or fish. Salad may be served after the main course to act as a palate cleanser and to aid in digestion of the meal.
Le Fromage (Cheese)
With more than 400 types of cheese in France, there is great variety between the cheeses that are served, all with different textures and flavors. The cheeses are made with goat's milk, sheep's milk, or cow's milk and can be soft or hard. When served, a cheese board is prepared and is somtimes accompanied by fruits and nuts, but a baguette is always served. A new bottle of wine may also be opened.
Le Dessert (Dessert)
Near the end of the meal, a new bottle of wine or champagne is opened to complement the dessert. The dessert course is usually small and light to prevent the guests from feeling too full. The dessert served can be hot or cold, be elaborate and beautifully decorated, or be simple, like a bowl of ice cream. Popular french desserts include small tarts or chocolate mousse.
L'Apéritif (Aperitif)
The first course's main purpose is to open the appetite, as well as acting as a warm and friendly gesture, showing the host's pleasure at having guests over for diner. It's also a time when all of the guests become better acquainted with one another. Usually served in the living room (or anywhere away from the dining room), l'aperitif consists of light alcoholic drinks and small appetizers to stimulate the guests appetite for the meal ahead. Champagne or light cocktails are often the beverage served, however drinks that are specific to each French region, such as Kir in the north and Pastis (a French liqueur flavored with anise and mixed with water) in the South of France can also be served. Non-alcoholic drinks are set aside for any children. Small appetizers consist of salty foods such as nuts, crackers, and olives.
Traditional French Seven Course Meal
by Caitlin Foster

Champagne and crackers
"Champagne Et Villages." Champagne Et Villages. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.champagnevillages.com/en/champagne-selection/Champagne-glass.html>.
"Stock Photo - Crackers Arranged on a Platter." 123RF Stock Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.123rf.com/photo_5409817_crackers-arranged-on-a-platter.html>.
"How to Make a Perfect Cheese Soufflé | Zen Can Cook." How to Make a Perfect Cheese Soufflé | Zen Can Cook. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://www.zencancook.com/2009/03/how-to-make-a-perfect-cheese-souffle/>.
"Beef Carpaccio." DishMaps. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dishmaps.com%2Fbeef-carpaccio%2F25485>.
Cheese Soufflé and Beef Carpacio
Pasta and Red Wine
Cheese Platter and Baguettes
"5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter." A Beautiful Mess. N.p., 29 June 2012. Web. 01 Sept. 2015. <http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/06/5-tips-for-creating-the-perfect-cheese-platter.html>.
"Paris Is Serious About Bread | Travel Between The Pages." Travel Between The Pages. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://travelbetweenthepages.com/2011/05/13/paris-is-serious-about-bread/>.
Sorbet and Chocolate Mousse
"Lemonade Iced Tea Sorbet." MyRecipes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemonade-iced-tea-sorbet-10000001809106/>.
"Chocolate Mousse Recipes." Food Recipes RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/809114/chocolate-mousse-recipes>.
Coffee and Chocolate Truffle
"Coffee Supreme « the Selby." The Selby RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://theselby.com/galleries/coffee-supreme/>.
"Dark Chocolate Truffles - Beerntsen's Confectionary." Dark Chocolate Truffles - Beerntsen's Confectionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://beerntsens.com/viewproduct.asp?Productno=293>.
Le Café (Coffee)
Coffee is usually served in the relaxed atmosphere of the living room. Each guest is served a small cup of coffee accompanied by a mint, a small piece of dark chocolate, or a truffle. This is believed to enhance the aroma and taste of the coffee. Tea is prepared for guests who do not drink coffee.
Le Digestif (Digestif)
Le digestif signals the end of the french diner. The last course is not always observed due to higher awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, but digestifs are still offered on special occasions. Guests are offered small doses of strong alcoholic beverages such as cognac, brandy, or whisky.
"Femme Au Foyer." : On Eating in France – II. Seven Courses. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://femmeaufoyer2011.blogspot.ca/2011/09/on-eating-in-france-ii-seven-courses.html>.
"The French's Daily Diet." LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/463315-the-frenchs-daily-diet/>.

"What Are the Courses in a French Dinner?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2013. <http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-the-courses-in-a-french-dinner.htm>.

Mtaulier. "French Language Blog." À Table!: The French Meal in Seven Courses (Part 2). N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015. <http://blogs.transparent.com/french/a-table-the-french-meal-in-seven-courses-part-2/>.
French Diet vs. American/ Canadian Diet
French Eating Habits
Studies have shown that French people are over-all healthier than Americans, even though their diet is high in fats and red meat. There are actually several reasons why this is. Firstly, French people prefer quality over quantity. All foods are fresh, and people only buy food to last a day or two. Fast food is almost non-existent in the French diet. Secondly, there is the portion size of meals. A typical American appetizer can usually feed two people, whereas, in the French diet, meals are served in small courses, so everyone can enjoy eating. Lastly, there are the beverages. The three main drinks in France consist of water, coffee and wine. Soft drinks are very rare, and are only served as treats. The American diet and French diet are very different, both varying in quality and quantity of food.
With food being such a huge element in French culture, there are specific eating habits that the French tend not to deviate from. Instead of eating all day long, the French stick to three meals a day. They do not believe in munching on snacks, as they believe being hungry makes the eating experience more pleasurable. Another habit is to dine only at the table. French people will not multitask by eating while walking, driving, or watching T.V. They like to be seated and eat together. Another eating habit is to drink water over any other drink.
"French Eating Habits." - EnkiVillage. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <http://www.enkivillage.com/french-eating-habits.html>.
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