Happy it’s Friday! However, looking out the window and seeing it snow….yeah. Just be thankful wherever you are because if it isn’t snowing consider yourself verrrrrry lucky! No one wants snow in April. No one.
Anyways, enough weather talk…I was thinking recently, how I haven’t posted about my travel experiences much. Other than my travel page and mentioning things here at there.
Traveling has given me so many amazing experiences and wonderful friendships. It has opened my eyes in ways I can’t describe. I find it fascinating to see how people live all over the world. Also to realize, there is life outside of the bubble you create for yourself.
Travel of course hasn’t just changed me as a person, but it totally transformed my perception of food. I can’t say this enough.
I was lucky enough to study abroad 2 times in Europe during my undergrad. The first time in Vaxjo, Sweden and the second in Paris, France.
Although Sweden had some wonderful food, my experience in France seemed to be a game changer. That’s why today, i’m telling you the 5 ways living in France changed my perception of food. I want to pass on what i’ve learned to YOU.
Ready for them??!!
*Reminder these are all my opinions and observations*
- Dessert is ok, EVERY day. Don’t worry, yes you read that correctly. French people not only know how to make amazing desserts, but they actually eat the stuff too…with no shame!! Crazy right? Now i’m not talking about eating a candy bar for dessert, but something like chocolate mousse or a fruit tart. The French eat freshly prepared desserts, and not as much packaged desserts. There’s a difference folks. I literally ate dessert at least once a day with dinner, if not twice with lunch too. My host mom would always have dessert for us, whether it was a tart, gelato, cookies, fruit…always something! Having that much dessert in the U.S is definitely frowned upon.
- Snacking, you’ll survive without it. This one’s a hard one for me guys. I’ll admit, I have a tendency of snacking…especially when i’m bored. In France, no one snacks. That’s what Americans do. In France, you eat a small breakfast then have large lunch around 1 and wait until around 9 to have dinner. That long stretch after lunch before dinner….ohhhh my goodness was that hard. Some days I definitely caved. But this made me realize, hey I can make it for 8 hours without eating. I will survive!
- Salad Dressing must be homemade. Sweden opened my eyes to how easy and enjoyable olive oil and vinegar could be on a salad. But after having a wonderful homemade red wine vinaigrette with dinner nearly every night in France….there was no turning back. Nothing compares. Take the 2 minutes it takes to whip up your own dressing. The best part, is you know what’s in it.
- It’s all about QUALITY. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice how often I throw around the word quality. It’s what food is all about for me. Anyone can have a fabulous dessert, or a good piece of bread. But lets examine the quality of it. Where is it from. How was it made. France made me learn you can eat anything, as long as the quality is good (and a reasonable amount)….part of that is knowing how it was prepared and where it came from. For example, if you want a hamburger, skip fast food. Get a good quality burger at a reputable restaurant or make one at home!
- Food is meant to be enjoyed. Sure, I already knew this one to an extent. But I don’t think I really understood how to fully enjoy my food. The French have a beautiful appreciation and connection with food. They take the time to gather good ingredients, prepare it, and then sit and enjoy it. That doesn’t mean they sit in front of the television with the food in their laps. No, they sit with others around a table with good conversation, and enjoy a long meal together. It was not uncommon for dinner with my host family to last over an hour. One of my absolute favorite things these days, is to sit down with people I love for a nice long meal (with wine!) Just the best!
Man I could write wayyyy more about each of these 5 things…hard to keep it short and to the point. But as you can see, these days i’m not afraid to eat dessert (in moderation of course!) try to limit snacking, will only eat homemade salad dressing, all about the quality of food, and realize food is meant to be enjoyed!
SO many take aways from living in France. This list could totally be longer, but i’ll save that for another post!
Hope you enjoyed reading about this 🙂
Do you have any travel experiences that changed your perception of food?? Please share, I would love to hear!