What Does a Typical French Breakfast Consist Of?

For many, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a convivial moment to start the day, but the way breakfast is eaten can also vary from region to region within the same country.

For many, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a convivial moment to start the day, but the way breakfast is eaten can also vary from region to region within the same country.

Eating habits in France have significantly changed over the years. There are still regional differences in eating habits, but they are generally less noticeable. Let’s see what a typical French breakfast usually consists of!

Typical French Breakfast Sweets

The Transalpine breakfast as we know it today has not always existed: its history begins in the Renaissance, when people started dipping bread and butter in warm milk. Shortly afterwards, coffee imported from Turkey was introduced and conquered by Louis XVI. In the 19th century, the term ‘petit déjeuner’, meaning breakfast, came into use. Breakfast became a custom after the Second World War, with dishes and rituals that we know well today.

  • Croissants may not be an everyday breakfast, but they are certainly appreciated when available.
  • Plain croissant: This type of croissant is usually dry because it is not made with butter (which is becoming less and less common).
  • Croissant au beurre: a rich, juicy, buttery croissant favored by those who can eat butter (you must wipe off the grease from your hands after eating it).
  • Croissant au Amandes: this is very sweet, usually filled with almond cream and topped with toasted shaved almonds and icing sugar (perfect for a sugar fix).
  • Pain au Chocolat –Known as the chocolate croissant in some English-speaking countries, it rivals the croissant in popularity. Children and students often eat it in the middle of the afternoon as a goûter or snack. For others, pain au chocolat is saved for weekends, as a special treat or, like the croissant, for the occasional messy morning rush.
  • Madeleines are shell-shaped pastries similar to plum tarts, but with a more pronounced butter and lemon flavor.
  • Pain aux raisins, a brioche pastry filled with sultanas.

The above is usually served with freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or other hot beverages. Note: The French and the English drink tea differently. The French prefer pure tea, while the English add milk.

Some Facts About French Breakfast

  • It is customary, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, to go early in the morning to a French boulangerie to buy freshly baked baguettes and viennoiseries. Hot or cold, rainy or sunny, they are willing to make sacrifices to enjoy their flavors when they get home.
  • Desserts such as frangipane cake, upside-down cake, and crepes are also available for a typical French breakfast.
  • Despite France being a culinary powerhouse, breakfast is surprisingly simple.
  • Contrary to many other countries, breakfast is regarded as the least important meal of the day. Their big meal is lunch or dinner.
  • Breakfasts in many countries include savoury items such as cheese, cold cuts, bacon,eggs, etc while French breakfasts are often on the sweeter side and contain more carbohydrates.
  • In the countryside, you can also eat local produce such as salami and cheese, as long as it is made on the farm.
  • The so-called English or American breakfast, a hearty meal, is only served in hotels with international buffets or in very touristy restaurants that offer a full French breakfast menu.
  • And many people don’t eat breakfast at all, they rush out the door with a cup of coffee and postpone their hunger until lunch.

Easy French Pain au Chocolat Recipe

Have you ever had your breakfast the French way? If not, you can visit LE CLEC CAFÉ & RESTAURANT in Hawthorn and enjoy a delicious and extremely tasty meal full of French and Asian flavours!

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