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Sunday, September 19, 2010

School Dinners

Dear Readers,

First of all, I would like to start off on a completely different subject. I’d like to thank all of the readers for their outstanding support. This week we had our 50th email with suggestions! But I’ve already written about some of them and don’t really want to go too far into the details if I can avoid it. This week though, after reading the sentence written below this blog’s title, I realised I probably wasn’t sticking to it. So here’s something completely different to the Lycée reform and the cost of books – school dinners!

France is well known for its cuisine. In fact, it could be the main reason why France is the most visited country in the world. French restaurants are known for their delicious food and of course the specialities such as frog legs or snails. But, for a country so famous for its cooking, what are the school dinners like?
Well, for a start, to set things straight, all school canteens from Collège level upwards, have to have restaurant trained cooks. This means that all the food in the school canteen is usually of restaurant standard. This is not the case in all canteens but it is for the majority. Starters are well presented, main courses are presented the same way as in the UK but their contents are not the same and not of similar quality. Dessert is sometimes fruit, yogurt or patisseries.

Main course is better than in the UK by a long shot. That is, of course, if you don’t mind your meat rare. Vegetarian? Don’t worry, as I said “restaurant trained cooks” so there’s always a veggie option. The thing about the French main course in school dinners is where it comes from. In our Lycée, as is the case in other schools, the meat is local. And by local, I mean no further than 10 minutes down the road. Not only that, but the canteen staff advertise the fact using posters on the walls telling you who the farmer is and the way the animals are brought up – what they are fed, where they are kept etc. Wine is not on the menu for the students! However, the teachers can sometimes have a glass of wine if they wish!

Christmas dinners are organised in some schools and some extend lunchtime by an hour, bringing it to two and a half hours in total, wiping out the class that normally comes after lunch! Yes, this is the country where not even the futures education gets in the way of a good meal! The disadvantage of course is the fact that all the students and teachers are feeling sleepy after that gastronomic marathon they had been through at midday!

Article by The Editor

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