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Eating in France

cferguso@xxxxxxx (Catherine Ferguson) writes:

>i have just found out that i may be entering a VLF person's worst
>nightmare- i'm moving to norhtern France for a year to live with a french
>family. what am i thinking?! the land of cheese, white french bread, fois

Moving to France is not the problem, living with a family is!  Also, I
would say that your average American family would probably be worse!

The French eat a variety of very good and healthy foods.  Yes, they eat
meat and cheese and cream, but in very modest amounts.  They eat lots of
fresh fruits and vegetables too.  I've never seen a dessert table in France
without fresh fruit.

If you are on your own eating in France, you will have little trouble.
One can order a variety of salads without dressings, pizzas without cheese,
and the markets are brimming with good fresh stuff.  As for the bread,
yes, many people still eat mostly baguettes.  The boulangeries, however,
all (except the corner quick-market) have a variety of grain breads 
which are much better than those you find in the US.  In France, the
ingredients are always flour, water, salt, yeast (unless of course you
order nut or olive bread, but then you KNOW what's inside).  In the US,
whole grain breads very often have oil, molasses, honey, etc.

Your main problem is going to be the fact that you are stuck in a family.
Yes, they will serve meat and cheese, and yes, you will offend them by
not eating it.  Whoever is doing the cooking will be very confused and
not know what to cook.  Just do your best -- warn them, help shop and
cook if that seems appropriate, fill up on the stuff you CAN eat.  If
you can explain your eating habits with an illness, or some medical
necessity, that is always easier for people to accept.  Otherwise, they
think you just don't like what they are serving.

Good luck!  If you do dairy, be sure to eat the nonfat fromage blanc you
find in all the grocery stores.  It is DEEEEEElish.  Same idea as nonfat
yogurt, but more solid, and not sour.  I overdose on the stuff when
I am there.

I love it there, and despite  my medical problem with fats, I never
had trouble in France, while I had a horrible time in Italy and Germany.
I would eat small bits of cheese and some fatty fishes in France too
(never meat though).  I think the bread and fresh fruits and veggies
saved me there.


Ellen M. Sentovich			
Cadence Berkeley Laboratories	1 510 647-2807 (office)
2001 Addison Street, 3rd floor	1 510 486-0205 (FAX)
Berkeley, CA  94704-1103		ellens@xxxxxxxxxxx