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A French Christmas dinner

by Valerie Engel

Whether you live in France or in America a Christmas dinner is always: lots of calories and very heavy..! 

Here is an example of a ''traditional'' Christmas dinner (December 24th):

1) Let's start with a little ''apéritif'':

A glass of champagne, and an ''amuse bouche''. An amuse bouche can be a mini quiche, a foie gras toast etc... depending on the rest of your menu.

2) Appetizer ''Entrée'':

For most families, Christmas is the occasion to prepare one of the most renowned French dish: ''Foie gras''. It is usually served with toasts or ginger bread and fig jam. 

Another popular entrée is smoked salmon with toasts or blinis (a Russian pancake but popular in France!) and cream. Or, oysters usually served raw with a dry white wine.

3) Main dish ''Plat de résistance/Plat principale'':

The main course is usually meat. Capon is the most popular, typically stuffed with chestnuts and served with a vegetable ''purée'', mushrooms or vegetables.

4) Cheese and salad:

It is not a cliche, French people love cheese and some do not even consider it a ''real dinner'' if they do not eat a piece of cheese!

The perfect cheese platter is made of a choice of cow, sheep, and goat cheese. Served with bread. Around Christmas time truffle is also a big hit, truffle brie is one the most popular delight.

Salad will be serve with a simple vinaigrette (olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar).

5) Dessert ''La bûche de Noël'':

Although you can choose your petits fours, type of meet, cheese etc... christmas desert in France can only a specific type of cake you eat once a year and is part of the tradition: the christmas ''bûche''.

A bûche is a log so you prepare it, present it and garnish it to look like a real log. Than, the bûche is topped with Christmas figurines, meringues etc...

Most of the time it is a cake but some people take it in the iced version in order to eat a lighter dessert.

6) Drinks:

This depends a lot on your menu but commonly: Champagne, white whine or red and sparkling water to help you digest!!

On December 25th French people will have another big lunch. It can be a mix of left overs from dinner and another meat option like duck, chicken etc...

Don't plan on loosing weight at this moment of the year.

Thought we do not celebrate thanksgiving in France, we do have frugal dinner on new year's eve :-)

Happy holiday!

 

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