The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris- #20 Snacking Is So Not Chic
Mindless snacking that is. Trust me- there was no errant box of Cheez-its laying about by Madame Chic’s sofa (actually they didn’t have a sofa… but you get the idea)...
There are many things that are simply not done in France and mindless snacking is one of them. Of course there is nothing wrong with the occasional afternoon nutella crêpe or petite sandwich au jambon- (eaten with pleasure and only when one is truly hungry, of course). But overall, France is not a snacking culture. (And, for the record, I absolutely never saw any of Famille Chic snacking on anything between meals- ever. Isn’t that crazy?)
When I realized there were no snack foods chez Madame Chic, I must admit, I panicked. I was addicted to snacking. I don’t think there was a day in my life up until that point where I didn’t snack on something in between meals. What if I got hungry? What if my blood-sugar became low? These concerns, in the end, were unnecessary. I never found myself to be ‘starving’. I did find myself to be hungry, but that can actually be a wonderful sensation. I was so used to snacking, I never knew what hunger was. And being slightly hungry, I enjoyed my meals that much more.
I have two theories on why the French don’t snack. The first is that they tend to go from one really great meal to the next. Breakfast is good, lunch is good and dinner is definitely good. Why would they want to ruin their appetite by stuffing themselves with a semi-disgusting cracker in the interim?
My other theory is that snacking is not very chic. Have you ever watched someone mindlessly snacking? Sitting in front of the television with a bag of pretzels or a pint of ice cream- absentmindedly eating while not really paying attention? Perhaps crumbs falling down the front of their shirt? Or an errant drop of ice cream ruining their perfectly pressed skirt? No, snacking is the opposite of chic. And in Paris? That simply won’t do.
Won't you stay tuned for #19?
The print pictured above is a vintage Art Deco poster I acquired while in France of Roger La Grenouille Restaurant. I love how chic the diners in the restaurant look- all dressed to the nines and enjoying both the food and each other’s company. So quintessentially French... and you can be sure that none of these people would dream of mindlessly snacking before this fabulous meal...
My book, Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris will be published by Simon & Schuster and re-released in the fall of 2012.