Friday, March 12, 2010

why exactly don't french women get fat?

Since we've arrived I have often wondered why French women don't get fat.  They seem to be breaking all the rules.  They hardly eat any breakfast and what they do eat is entirely sugar and white flour -- usually just a pastry or leftover baguette with hot chocolate.  And they eat dinner late at night -- isn't that a cardinal rule that has been broken?  There is also a lot of fattening foods being consumed around here, but the women really are thin.  One person told me that a lot of women are closet smokers which helps them not eat so much and now that I think about it the more well-padded women I've seen have been at church.  They also probably have more kids and have taken to eating jello more than likely.

A short tour of a French supermarket.  First you pass the bakery, for those who have not stopped at the 57 boulangeries that were passed on the way to the store.  Then there is the long walk to the one gated entrance into the store.  You have to want to get in.  The first thing one encounters after the gate is, surprise, bread products!  In case you failed to get what you required at the in store bakery, you can now fulfill your baguette, banette, americain, croissant, brioche, pre-made crepes, beignet, madeleine, belgian waffle, pain au chocolat, etc., etc. needs here.
One then moves on to the produce aisle.  These are not huge because I think that most people buy their produce at village markets which has been really nice.  You know everything tastes wonderful when this is heard at the dinner table:  "This broccoli tastes great!"  "Can we have sweet potatoes again for dinner?"May I have more leek soup, please?"  Amazing.

Next is the meat, fish etc.  Oh my.  There are a lot of interesting things -- tongue? brain? a whole head?  We move quickly past.  The boucherie has cheeses and sausages galore and then there are two more aisles of already prepackaged deli meats followed by another only cheese aisle with nary a cheddar to be found.
::cheese, cheese, cheese on both sides.  "Hmmm," she thinks in French

Behind these aisles and tucked way in the back along the wall is where one can find milk and eggs.  No refrigeration necessary.  Grab some cardboard and move on to the yogurt.

This is all yogurt!  I am not a fan of yogurt in the U.S. because it is mushy and gaggy, but here it is firm and lovely as it should be.  Japan wisely copied the French and not the Americans in this case and their yogurt is fab!  

Just in case you didn't get enough, there is a third aisle dedicated to yogurt along with some butter, of course.  It would take a lifetime to try all of the yogurts and cheeses.

Some other aisles are the "All Breakfast All the Time," which includes an assortment of chocolate items with added fiber for good measure, and the "Snack" row which also offers some new and exciting ways of consuming chocolate.  There is also a row for, yes, chocolate -- shelf upon shelf upon shelf.  We just go for the basic dark.  

I suppose I won't worry about why French women aren't fat and just take that bite of my madeleine.  Oh, it transports me back to spending time with my Grandmother as a child... wait, those are Marcel's memories, not mine.


normal mom said...

Live it up, you'll be back to sorry, sad, pitiful food soon.

Shaharac said...

Darn those skinny French women. I'm certain I've gained 15 lbs. since Christmas. I've taken to eating 5 meals a day my last at about 10 p.m. I hate to grocery shop, but am feeling I may like a trip to that market!

amylouwho said...

oh man, all that yogurt and cheese! I love it! Have you had fromage blanc with fresh strawberries and a little sachet of sucre vanille? The breakfast of champions I tell you.

So sad our food here is so bad in comparison. I want to shop at a local market and buy local produce all the time!

Oh they are also skinny because they walk everywhere. Dressed up. In heels.

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