Feel Good Celebrating Food…!
All over the world different countries, cultures and religions use food as a symbol of their beliefs, values and traditions. Shaped by geography and historical events, France today has many regions each with their own cultural and religious observances, language and accents. However, like many countries, France also has several celebration days on the calendar as National holidays.
Easter in France is celebrated with great enthusiasm with much revelling in the Easter festivities. White and dark chocolate rabbits, eggs, and bells are abundant in shop windows to buy. Eggs are an important part of Easter in France as they are symbolic of the return to normal after Lent. Families may organise an Easter egg hunt in the garden and afterwards the children may engage in an old custom of rolling their eggs down a slope to see whose is the fastest! The traditional Easter meal is lamb roasted or on a skewer. However, many families enjoy a lamb stew called Navarin in which there must be turnips but also other fresh spring vegetables.
Perhaps the most well known French celebration is what they call ‘Le Quatorze Juillet’. Outside of France it’s most likely to be known as Bastille Day. The day is usually marked by military parades all over France and huge firework displays when darkness falls. Families very often watch the parades live or on the television then meet up with friends or family. Although there’s no specific traditional fayre on this day, they may make the most of the weather and have a barbecue or a picnic in their gardens, a park or by water. Restaurants are incredibly busy too!
Christmas celebrations usually start on Christmas Eve with a hearty meal called ‘Réveillon’. Dishes may include roast turkey with chestnuts, foie gras, lobster, venison as well as cheeses and fruit. For dessert, a sumptuous chocolate sponge cake called Bûche de Noël similar to a yule log. It is traditionally made from a genoise sponge which is rolled with icing to form a cylinder and iced on the outside. The most common sponge is yellow with chocolate buttercream but there are many variations which include chocolate cake, ganache, and icings flavoured with liqueurs or espresso which are also popular.
Here at the Gascony Cookery School we celebrate food with our students every day as they learn new skills and techniques using a variety of fresh ingredients. Students enjoy the Gascon hospitality and get a taste of French life while visiting local villages and markets. The beautiful region of Gascony enjoys long warm days during the summer months and this just adds to the experience.
We always look forward to welcoming our new and returning students. Our 2018 course details and dates are available to view on line now by clicking here.
David, Vikki & Bernard