French Table Manners Matter...

Old Feb 12th, 2013, 10:21 PM
  #101  
 
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My family does eat butter with radishes, I have always eaten it that way too.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 12:12 AM
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Yes, butter with radishes and with ham. Just not with bread.

And we, along with all our friends in the Perigord wipe up the sauce with the bread. Then use the same plate for salad/cheese.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 12:21 AM
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Butter is sometimes served with a breakfast basket--croissant, baguette, jam, etc.

Also with a smoked salmon appetizer.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 01:16 AM
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You get bread while you wait, in case you're hungry, but not usually butter with it. Whether that's to stop you feeling too satiated before your order arrives, or to make sure your tastebuds aren't coated with butter, or just plain meanness, I don't know.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 01:19 AM
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Butter is <b>ALWAYS</b> served with breakfast bread.

Butter is also served with roquefort.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 02:08 AM
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StCirq wrote on Feb 11, 13 at 4:15pm
"In America, where it is [customary to eat butter with bread], I break the bread up first, and if I'm going to use butter, . . . I butter the small bits."

This is what well-brought up people have been taught to do at least since the 19th century. There are companies that teach such things to people who want to be senior managers and haven't learned it at home. It's no shame not to know this stuff. It's just a shame not to pick up on it as you get older since it does matter.

Sorry, I have missed a day of being stuffy owing to trying to get home "post-blizzard." I'll make every effort to catch up.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Of course. They have wonderful butter in France (think Norman cows). They just don't tend to spread it on bread, unless they're making tartines.>

My French son said that was a bunch of baloney (to use a family-friendly word) and that at breakfast most French he knows slather butter on bread - certainly all my French in-laws I have breakfasted with do and lots of it.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 08:47 AM
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Well its true that I have always seen butter is always served with breakfast but I think the butter/bread debate here is whether it is served with bread at lunch or dinner, from my perosnal experience the answer is no to that.. but if you order a plate of cold meats butter is often on the plate with the meats and pates , as saucisson and butter on bread is yum.

My dad grew up in France, breakfast was a BOWL of milky coffee, bread and butter, and then in his family ( so I have no idea how rude or normal this is as everyone is different) he would dip bread and butter in coffee, and even break bread butter up and throw it in coffee,,sorry I know, it sounds disgusting.

He has lived in Canada since he was 30 ( he is elderly now) and still drinks coffee out his bowls.. his mom kept him supplied with them because apparently in barbaric Canada we did not have proper bowls for coffee.. lol
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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you mop up your plate using your folk in the bread
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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We still use bowls for breakfast coffee in France. Actually, any Americans that I have hosted in Paris have absolutely loved drinking their coffee out of the traditional French coffee bowls.

As for what you can dunk, in small villages you will see people dunking camembert tartines into their café au lait.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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I have no idea how rude or normal this is as everyone is different) he would dip bread and butter in coffee, and even break bread butter up and throw it in coffee,,sorry I know, it sounds disgusting>

sounds kind of like the trompez au lait (sp? my in-laws make with day old bread - but in milk - bits of old bread in milk - a constant thing my ex-wife would serve herself and my son - I never got much a liking for it.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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My family does eat butter with radishes, I have always eaten it that way too>

Butter with radishes always got me - why take a low caloric veg and put tons of butter - yes butter not margarine in my in-laws houses - just a weird practice IME.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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It's to offset the bite of the radish. Salt and radishes go well together too.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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The problem is that the bite has been bred out of the radishes, which I personally think is a shame.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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About "wrists on the table", (I have told this tale before on the Forum), when I was first married to my "Practice Wife" in the States, we went to Paris as a belated honeymoon. When had worked in Paris for a number of years, and part of the trip was for her to display her new hubby to her French friends. We went to the home of her former boss for dinner, along with all of her close friends.

I felt distinctly uncomfortable, under their collective gazes. I knew I was being tested, and was carefully displaying my best American table manners, including having my left hand firmly clamped in my lap.

The host noticed, and snidely tested me as he said, "What are you doing over there with your hand below the table; playing with yourself?"

Luckily, I had just enough French to answer, "But no, Monsieur, I'm playing with your wife."

The table exploded with laughter, as I passed the test. The rest of the evening went splendidly.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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nukesafe, that was the perfect retort!
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 12:48 AM
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kerouac, who should know, writes:
"We still use bowls for breakfast coffee in France. Actually, any Americans that I have hosted in Paris have absolutely loved drinking their coffee out of the traditional French coffee bowls."

But this is at home, isn't it? I don't think I have ever seen anyone drinking coffee from a bol in public. A Canadian friend was disappointed not to get morning coffee in a bowl when in Paris; it is apparently commonly served that way in cafes in Quebec.
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 01:57 AM
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I was in hospital last November in St. Gaudens. Breakfast every morning was coffee and hot milk in a bowl, thin cello-wrapped melba toast slices and a packet of apricot jam. Not much but you don't need much when just hanging around in bed all day. The coffee was great.
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:11 AM
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I was just thinking about a cultural dead giveaway that I mentioned a few years ago whereby I mightily annoyed my American hostess. I told her "I see you are using dessert forks instead of dessert spoons, just like an American." She was so certain that she had done everything the French way.

Yes, dessert forks <b>do</b> exist in France, but "normal" people will set out a spoon for the dessert, which can also be used to stir coffee if it is also served at the end of the meal. However, people from certain other cultures seem to find it impossible to eat pastry with a spoon, even though this is much more suitable for sloppy items like a <i>fraisier</i> or a lot of the other cream-filled items.
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 05:57 AM
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I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on the knife!

Spike Milligan
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