I have been on the road for several years now, and I meet many people wherever I go. I like to discover new homes, new dishes and above all the favorite foods of each person. During conversations, I like to ask foreigners what they appreciate the most about the French. Very often I hear something like this: “The French take the time to eat, or drink coffee at the table!”
The thing is, it’s totally true, and so even more so in Creole culture!
At every family meal, we can spend whole days around the dining and drinking table just for the pleasure of being together. And this is even more true in Reunion where not sitting at the table is close to a crime!
I think that the real difference between France and the rest of the world depends on how much time the French spend at the table. Simply for every meals, the French can spend more than 2 hours at the table during the day! This gives us about 14 hours per week if we don’t take into account the weekend meals which usually last longer.
Last but not least, I think that what distinguishes French and Creole cuisine from other, sometimes more refined cuisines is the time and attention that is put into the preparation and presentation of the dishes. It’s called the art of “cuisine à la française”: The dishes are designed to be beautiful as well as good. It’s about finding the right combination of food, wine, bread and dessert.
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