It is well known, French people don’t snack. Three meals a day is the rule, more or less copious depending on your agenda: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Following this pattern is probably the best nutritional advice I could give to somebody going on a diet to loose some weight. Yet, if while in France you’re wandering in the city around 4:30 pm, you would notice that all the bakeries, bars, terraces and pastry-shops are getting crowded: it’s time for le goûter!
Le goûter (literally = to taste) could be described as a sweet snack – never savoury, you would look so weird asking for goûter a jambon-beurre sandwich! It is a long-time french tradition and literature is full of famous goûter’s examples. Remember? Proust, enjoying Aunt Léonie’s small madeleine dip in lime-flower tea?
This sweet habit is mostly associated to childhood. 4:30 pm is the time when children come out of school. All the mothers are waiting outside with the precious goûter kids deserve after spending their energy all day long. You have to consider that dinner is usually not served before 8:00 pm. Such a long way to go.
Though it is linked to childhood, grown-ups are still huge fans of this snack. So treat yourself and satisfy your sweet tooth! I am giving you a sample of the different goûter you could indulge yourself with.
The basic goûter
- a piece of baguette spread with butter with a chocolate bar slip into the bread
- a piece of viennoiserie: pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) or chausson aux pommes (apple turnover) – not croissants, they are most exclusively for breakfast.
- fresh fruits
- plain yogurt
Goûter in a hurry
(or the classic example of how to have goûter at work)
- cereal bars
- fresh fruits
- biscuits with a special mention for the LU brand: Petits Beurre, Barquettes, Petits Ecoliers or Prince: whatever, don’t be ashamed, pick your drug!
The authentic goûter
Homemade buttery petits-fours, among the most well-known:
- almond financiers
- shortbread cookies
- cookies and muffins are now acceptable
The Luxury goûter
- individual pastries: Napoléon, pies, éclairs, and so many more