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What Food Do They Eat In France On Christmas

Unsurprisingly, when I first moved to France and ordered a turkey for the fourth Thursday in November, my poor confused butcher dubbed the holiday “American Christmas.” Much like American Thanksgiving, and unlike a tinsel-adorned American Christmas, a French Christmas is more about food than decorations, gifts, or pretty much anything else! Recreating a French Christmas at home takes some time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a real treat.

Start with Bubbles and Amuses Bouches

The main French Christmas meal tends to take place not on the 25th, but on the 24th, and it’s a feast of epic proportions. The multi-course affair usually begins with champagne, and of course, champagne is best served with appetizers. Christmas is traditionally considered a time to go all out, so amuse bouches to accompany France’s most famous sparkling wine it may include foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon and oysters. Smoked salmon is delicious prepared in a simple tartare or served in cucumber sundaes. Oysters, a French delicacy, are often simply shucked and served on the half shell with mignonette sauce (a combination of vinegar and shallots), but if you’re not a fan of raw shellfish, Rockefeller Oysters are a great way to show off their sweet flavor. and salty.

Smoked Salmon Tartare
Smoked Salmon Tartare.
France c

Appetizers

For the appetizer, the parade of “noble” ingredients continues. Seafood is a popular choice, especially scallops. On French market stalls, scallops are most often sold in their shells, and it’s also a favorite way to cook and serve them, as in this recipe for Saint-Jacques with Tarragon Cream Sauce. That said, if you can’t find scallops in their shells, simple baked scallops in breadcrumbs are an equally delicious option.

Snails are another popular starter choice, served grilled with garlic butter in their shells, in mushroom caps or in decorative puff pastry vol-au-vents (so called because they are light enough to float away in the wind).

Amazing baked scallops
Amazing baked scallops.
All recipes

Entrees like these are certainly heavy and filling, and since we’re only getting started at this point, some families will opt for lighter entrees. Fish tartares are a nice choice and surprisingly easy to make at home. Start with sushi-grade tuna or salmon, and use a can of tuna with the top and bottom cut out as a makeshift ring mold for a gorgeous, restaurant-worthy presentation.

Main course

The French main event is, more often than not, a turkey, usually served with a stuffing of seasonal chestnuts (unsurprisingly my poor butcher was so confused!) But if you don’t feel like repeating the same roast you have enjoyed in November, you could also opt for other poultry, such as duck or capon. You can also enjoy your roasted chestnuts on the side (with or without Brussels sprouts). While poultry is by far the most traditional French main course, some families deviate, enjoying roast pork, ham, or even game meats like wild boar.

Slice a turkey roast
Juicy roasted turkey.
All recipes

As with most traditional French dishes, a cheese plate usually follows the main event, often with at least one truffle-dusted contender: Brie, triple-cream Brillat-Savarin, or double-cream Chaource are all delicious options. Whichever cheese you choose, be sure to serve with good quality French bread (and if you don’t have a great bakery near you, you can easily make your own baguette).

Course of desserts

But wait… there’s more! No French meal would be complete without some of their famous pastries, and choosing Christmas is a no-brainer: Buche de Noel or yule log. This delicacy is made by rolling cooked and cooled Genovese around a buttercream frosting and then, as the name of the cake suggests, decorating it to look like a log. Every year, French pastry chefs present their version of this classic to members of the press as early as August. With so many delicious options to choose from, French families often outsource this final artistic touch to the professionals. Some buy a pastry “bûche” from the local patisserie, others opt for a store-bought version of ice cream, which is said to be lighter. That said, a homemade Yule log is a beautiful baking and decorating feat, with marzipan, meringue and more. Since it can be made ahead of time, it can also be a delicious pastry project to share with the whole family.

Chocolate Christmas Log
Chocolate Christmas Log.
Chef John

A French Christmas dinner can often last for hours and that’s no surprise! But if you have room for another bite when the cake has been eaten, opt for a clementine or tangerine. Once a common Christmas present, this cute little citrus remains both a decorative option and a light way to end a meal that has been an exploration of excess. Of course, a digestif like Armagnac is a completely different, but equally enjoyable way to put a finishing touch on a meal. Or do like les Provençauxand go big with The desserts of Les Treize.

Happy Christmas!

Check out our collection of French recipes.


Unsurprisingly, when I first moved to France and ordered a turkey for the fourth Thursday in November, my poor confused butcher dubbed the holiday “American Christmas.” Much like American Thanksgiving, and unlike a tinsel-adorned American Christmas, a French Christmas is more about food than decorations, gifts, or pretty much anything else! Recreating a French Christmas at home takes some time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a real treat.

Start with Bubbles and Amuses Bouches

The main French Christmas meal tends to take place not on the 25th, but on the 24th, and it’s a feast of epic proportions. The multi-course affair usually begins with champagne, and of course, champagne is best served with appetizers. Christmas is traditionally considered a time to go all out, so amuse bouches to accompany France’s most famous sparkling wine it may include foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon and oysters. Smoked salmon is delicious prepared in a simple tartare or served in cucumber sundaes. Oysters, a French delicacy, are often simply shucked and served on the half shell with mignonette sauce (a combination of vinegar and shallots), but if you’re not a fan of raw shellfish, Rockefeller Oysters are a great way to show off their sweet flavor. and salty.

Smoked Salmon Tartare
Smoked Salmon Tartare.
France c

Appetizers

For the appetizer, the parade of “noble” ingredients continues. Seafood is a popular choice, especially scallops. On French market stalls, scallops are often sold in their shells, and it’s also the preferred way to cook and serve them, as in this recipe for Saint-Jacques with Tarragon Cream Sauce. That said, if you can’t find scallops in their shells, simple baked scallops in breadcrumbs are an equally delicious option.

Snails are another popular starter choice, served grilled with garlic butter in their shells, in mushroom caps or in decorative puff pastry vol-au-vents (so called because they are light enough to float away in the wind).

Amazing baked scallops
Amazing baked scallops.
All recipes

Entrees like these are certainly heavy and filling, and since we’re only getting started at this point, some families will opt for lighter entrees. Fish tartares are a nice choice and surprisingly easy to make at home. Start with sushi-grade tuna or salmon, and use a can of tuna with the top and bottom cut out as a makeshift ring mold for a gorgeous, restaurant-worthy presentation.

Main course

The French main event is, more often than not, a turkey, usually served with a stuffing of seasonal chestnuts (unsurprisingly my poor butcher was so confused!) But if you don’t feel like repeating the same roast you have enjoyed in November, you could also opt for other poultry, such as duck or capon. You can also enjoy your roasted chestnuts on the side (with or without Brussels sprouts). While poultry is by far the most traditional French main course, some families deviate, enjoying roast pork, ham, or even game meats like wild boar.

Slice a turkey roast
Juicy roasted turkey.
All recipes

As with most traditional French dishes, a cheese plate usually follows the main event, often with at least one truffle-dusted contestant: Brie, triple cream Brillat-Savarin, or double cream Chaource are all delicious options. Whichever cheese you choose, be sure to serve with good quality French bread (and if you don’t have a great bakery near you, you can easily make your own baguette).

Course of desserts

But wait… there’s more! No French meal would be complete without some of their famous pastries, and choosing Christmas is a no-brainer: Buche de Noel or yule log. This delicacy is made by rolling cooked and cooled Genovese around a buttercream frosting and then, as the name of the cake suggests, decorating it to resemble a log. Every year, French pastry chefs present their version of this classic to members of the press as early as August. With so many delicious options to choose from, French families often outsource this final artistic touch to the professionals. Some buy a pastry “bûche” from the local patisserie, others opt for a store-bought version of ice cream, which is said to be lighter. That said, a homemade Yule log is a beautiful baking and decorating feat, with marzipan, meringue and more. Since it can be made ahead of time, it can also be a delicious pastry project to share with the whole family.

Chocolate Christmas Log
Chocolate Christmas Log.
Chef John

A French Christmas dinner can often last for hours and that’s no surprise! But if you have room for another bite when the cake has been eaten, opt for a clementine or tangerine. Once a common Christmas present, this cute little citrus remains both a decorative option and a light way to end a meal that has been an exploration of excess. Of course, a digestif like Armagnac is a completely different, but equally enjoyable way to put a finishing touch on a meal. Or do like les Provencauxand go big with The desserts of Les Treize.

Happy Christmas!

Check out our collection of French recipes.


Video about What Food Do They Eat In France On Christmas

DO YOU KNOW WHAT FRENCH PEOPLE EAT FOR CHRISTMAS?

🎅 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHRISTMAS in FRANCE VS USA: https://youtu.be/4S0Ineq9Nko

What do French people eat for Christmas? That’s exactly what we’re jumping into in this French Christmas video. We’ll learn about the Christmas meal in France and everything that goes into preparing French Christmas food. From the appetizers to the main dish to dessert and even the Christmas drinks. Let’s get into French Christmas facts, French Christmas traditions and all that goodness that makes Christmas in France so special.

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Salut! I’m Diane, the American behind the living abroad lifestyle blog Oui In France. I’ve lived in France since 2012. My channel’s focus is “Everyday French life and beyond.” I make videos on French culture topics, food, travel, language, and give you my thoughts about what it’s like living in France as an American in the Loire Valley. Thanks for being here and if you enjoy this sort of thing, please share with friends and subscribe!

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