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Regards sur la culture: Une cuisine rapide en France
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The French tradition of a large midday meal followed by a light supper has evolved over the past few years. As you learned previously, the French historically returned home from school or work at midday for a long, hot meal. Many tend nowadays to stay at work or school, returning home only in the evening. This phenomenon is referred to as la journée continue.

Regardless of this change, you still will see in this scene from the film reflections of the French way of life. Rather than a simple sandwich, the cafeteria offers a main hot meal, le plat principal, and serves wine with lunch. In general, the French midday meal consists of a salad, a main meal accompanied by a vegetable, a dessert, and a drink.

For those who get to eat at home but have a limited amount of time to prepare a meal, frozen food is the answer. The annual consumption of frozen food grew from 2 kg in 1965 to 29 kg in 1997.* This does not mean that the French no longer value quality. Rather, the events of the last decade have led to a new French fad -- gourmet frozen food. Picard Surgelés is a chain of stores found all over France serving a great variety of frozen foods, including such offerings as crabe farci (stuffed crab) and gigot (leg of lamb) mariné au paprika.

* During this period, the percentage of homes in France that had a freezer went from 10% to 52% and those that had a microwave oven went from 1% to 52%.



In your opinion, how have American eating habits changed over the past 20 years? What is the latest American dietary fad?

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