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A Glimpse into My French Holiday Traditions

Champagne always has a place of honor at the table, whether it is as an aperitif, or to drink with dessert, no French family would do without.

The French eat a variety of foods for Christmas, such as ham, turkey, and beef, but one “staple” to start the meal is “foie gras”.

My family doesn’t eat it here in the US because it is difficult and particularly expensive to get here and also because my kids are not fond of it, having not been brought up “pure French” :).  

A “detail” is also the fact that geese are force-fed for their livers to get as big as possible before being slaughtered, which raises a moral issue.

Still, I would never refuse the opportunity to eat it whenever given the chance :).

Another traditional start of a Christmas meal is fresh oysters, but I have never liked them so I never serve them for Christmas.

One of my family traditions for Christmas that everyone loves, young and old, is to have a convivial “raclette”. Raclette is a type of cheese that melts really well and originates from Switzerland, and it is hugely popular all over France.  It is based on heating cheese in individual trays placed in the apparatus as shown in this picture.

It is traditionally served with boiled potatoes and all sorts of varied “accoutrements” (e.g. cold cuts such as salami, prosciutto, “saucisson” as well as a bunch of veggies such as tomatoes, French pickles, pickled onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, whatever your heart desires).

Everyone loads onto their plate what they like to eat most so it is a very

individual and fun experience.

One of my favorite desserts is “profiteroles” as shown here, which are cream puffs filled with ice cream and hot rich chocolate sauce. It is decadent!!!

Also, for Christmas morning, a typical breakfast when opening presents is croissants, “pains au chocolat”

(chocolate croissants), and baguettes.

And for a typical flower, we usually grow amaryllis (they sell them at Trader Joe’s every year, you buy them about a month in advance and they grow slowly to open up right on time (unless you are unlucky ;)) for Christmas!

I have one of my cicadas shown for decor in my amaryllis,

perfect Christmas colors…

Now that you know a few of my French holiday traditions, I would love to get to know some of yours! Share some of your holiday traditions in the comments!

A Glimpse into My French Holiday Traditions

Written by Sophie Christian

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Posted on December 02 2022

 

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