Its history begins in the XVIIIth century when the custom of drinking coffee and coffee with milk served with toast, spread into the cities. The French term petit déjeuner was coined at the end of the nineteenth century when the current three meals pattern was set up.
As a whole, breakfasts are not a huge affair in France. Traditionally french breakfast is called as Le petit déjeuner – it means the petit (small) breakfast. So breakfast is generally very small. For most people that consists of something sweet:
pain au chocolat
pain au raisin with jam
a regular croissant
fresh baguette with jam
pain au lait (slightly sweet light bread)
Often in cafes a small side portion of eggs or ham usually compliments the meal.
For a drink they usually choose from freshly squeezed orange juice, an americano or an expresso. Kids prefer hot chocolate instead of coffee. A typical domestic breakfast in France consists of bowls rather than cups or mugs of coffee, often hot chocolate with tartines – slices of baguette spread with jam – sometimes dunked.
More about the wonderful varieties of bread
The French favour a light, white, crusty bread, which goes stale in only a few hours. The cure for this is to make the loaves thicker; this changes the ratio of crust to crumb, surface area to interior volume; it is the bread near the surface that goes stale first, and in doing so helps to preserve the interior. It follows that people who live a long way from a bakery buy, once a week, loaves up to a foot thick; while Parisians, for example, who are seldom more than 200 yards from a bakery, can buy fresh bread for each meal, and very thin, crispy loaves.
Bed & Breakfast or chambre d’hôte
The concept of bed and breakfast was invented by the British who welcomed travellers into their homes and offered them a hearty breakfast the next morning to send them off on their travels again. Whilst the concept may be British, the French have certainly adopted it wholeheartedly and you will find a bed and breakfast in France just as welcoming as in the UK, only in France it is called a chambre d’hôte (literally “host’s bedroom”).
The French eat rich foods, drink lots of wine and smoke. So why are they so thin and fit? Hardly typical of the Mediterranean Diet Plan! Recent news reports have touted the wonders of the so-called French diet. Just what is the secret to the paradox of french meals?
French Food Prices