So ingrained is cheese in the French consciousness that what we call a pie chart is a camembert chart in France. A selection of delicious cheeses can turn up at any meal, or make a meal on its own. Try the local offerings, eat it with baguette, and think before you cut – a full round should be segmented, so don’t cut across the curve, and when helping yourself from a slab of fromage, cut it to leave a point for the next person to angle in on.
Out to lunch
At lunchtime order ‘le menu’ at a café, brasserie or restaurant and you’ll be served an entrée of soup or salad, a hearty main, dessert and café, and sometimes a glass or small carafe of wine, for as little as 14 to 17 euros. Thank the tickets resto (restaurant tickets) given to many French workers as part of their salary, a meal subsidy system that keeps small eateries pumping in the traditional two-hour lunchbreak. The same meal would cost significantly more at night, so lunch like a king then top up with baguette and cheese for dinner.