Christmas feasts in France

Like Americans, the French have a tradition of enjoying an elaborate family meal for Christmas. Unlike Americans, they have a similar tradition for New Years Eve, but with friends. (We skip straight to the drinky drinky).

I’ll take you through one meal that lasted about 5 hours on Christmas eve. I didn’t get a picture of the appetizers — different toppings like tzatziki, pate, chorizo and smoked salmon on tiny toast. The first course was foie gras with homemade onion preserves:

Then came the savory Christmas log, with smoked salmon and spinach, garnished with beets:

I’m not a fan, myself, but oysters are popular for holiday meals:

Instead of that, I got this cheesy seafood gratin, which was so much better, despite looking like a mystery pot:

A specialty of Burgundy is snails. It’s so popular that they sell them even at places like Casino (which I’m told is about the same as Walmart here). That was our next course.

Did I miss anything? We had something from a frozen food wonderland for dessert. Before Christmas, Picard sends everyone magazines full of food porn. At least 10 different kinds of logs to drool over.

We even had a backup dessert we didn’t get around to eating until the next day.

Alice, the ideal cat, demonstrates exactly how I felt after all this food. Oh, but it was far from over.

Because the next day, we started again, with lunch! Again, I forgot to take pictures of the appetizer. Foie gras on tiny toast. This time our snails were nestled in warm pastry puffs.

Followed by a potato leek soup

With a chilean sea bass and fingerling potatoes as the main course

And, of course, this gorgeous homemade raspberry white chocolate Christmas log for dessert

Topped with English cream and lingonberries!

There were other meals and parties, but my camera must’ve been playing passed out in a food coma. I will leave you with a couple of enviable shots of a cheese box though. For those of you that aren’t familiar — many French people have a “cheese or yogurt” course during both lunch and dinner, so they always have about 4 different kinds of cheese in a box (or on a plate, or in a basket) and a few flavors of yogurt cups.

Lets get a closeup of the extra drooly one that I’m told was “déclassé” due to its runaway mold problem.

All right! Now doesn’t everyone want to visit France for the holidays?

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