Cultural Comparison - food, meal taking

US vs. France
Particular Product and/or Practice U.S. Perspective France Perspective
1. Portion size big, all you can eat; doggy bags "savor, don't stuff"; no doggy bags
2. Consumption time fast; taking time for lunch just isn't done; eat quickly and get back to work slow(er) (even at McDonald's! 14 minutes vs. 22 minutes); mealtime is time to enjoy food, family and/or friends, good conversation
3. Taste "USians" prefer value over taste French prefer taste over value
4. Necessity vs. pleasure "USians" eat because they have to French eat because they want to: a day without a good lunch is not a good day
5. Food education: begins early and habits form US school lunches: monotonous diet of pizza, burgers, chicken parts and meat; sends the message that fast food all the time is normal and that healthy food tastes bad French school lunches: a meal has a structure -> appetizer, main dish, vegetable, cheese, and dessert.
6. Snacks a snack culture; chips, "conveniently" bagged snack foods are everywhere snacking is simply not part of the culture

Copyright © 2004 Jean W. LeLoup