Summer Lunches in France, Episode 295

Categories: French Culture, French Food & Wine

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

In this episode, Annie and Elyse chat about our favorite summer lunches in France. We talk about eating habits locals have in France during the warm months and the foods we all look forward to every summer in France. We also share a few recipes and cooking tips from our southern France kitchens!

Annie & Elyse's Favorite Summer Lunches in France

In France we don't want to turn the oven on. Why? Because most French homes don't have air conditioning! Turning the oven on raises the temperature of an already hot house too much. That's also why many villas in France have a full kitchen outside. Some people just have a barbecue, but you'll also find outdoor kitchens with a "plancha" (large hot plate), a fridge and a sink. And air-fryers are also good for that.

Do French People Have Food Traditions in the Summer?

French people used to eat a lot more regional foods, but as food distribution has become more global, you can find similar summer foods all over France.


French people barbecue sausages a lot. There are electric barbecues you can even use on a balcony.

  • Merguez from North Africa
  • Chipolatas from the south of France
  • Porc chops
  • Duck heats
  • Grilled Rocamadour cheese

Summer Salads

  • Watermelon salad with feta and mint
  • Caprese salad with garden tomatoes, mozzarela and fresh basil
  • Salade Niçoise (and maybe some Socca to go with it?)
  • Salads with boiled eggs and fruit (fresh strawberries or canned peaches or melons)
  • Melon Charantais with prosciuto ham or with port wine

Summer Soups

  • Gazpacho
  • Cucumber soup
  • Royco soup (instant)
  • Zucchini soup with either curry or Boursin cheese

Summer Sandwiches

  • Pain Bagnat
  • Sandwich aux mergez
  • Sandwich à la saucisse de Toulouse

Summer Pizzas

  • Pissaladière
  • Fig and feta pizza

Summer Fruit

  • Peaches
  • Melons Charentais
  • Flat peaches or nectarines

Summer Dishes

  • Ratatouille (which you can make in one pot and without much fuss as Annie explains 19 minutes into the episode)
  • Tian de légumes
  • Quiches with a lot of onion or zucchini or Swiss chard or leeks
  • Tomates farçies
  • Dishes with fresh peas
  • Mussels and fries
  • Terrines de poisson or terrines de légume
  • Fresh sardines on the grill
  • Taboulé
  • Apéritif dinatoire is a big thing in France in the summer

Summer Is Rosé Season

For some reason most French people switch to drinking rosé during the summer, especially in the last 10 years. It's completely OK to drink it with ice, but if you don't use ice it must be served very cold. There are good rosés from Corsica, Provence and Pays de Loire.

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Categories: French Culture, French Food & Wine