Are Table Manners in France Very Different From What I’m Used to in America?
You are planning to take your significant other out to a very nice restaurant in Paris. Possibly at the Tour d'Argent or maybe the Jules Vernes on the Eiffel Tower?
Now is a good time to ask if table manners in France are different from they are in North America! We zoom-in on the things you need to know to understand the differences and fit in anywhere you go.
Elyse and Annie discuss both the differences explain and Elyse also tells us that the French used to be rough around the edges at the table until Catherine de Medici introduced the niceties of the Italian court to France. Many people hated her for it, but it caught on.
It’s Time for Apéritif!
You'll also learn why French people clink their glasses at apéritif and say "tchin-tchin". It's such a cute ritual, we love doing it even if it's not entirely clear what it means!
At a formal meal in France there are utensils on the table that you will not recognize. We list them all, explain what they are for, and in what order you need to use them.
As you know, French people love their wines, but there are rituals around wine, things that are not done, such as filling your glass to more than half-way full or serving yourself without serving others first.
Are French People Always Formal at the Table?
You may wonder if French people are more formal about food every day than North Americans or Australians. We do a lot of home-cooking in France and we eat many of our meals all together around the dining table, but we're not necessarily formal. We also explain informal meals in everyday French life.
And, finally, we talk about important differences you will notice at French restaurants and how French and Americans hold their knife and fork differently. Yes, once you pay attention to this, you'll be able to spot a French person anywhere by how they handle their utensils!
Learn More: French Lifestyle and Customs
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):
- Collioure Travel Tips, Episode 174
- Dealing with food allergies in France, Episode 170
- An Exploration of French Wines, Episode 158
- Tipping and 10 Things You Didn't Know About France, Episode 91
- Are French People Rude? Episode 9