French bread, dark chocolate, butter, and salt

Momentary francophilia– French bread, French kids, and French recipes

Posted on Posted in Inspiration, Nutrition Information
French dessert |
French bread, dark chocolate, butter, and salt

Ever since I began working as a baker full-time, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  But, I still like having a little nighttime snack every so often, and it’s only natural to have something, well, desserty.  One of my favorite snacks is something my parents use to make (or rather, assemble) for our church’s international festival to represent my mom’s French heritage.  All it takes is:

  • A slice/ripped piece of good french baguette (I get mine from Clear Flour in Brookline)
  • Butter
  • About 8 grains of kosher salt
  • Good dark chocolate

I’ll let you guess how to assemble it.  Enjoy with seltzer or red wine.  Or a sparkling white, if it’s blazing hot out, like it is right now.

I hadn’t made this in a very very long time, but I was reminded about it recently while listening to a Meal Makeover Moms‘ podcast from a few weeks ago.  They were interviewing Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything, and she mentioned this treat as a normal-but-still-rare-treat after-school snack in France.  On that note, the book sounds fabulous.  She gave a brief intro to each one of the tips that she’s learned about feeding children while living in France, which has a muuuuuuuuch lower obesity rate than do most other Western countries (and yet they still get to enjoy foods like white bread and butter!).  One of my favorite tips is to introduce your children to a wide variety of foods at a very young age– no kid’s menus ever!  If the portions on normal menus are too big for kids (they will be, considering they’re too large for adults), ask for most of it to be boxed or share one meal between a few children.  Teach children that it’s normal to need a few tries before liking a food.  Actually, something just struck me- most parents do this with baby food flavors, but then only let their kids choose things like plain pasta or grilled cheese once they start eating solid foods because “it’s all they like”.

On a tangential note, one of my roommates is studying abroad in Grenoble, France and I’d love to welcome her home with a dinner of French food, but I know just about nothing about real French food.  I don’t mean that stuff they teach at LeCordon Bleu with tons of cream, butter, and poached eggs, I mean things that a French peasant in Provence would cook for her family.  Or maybe one of those fabulous meals that French children eat for school lunch (seriously, it’s mind blowing).  I’ve done some research, but nothing has really struck me.  Does anyone have any French recipes, flavors, or techniques that they love and would like to share?

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