French Tea Time, Glorified After-School Snack, Crosses the Atlantic

Jan 9, 2009 by

Gouter

Europeans know: we all need to relax with a hot drink, a little bite to eat and someone to talk to at the end of the day. This deep human need is one Americans have underestimated, but it’s a simple matter to give it its due.

The French tea time is a more sacred, more cherished form of our after-school snack. It is sanctified by certain civilizing traditions.

I first discovered this custom in 1989 at my husband’s parents’ farmhouse in a tiny French village. They call it le gôuter (“to taste”)—it is not a full meal—or “les quatre heures,” literally “the four o’clock.” Taken any time between 4 and 6 p.m., it is  reinforcement for the dairy farmers there before the evening milking. A light dinner is served later in the evening.

Far less varied than dinner or…

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Good American Additions to the French version of the After-School Snack

Jan 8, 2009 by

Smoothies (frozen fruit pieces mixed with some juice or milk in the blender)

Bananas or apples with peanut butter

Celery “boats” spread with cream cheese or peanut butter

Popcorn

Crackers and pesto (a sauce made with basil, nuts and cheese)

Salsa and chips

Whole wheat pita bread toasted

Cereal and milk, (less sweet, more whole grain and organic)

Nuts

Tartines of peanut butter (open-face sandwiches)

Left-over corn bread with butter, honey

Related Post: French tea time: glorified after school snack: http://www.sacredappetite.com/2009/01/09/french-tea-time-glorified-after-school-snack-crosses-the-atlantic/

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