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How To Eat French

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eating French food

Living in France requires one to learn how to eat French food? French food etiquettes are to be followed when dining with a French family or even at a French restaurant, lack of these etiquettes demonstrates lack of respect for French cuisine and the host as well.

Here is overview of essential French etiquettes everyone must follow. 

French Dinning Etiquettes

Table manners are to be followed after you arrive at the dinner venue, but here we have some rules to be followed when invited for a dinner or meal. Never carry flowers for the host, they can either be sent in the morning on the day of invitation or after the party is over. Do not take friends or pets along to the party without giving complete information to the host. You can only refuse to eat curry and oysters; you have to eat everything else because the hostess enquires about your liking beforehand and serves only what you like. Be prepared for a long dining time, it may go up to 4 hours considering the courses of meals offered. One should take at least a small portion of every meal, its mandatory. One thing that always remains on the table is glasses of wine, if you don’t need more, leave the glass almost full. It is polite to arrive for dinner 10 minutes later than the invited time. Carry a small gift for the host, preferably chocolates and never take wine because it’s the host who serves wine to the guests. French really appreciate their wine, so if you are taking one make sure the wine is of best quality.

French Table Etiquettes

As a guest you will be guided to your seat, so wait for the host’s direction. Do not start eating until your host raises the toast and says “bon appetite’. Place the napkin on your lap as you start your meal. One has to master the art of eating with fork and knife as a first step towards learning how to eat French. Everything from meat to fruit has to be cut with knife in the right hand and fork on the left hand. Food should be eaten with the left hand only. One should not rest elbows on the table and nor the hands should be invisible, rest hands on the table, its good manners. Leave your folded napkin on the chair if you intend to return to the dining table but if you are done, keep your fork and knife crossed on the plate and napkin folded on the table. Avoid discussing recipes and money during dinning. It is considered rude to look at the label on the wine bottle. Never tear salad or bread, break the bread and fold the salad leaf before eating. Try to eat everything offered on the plate, leaving food means it was not liked. Party ends with a glass of orange juice so leave after it is served.

Dress Etiquettes

French people are fashion conscious yet formal. Always dress up formally. Good quality of fabric and accessories are mandatory. In a nutshell, both men and women need to dress up elegantly without showing cleavage or thigh.

Like all other countries, French too like to adhere to their customs of eating French food. By learning how to eat French prior to joining a French party or invitation lets one show respect towards French culture and goes a long way in establishing a friendly relation.  


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How To Eat French