The French culture is very fond of traditions, especially those around the holidays. We can say that there are as many regions as there are forms of Christmas folklore in France!
Les Treize Desserts de Noël en Provence
This is a tradition common in Provence, where 13 desserts are served on the festivities table. Following le gros souper (the big dinner), 13 homemade or locally-crafted treats are offered, usually consisting of an array of dry fruits (raisins, dates, almonds…), fresh seasonal fruits (oranges, pears…), and, last but not least, gourmet sweets (Quince paste, Calissons, Nougat…).
You can sample some of these typical desserts in our Café Gourmand & Gouter Boxes.
Les marchés de Noël à Strasbourg
In Northeast France, the city of Strasbourg is known as the Capital of Christmas. Every season, the city hosts their world-renowned street market, called Christkindelsmärik, where 300 charming chalets offer all sorts of goodies for flocking tourists; everything from local foods, to jewelry, to clothing, to handcrafted goods, and much more. The street market has been a Strasbourg tradition for nearly 450 years, and today brings is an impressive 2 million tourists through the month of December. A common celebratory custom during Christkindelsmärik is the enjoyment of “bredeles” (shortbread biscuit) with warm, spiced wine.
Le Père Fouettard en Alsace
As is well known, St. Nicholas makes his worldwide trip each year to deliver presents to good boys and girls. But in France, he is accompanied by Père Fouettard (Father Whipper), who is responsible for terrorizing naughty children and presenting them with lumps of coal. Dressed in dark robes, Père Fouettard may also opt to leave those on the naughty list mustard or onions to go with their coal.
Although mustard and onions may not sound so appealing to youngsters, a foodie with a sophisticated palette may appreciate such a gift, in the form of our Paris Apéritif Box, featuring artisan Whole Grain Mustard and tasty Sweet Onions Confit. Or perhaps our Provence Apéritif Box, with spreads and tapenades to compliment.
France is full of tradition and most of them are about food, as usual!
Bon Appétit Box wishes all our readers a Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) !
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