How to “Lunch” Like the French

How to “Lunch” Like the French

There is something deliciously luxurious about a leisurely lunch, complete with good company and a delicious glass of wine, that begs to be experienced. It’s as if time stops and nothing exists beyond the joyful hum of conversation shared over a beautiful meal. These are the things that nourish the soul.
Whether you’re on vacation, enjoying a leisurely weekend, or in need of a longer pause from the work day, here’s my recipe to embracing lunch à la française:

1. Stop the Clock. Try a little experiment:
Toss your 15-minute lunch habit à la fenêtre (out the window) and stop the clock. For a couple of hours, disconnect from your to-do list (and your phone) and live in the moment, unrushed and unfussed. Unravel the experience in small steps, savoring course by course, sip by sip, and pausing in between to take it all in.
2. Sip Wine with Lunch:
Of course, we all know that wine heightens the flavors of a meal, but that doesn’t seem à propos when we’re grabbing a quick sandwich or salad. A glass of wine completes the stop-and-enjoy experience.
3. Multiply Your Courses:
There’s something beautiful about the way a meal naturally unravels when enjoyed over multiple courses. Stimulate your palate with small courses that satisfy each of your senses. Here’s an échantillon (sampling): a colorful tomato and basil salad drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, a delicious smelling caramelized tarte à l’oignon (onion tart), a few crisp leaves of salad accompanied by a selection of cheeses, and a cool scoop of sorbet framboise. Ahhh, je rêve (I’m dreaming)! All accompanied by the sound of a crispy baguette being broken.
4. End with a Café:
You’ve laughed, you’ve sipped, you’ve relished every bite… but there’s more. In France, the typical way to close the palate is with a small espresso. The ritual is a brilliant way to end the meal on the right note. You leave the table satisfied and the kitchen is closed; no snacking or hovering over your fridge until dinnertime.

Bon appétit!

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