This week’s bake list celebrates the French afternoon tea tradition of le goûter.
What’s le goûter?
We always think of Afternoon Tea as uniquely British, and probably consisting of scones, little cakes & sandwiches. And to be honest, very few of us ever actually sit down to consume a spread like that in Britain, delicious though it is. We’ve learnt that in France, however, there is a strong tradition of enjoying something sweet & bread-y in the afternoon daily between 4 – 6pm, especially with families after school who stop by their local boulangerie-patisserie on the way home. This is called le goûter.
Favourites for le goûter include Pain au chocolat, brioche and bread with chocolate spread or even pieces of dark (no doubt superior quality) chocolate.
This snacking occasion is a lovely chance to gossip & socialise over a coffee or hot chocolate and staves off any hunger between lunch & evening dinner. It’s so important to the French that you can notice queues at cafes & patisseries at l’heure du goûter, and is the reason that many bakers in France will bake twice in the day.
Clinical studies have reviewed the difference in eating habits between American, French & German families and it’s even said that regular le goûter prevents grazing on unhealthy processed foods & sweets by French children, explaining the low levels of childhood obesity in France. Indeed, French parents are focused on teaching their children to taste & enjoy the widest possible range of foods, whereas elsewhere many of us are more focused on our children’s own choice & trying to avoid any food problems.
For all these reasons we wonder whether le goûter can come to the Chilterns? We would recommend Pain au chocolat or Chocolate buns, NEW almond croissants or iced Pain au raisin not just for breakfast, brunch or lunch… but now also to fill that 4-6pm hunger spot too!! Let us know what you think would be your choice at that time of day in the comments.