Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

The French Paradox,
Occitanian kids and food

August 11, 2008

Collapsed child guest at the Auberge de la Filature, Saint-Bauzille-du-Putois, Debra Solomon,
Small child napping on the dinner garden path

A few weeks ago at a dinner where a meat-rich hors d’oeuvre was enjoyed during the conversation course, two little girls, probably 9 or 10 yrs old, were standing before an elaborate platter laden with rillettes on toast, discussing this informal snack.

“Oh, I just LOVE Laure’s goose rillettes, the bay, the thyme, it’s SOOO aromatic. It just opens up in your mouth!”

“Yes, and such a delicate texture, not too fine, none too curdy.”

“Oh yes! And the melting point of the goose fat on your tongue, that cooling effect, it’s like the way chocolate melts!”

“I could just eat them every day.” “Mmm mmmm, me too!”

Little Occitanian girls discussing a heady mixture of everything-but-the-squeal goose parts, butt and brain, and skin and vein, meat and fat, nose hole to tail hole eating.

And although not meat related, child-behaviour-related: What a delightful little boy last night at the restaurant, 3 yrs old, playing with another guest’s dog. The boy had too much energy to sit down, but his parents just let him do his thing, focussing on their exquisite dinners, and anyway unable to reign him in as he trotted out a dance with the dog between the tables. He weaved through the clumps of hedge-couched guests, all around the garden with the dog in tow. As the evening got on, he wore himself out, twice collapsing in a puddle of his own fatigue and falling into slumbers right on the ground. Very cute. Then one parent or another would scoop him up, and he was suddenly really small again. He refuelled on a snuggle, a micro nap and morsels of meat from their plates, and then took off again for more adventure, the source of all our smiles.

Maybe this is the real French Paradox, children enjoying eating. Appreciation of the entire animal starts early here and I witness time and time again children who are actively interested in food during preparation, but especially during dining. Could it be that the secret of getting children to eat is about making it delicious?

debra at 7:56 | | post to


  1. Great writing, Debra.

    Comment by dad — August 12, 2008 @ 1:42

  2. Thanks Dad!

    Comment by Debra van Culiblog — August 12, 2008 @ 10:05

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