It is widely accepted that French cuisine is healthy. Small portions, many veggies and taking 2 or 3 hours to eat a meal all contribute to the stereotype of skinny French people. If you were to research the French population however, you would indeed find plenty of overweight people.
Americans don’t have a monopoly on obesity.
There are five foods in French cuisine you should eat little to none of, even at a party.
Pate de Foie gras
This is the pate (or meat paste) formed from goose livers. The birds are overfed or force-fed to enlarge their livers for this dish.
Foie gras is extremely high in artery-clogging cholesterol and calories. Chicago banned its sale from 2006 to 2008.
Eclairs and Other Pastries
Made from large amounts of butter and full-fat creams, a single serving of these foods should be about the size of half a deck of cards. Seriously, who eats pastry that small?
Even the French Government has issued concerns about rising obesity in children and adults. One of the culprits is a rise in fatty and sugary pastry consumption.
Here is a food to avoid on any kind of healthy diet. A duck leg is skinned, and then coated in salt and garlic for up to 36 hours in a refrigerator. While the salt does act as a preservative, what comes next will make your arteries cringe.
The salt and garlic are brushed off and the leg is coated in duck fat- extremely high in cholesterol. It is slowly poached, that is boiled, in fat. If not eaten right away, it is stored in jars covered in – what else- duck fat.
While the French people generally have a small slice of cheese with dinner, most Americans want more than a sliver. French cheeses, while tasty, are not low fat. They are made with whole milk and cream.
In order to avoid extra fat, calories and cholesterol with your meal, get to know the types of sauces available in a French Restaurant. These can be ordered to come with the meal on the side instead over the food. Most restaurants will accommodate their customers.
A la crème- this means in cream sauce- full fat cream, that is.
Au gratin- a sauce with both full fat cream and cheese.
En cruote- This is a crusty pastry made with heavy amounts of full fat butter.
Remoulade- This is a sauce made with mayonnaise- laden with fat.
Choose either steamed (au vapour), en brochette (broiled) or grille (grilled) for your meal.
French cooking is wonderful, if care is taken and portion control is exercised. For sauces, use them as a condiment instead of as a part of the meal.
If only I could figure out how to eat just a “little éclair.”