eat. shop. love. nyc.

The French don’t do doggie bags
April 11, 2010, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Cook, Eat, Think | Tags: , , , , ,

I have always known that the French don’t do doggie bags for some reason or another. I always assumed they felt it undignified or otherwise lowly, for the peasants. Yesterday, I realized it was something different altogether. It’s just not a part of their culture of freshly prepared food in modest quantities; food is to be consumed as and when it has been prepared.

Sara and I went to lunch at La Farigoule, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants in Cannes where Lillia will show you the heart-shaped freckle on her breast and then chastise you for looking at her decolletage and owner Patricia will offer you a complimentary shot of blood orange liqueur (or several) as an after-dinner cordial. We’re not talking fine dining, but rather home cooking, but always tasty. Their prices are fairly modest for Cannes (three course menu for 16 euros), especially during convention times when most restaurants double their menu prices to get the most out of the conventioneers. We had the spaghetti carbonara and the spaghetti aux moules (with mussels) for 10 euros each, and both were hearty and totally hit the spot after a long plane ride and the lugging of very heavy stand supplies.

The carbonara was chock full of fatty bits of ham in a rich cream sauce, served with an egg yolk on top to be mixed in for extra ooey goodness.

The mussels were fresh, plentiful in a very seafood-y saffron cream sauce.

However, the portions were very hefty (especially for France) and neither Sara nor I could finish. It seemed such a waste of perfectly good food, so I dusted off my high school French and asked sweetly, “Est-ce que nous pouvons les emporter, madame?” I think that translates into something like, “Is it that we can bring these?” – which was good enough for Patricia. She said, “Bien sur!” and took our dishes away. When she returned with our leftovers, she handed us a plastic bucket with my pasta on the bottom and Sara’s pasta on top, separated by a piece of aluminum foil. The bucket bore a Foie de Poulet label on top, which indicated that this was not actually intended to be a to-go container, but rather, it had been meant to house wholesale quantities of chicken livers.

We were greatly embarrassed for having asked for the to-go container because Patricia had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to (a) find us a suitable container and (b) clean it out for us and (c) had not been able to find a second container.

We won’t be asking for doggie bags any more, though we do strongly appreciate Patricia’s willingness to find us one.

Today, we went to the Carrefour supermarket to pick up some groceries for the work week so we can make ourselves dinner at home a couple times this week since the apartment we rented has a fabulous kitchen. I wanted to make some pasta salad and some gourmet salads for our group so we could eat during the day because the food at the Palais is absolute crap, and overpriced crap at that, and we never have time to leave the stand and go out to pick up lunch elsewhere. The ingredients here – the dairy and the cured meats and the fish – are SO good here!

We wanted to find some individual plastic tupperware, but there was none to be found. I thought they were out, but Sara said she wasn’t surprised that they didn’t have any since the French don’t make extra food in order to have easy-to-reheat leftovers for lunch at work the next day. They go to work, then break for a home-cooked lunch, then return to the office, and then go home (or out) for dinner. They don’t eat hurriedly, stooped over their desks, shoveling food in their mouths with one hand while typing with the other. Meals, even lunch, are to be eaten little by little at a leisurely pace, sprinkled generously with conversation, every moment savored.

Very often, I wish I were French.

Eat: La Farigoule (Cote D’Azur) 82 Rue Meynadier, 06400 Cannes, France. +33 04 93 38 94 95. Ambiance: cozy and familial, tiny space with red checked tablecloth, outrageously friendly staff, heartwarming food.


5 Comments so far
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I’ve definitely seen basic Tupperware at carrefour before, but a French colleague of mine used an old ice cream container (bc they come in reusable plastic) to send me home with a home cooked meal after I visited her. So perhaps you should go eat a tub of ice cream? 😉

Comment by Lesley

“Meals, even lunch, are to be eaten little by little at a leisurely pace, sprinkled generously with conversation, every moment savored.”

…now y’all can’t yell at me for taking forever to eat–because apparently, I eat like the French 🙂

Miss you!

Comment by Jilly

I stand corrected, Lesley! I went to another Monoprix and they had some Tupperware, though mostly in large sizes rather than individual serving sizes. I wish I could cook like the French: going to the local market each morning to select just enough fresh locally grown produce for the day’s meals and not more. Alas, I find myself buying and cooking in bulk and freezing because there just isn’t enough time for such luxuries back in NYC.

Comment by Melody

lol amazing story dude.

Comment by how much should i weigh

[…] from La Farigoule in Cannes last April and realized I hadn’t posted them before in my The French Don’t Do Doggie Bags blog. These pics got me excited again for Cannes! Pardon the re-post, but I wanted to share these […]

Pingback by Lunching at La Farigoule in Cannes « eat. shop. love. nyc.

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