The first thing I do every morning is eat breakfast. Each day I go to a local bakery and order a chocolatin. This classic French pastry consists of a flaky, buttery croissant dough wrapped around a rich and decadent chocolate filling. While in Bordeaux this is called a chocolatin, if you were to order the same pastry in Paris, you would likely receive a strange look from the locals. This is because outside of Bordeaux, this pastry is known as a "pain au chocolat". Although the pastry itself is the same across France, the name for it varies depending on the region. This variation in naming is just one example of the many cultural differences that exist between regions within a country.
It is fascinating to see how a single pastry can have different names and be perceived differently in different parts of the same country. In America, it is common for people to skip breakfast or have something quick like a granola bar or a cup of coffee on-the-go. However, during my time in France, I noticed a stark contrast in breakfast culture. French breakfasts are usually leisurely affairs, consisting of croissants, baguettes, butter, jam, and a hot drink such as coffee or hot chocolate. The French take their breakfast seriously and often take the time to sit down and enjoy their meal before starting their day. As an American, it was a refreshing change to slow down and savor a delicious breakfast each morning. The experience also gave me a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasure of taking time to enjoy a meal and start the day off right.
At around noon, my friends and I typically scout out a new local cafe to try out. Today, we went to a cafe on the boardwalk of the Garonne River that served the most delicious chicken sandwich I have ever tasted. The cafe's outdoor seating provided a stunning view of the river and the surrounding cityscape. The sandwich came with a side of French fries and a salad. I savored every bite while soaking in the beautiful view and the vibrant atmosphere of the boardwalk.
For dessert during my lunch today, I ordered a chocolate crepe, and it was so delicious. The crepe was thin, light, and perfectly cooked, with a rich, chocolatey filling that oozed out as I cut into it. It was drizzled with a chocolate sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar, adding to the already delicious flavor. This warm, dessert was a perfect end to my meal and left me feeling completely satisfied. I was grateful for the opportunity to indulge in such a classic French delicacy. Finally, for dinner we went to an authentic Italian restaurant in the town center of Bordeaux. I ate a margarita pizza, which was fantastic. And for dessert I had the classic French macarons.
By Megan McSorley