The French consume fresh produce regularly. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of the French diet, and many people in France visit local markets to purchase fresh, seasonal produce. The French diet emphasizes fresh, whole foods and home-cooked meals, which often include fresh fruits and vegetables.
What types of fresh produce are most popularly consumed in France? Here are the different kinds of fruits and vegetables eaten by French people.
French Fresh Produce Culture
The French prefer to eat in-season fruits and vegetables when possible, allowing them to enjoy the freshest and most flavorful produce available. In-season produce is typically less expensive, as it requires less transportation and storage than out-of-season produce. Many French people value the environmental benefits of eating in-season produce too, as it can reduce the carbon footprint of the food they consume.
There is a big push for French citizens to consume organic food when possible. The slogan “le bio, c’est bon!” meaning “organic is good!” is found plastered across the walls and on signs in French grocery stores.
Where do people buy fresh produce in France? At the farmer’s market of course! Most towns and cities in France have a farmer’s market every week where fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be bought directly from the food growers themselves.
Here are the most popular fresh produce items bought and eaten in France.
Eating fruits is a common part of the French diet, and many French people prioritize incorporating fruits into their daily meals and snacks. In France, it is common to consume seasonal fruits, and the availability of fruits can vary depending on the time of year.
You can see the prevalence of fruit in daily French life by looking at the works of French masters like Marc Chagall and Georges Braque, each of whom painted Corbeille de Fruits title paintings.
Here are the most popular French fruits consumed in France:
- Berries: Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Grapes
- Pits: Apricot, Avocado, Peach, Plums, Cherries, Dates, Olives
- Cores: Apples, Pears, Quince
- Citrus: Orange, Lemon, Lime, Clementine, Grapefruit
- Melons: Watermelon
- Tropical: Bananas, Mangoes, Pineapples, Kiwi, Pomegranates, Figs
Did you know that the French jokingly call a bigwig or big shot executive une grosse légume, meaning a big vegetable? That’s how ingrained the culture of vegetables is in France!
French artists such as Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, who was active in the 18th century, often included vegetables in their still-life compositions. Chardin’s still lifes were known for their realism and attention to detail, and he often depicted simple scenes of vegetables, such as carrots, onions, and cabbages.
Here are the most popular French vegetables consumed in France:
- Leafy Greens: Lettuce, Mesclun, Mâche, Arugula, Spinach, Cabbage, Watercress, Endive, Brussels Sprouts
- Cruciferous: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Artichoke
- Fruit Vegetables: Tomatoes, Zucchini, Eggplant, Cucumber, Squash, Pumpkin, Peppers
- Roots: Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yam
- Plant Stems: Celery, Asparagus
- Allium: Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Shallots
- Legumes: Green Beans, Peas, Corn
Where the French Shop for Fresh Produce
There are many options for shopping for fresh produce in France. One popular choice is to visit the local farmers’ market or marché, which is typically held once or twice a week in the town center. These French markets offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as other local products such as cheeses, bread, and meats. The produce is often grown locally and sold by the farmers themselves, ensuring that it is fresh and in season.
Many French people also shop for fresh produce at supermarkets, which often have a large selection of fruits and vegetables that are sourced both locally and internationally. Some French people grow their own produce in home gardens or allotments, which is a common practice in both urban and rural areas.
French people value fresh, high-quality produce, and have many options for getting their hands on it!