The goûter is a beloved tradition here in France. Every day, at 4:30 p.m., all French children enjoy a delicious goûter as they come out of school. Consisting solely of sweet treats, it enables kids to satisfy their hunger (without spoiling their appetite for dinner) and gives them a boost of energy to do their homework! Here’s our lowdown on this beloved French mid afternoon snack.
What to eat?
- On the go
After school, and especially on Tuesday evenings, many French children have an extra-curricular activity so the goûter becomes essential for them to keep going until dinner. In this case, parents will bring a packet of biscuits or a pastry bought a bit earlier at the bakery to the school gate.
- At home
The best way to have the goûter is of course when the whole family has time to sit down at the table and eat it together. When eaten at home, the goûter can be fancier since you are sitting at a table and not eating it while on the move.
As such, you will often find on the table some tartines (sliced bread) with some Nutella or jam spread on it, some biscuits, pastries from the bakery, fruits or a simple chunk of baguette with a bar of chocolate in the middle, an old time favorite!
On the weekend, you might even find on the table freshly made crêpes or a delicious cake.
What to drink?
There are different options to choose from but only two that are often used. The first is fruit juice. Usually orange or apple, but can be any fruit.
The other option is a glass of milk. This can be served without any flavours or flavoured with grenadine or mint(!) or, rather closer to the British taste – how about a hot chocolate?
What’s new? The Adults’ Goûter
Traditionally reserved for children, these days, even adults let themselves be tempted by the goûter, but with a more grown up twist. French adults will usually pop to a café or tea house with their friends and have more sophisticated treats like cakes from the local delicatessen, macaroons, fruit tarts, … Usually accompanied with tea or coffee.
Le goûter / Le Quatre-heures = tea time
Tartine = slice of bread
Confiture = jam
Gâteau = cake
Tarte aux fruits = fruit tart
Macaron = macaroon
Jus de fruits = fruit juice
Verre de lait = glass of milk
Thé = tea
Café = coffee
Viennoiserie = pastry
Grenadine = red fruit syrup
Salon de thé = Tea house