The Art of Savouring: A Journey Through the Names of French Meals of the Day


French cuisine has long been regarded as a pinnacle of gastronomy, with its rich flavors, meticulous techniques, and exquisite presentation. But did you know that the French language also holds a distinct charm when it comes to naming meals of the day? In this blog post, we will embark on a delightful journey through the names of French meals, discovering their nuances, regional variations, and cultural significance.

Le Petit Déjeuner (Breakfast):

The French believe in starting the day with a nourishing meal, often referred to as “le petit déjeuner.” Comprising of simple yet satisfying elements, it typically includes a baguette or croissant, butter, jams, and a hot beverage like coffee or tea. This light breakfast provides just the right amount of energy to kickstart the day.

Le Déjeuner (Lunch):

When midday arrives, the French indulge in a more substantial meal known as “le déjeuner.” It typically includes several courses, starting with an appetizer such as a salad or soup, followed by a protein-based main dish with a side of vegetables or grains. A cheese course and a decadent dessert are often enjoyed to conclude the meal.

Le Goûter (Afternoon Snack):

In the late afternoon, the French take a pause to refuel with a delightful snack called “le goûter.” This tradition is beloved among children and adults alike. The goûter includes treats such as pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled pastry), madeleines (small buttery cakes), or slices of cake paired with a warm beverage. This sweet respite provides a much-needed boost for the remainder of the day.

L’Apéritif (Pre-Dinner Drinks)

As evening approaches, the French like to unwind and socialize with friends or family over “l’apéritif.” This refers to a relaxed moment before dinner when aperitif drinks, such as wine, champagne, or vermouth, are shared along with small bites like olives, cheese, or charcuterie. L’apéritif is a cherished moment of conviviality, setting the stage for the upcoming meal.

Le Dîner (Dinner):

Le dîner is the main evening meal, often considered the highlight of the day in France. It is a time for friends and family to gather around the table and indulge in a more elaborate culinary experience. This multisensory affair involves multiple courses, including hors d’oeuvres, a starter, a main course often accompanied by a fine wine, a cheese course, and ends with a decadent dessert. The French value time spent together during dinner, appreciating the flavors, and savoring every moment.


The names of French meals not only reflect the culinary traditions but also embody the importance of food and shared experiences in French culture. From the simple elegance of le petit déjeuner to the refined indulgence of le dîner, each meal of the day holds its unique significance. Understanding and appreciating these nuances allow us to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of French cuisine, preserving and cherishing its traditions for generations to come. So, let us raise a toast to the art of savouring and embracing the language of French meals!

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