Week of Taste in France — La semaine du goût

Do you remember the taste of the first apple you ate? The first raspberry you put in your mouth? Le goût de la première pomme ou de la première framboise que vous avez dégustée ?

Like me, most likely not.

It’s fascinating to imagine what it must have felt like.

Every day, though, Lulu brings me back there as I watch her taste new foods. Sometimes she asks for “encore, encore” (more, more), and at other times, I get a face. It’s cute.

Thinking of it, I wanted to tell you about something special. I wanted to tell you about an event that takes place every year in France. I wanted to share an initiative I strongly believe in.

The event is called “La semaine du goût”, Week of Taste, and its focus is to educate children about food. And adults alike.

semaine du goût

The event was started more than 20 years ago to encourage French children in schools to become more educated about food. It spread successfully across France. And stayed on. Stronger. Widely.

During this special week, events like Les leçons du goût, (food professionals giving demos in schools), Les tables du goût, (restaurants offering special prix fixe menus), Les ateliers du goût, (workshops organized around food)–they all have the same purpose: Make the French learn about and love food. Even more.

This year, the week is running from Oct 11th to Oct 18th. You will be able to find plenty more useful information about La semaine du goût by checking their website here.

I cannot help but envision that one day, in a classroom somewhere in France, my Lulu will be part of that event too. If the way she eats risotto is any indication, then she is off to a good start.

Miam, j’ai faim !

Posted in French Inspired, Life and Us | 33 Comments

33 comments

  1. Wow. What a wonderful idea! This event should be mandatory worldwide… could you imagine the difference it would make… for everyone to learn about good food? Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and not to mention that I’m just in love with it. BUt everytime you post something over here I visit ur space adore your photography and recipes and also ur stories and that’s it. Never posted a comment before but today the top photograph just took my breath away!
    I have a 14 month old myself and from the back her hair n all looks just like ur daughter. She’s sleeping inside and your photo just made me miss her :-( Going to wake her up and give a BIG kiss…hahaha (sorry if you find this post stupid but thanks for sharing a piece of ur fun life here)

  3. I work in a catering and hospitality high school in France and our students organize some special tastings and demos to kids from schools around who come with their teachers!!! It’s really fun! What they like the most is the “flambage” (flaming) of fruit or crepes…very visual….

  4. An absolutely lovely post. You are right… It must have been an incredible feeling to put your first raspberry or strawberry in your little mouth. Lucky you that you now can experience the joy of food in a whole new way with Lulu!
    The Week of Taste sounds wonderful. Other countries could learn from that. It just makes me really sad to see so many children who have totally lost the connection to fresh, simple and tasty food.

  5. C’est la première fois que j’ose m’exprimer ici, d’habitude je suis trop impressionnée par votre talent aussi bien photographique que culinaire. Mais le thème d’aujourd’hui invite à la parole, même si votre public ne comprendra pas trop mon commentaire…
    En tout cas, c’est beau de voir que vous communiquer sur la semaine du goût même de l’autre côté de l’océan ! Cette semaine est particulièrement intéressante car elle permet de faire des découvertes culinaires intéressantes, à petitx prix… Dommage qu’elle ne soit pas suivi partout !

  6. They brought out orange wedges for the babies at Ian’s nursery school yesterday. I was informed when I went to pick him up that he is a gourmand! I have been trying to teach him to take one piece at a time but he just wants to stuff his mouth full! They’re doing a different fruit every day this week. I was surprised they were doing this with toddlers, all the activities that his creche has been organizing. We got really lucky with this creche. I’m sure you’ll think of tons of great things to do this week with Lulu!

  7. I never knew about la semaine du gout, but I think it’s a fabulous idea! I adore all things French, I’m no surprised! I agree that other nations should follow suit, esp here in the obese US of A where “taste” is something that’s sacrificed for volume and price (thank you, McDonald’s!). This inspires me to make something French this week– merci!

  8. I used to be a very difficult child with food. So in a way I’m lucky, because I first tasted a lot of food when I was already well past my teens.

    I think I’ll always remember my first taste of kiwi (it tasted just like groseilles, amazingly), my first taste of foie gras (somewhat better than normal pâté :p) and my first taste of crayfish (can we have it every day from now on ? why not ?!?).

    Vive la semaine du goût ! :)

  9. How incredible! Really this puts a huge smile on my face. As a Registered Dietitian in America I see how poorly we eat and the health issues that ensue, both of which of direct reflection of the lacking education. I hope we can host something like this as well some day. Soon.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  10. Oui, c’est définitivement une belle initiative. Les enfants adorent.
    Et quand en plus, le cuisinier de l’école participe activement à ces découvertes.. quelle chance…

    Alors vive la semaine du goût!

  11. only in France ;-) In the USA, it would be lectures about calorie content and not getting fat, but in France it is all about appreciating good food…. gotta love it!

  12. Bea!
    Thank you for this information. I am in my 30th year of teaching in the public school system in Edmonton Alberta Canada. I have taught Early Childhood education (K-3) for a few years (as I have an extra diploma for that, accompanying my degree) and then have taught English Literature more of the rest of my career… until 3 years ago. Our Foods (cooking and baking) teacher left, and my Principal asked if I was interested in her position only because she knew of my passion about cooking and education students about eating healthy foods. I decided “Now was the time” and took the leap. I cried for days after about the gold mine in my head I would not longer be using (I still use it, surprisingly) but, jumped in. I was so tired of seeing students eating chips and pop at 7 am… and those that bring lunch most often bring “one of those, and one of those, and one of those” from the purchased products at home. I was the first teacher in our system that got a food handling certificate so that I could have my students cook for their peers. I started a catering club and on Tuesdays after school, any one can come and just cook (we plan it the week before); on Wednesdays (as it is a cost recovery program) we make the nutritious lunch for Friday. Everything I do with my students is about fresh, local, from scratch cooking. They love it and the program is strong and last year alone had 4 press coverings. We are so far behind what France is doing that I just had to share with you. Having this information has definitely inspired me to approach our district with a similar concept. Edmonton Public is progressive. We are moving in the right direction. We do have a project right now with 10 “Apple Schools” (http://www.appleschools.ca/) which we are incredibly fortunate to be involved with. The focus is not food appreciation, but food health. The lack of an active healthy lifestyle is the downfall of our youth today. Life is different in France. We have such a wonderful and beautiful country here. Our rural students are better, but the urban population has serious issues and food appreciation would be years past now… just getting them off the junk food is our concern.
    Big hug with exuberant thanks,
    Valerie

  13. Wow, wonderful idea and so important … one tends to forget once in while that eating healthy and a variety of foods is anything but sure.

  14. C’est vraiment sympa de penser à cette semaine du goût de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique! Et je suis sûre que Lulu n’a plus besoin de cette occasion spéciale pour éveiller son goût au regard de toutes ces bonnes recettes! Bonne semaine

  15. I just love your blog. It is so beautifully written and your photos are to die for…I go into dream land in my little cube. Thanks so much…

  16. What a wonderful, wonderful idea. I wish something like that would catch on here – it could be customized to the state/region, with schools focusing on what’s available locally and in season. How amazing that would be for our children, and I can imagine the ways it would eventually influence whole families and get entire communities involved. Inspirational.

    And gosh, but those photos of Lulu in the pink dress are unbearably cute!

  17. A great event, this is essential for the kids in schools to be educated about their food culture… C’est indispensable!! Beautiful Lulu!!

  18. Elle doit ressembler aux émotions brutes que l’on ressent lorsque l’on goûte quelque chose de nouveau, encore aujourd’hui, non? Hâte!!

  19. Thank you everyone. For those of you who didn’t know about the event, i am glad I was able to share. I don’t know of any website in English to provide any more information. If anyone does, please drop a line. I’ve received requests for it! Thank you!

  20. On a non-food note, your daughter’s outfits are absolutely adorable… where do you shop for her?

  21. Thank you for another lovely post, with as always, gorgeous photographs. Actually, is not it sad we would need to be reminded of the taste of good food.
    The Eropean authorities are not helping us either, spoiling the good food for us by rigorous requirements for storing and selling food and having more and more regulations,hardly allowing us to buy fresh charcuterie and meat and raw-milk cheese on the markets anymore and bakers having to put gorgeous flans that should be eaten tepid in the fridge, spoiling them for food hygeine reasons. I remember a photograph of Aran of eggs, ‘not for human consumption’, she bought at a farmers market. Thank God many people still eat and appreciate these ‘dangerous’ foods.
    Please read Muriel Barbary’s Une gourmandise, you will love it.
    (I equally advise anyone to read her l’ élegance de l’hérisson. This certainly not in the first place because the way she describes the food.)
    I am looking forward to many more fantastic posts from you with lovely ideas for dishes to prepare.

  22. I come often to see you blog but this is my first comment! I’m totally in love with your pictures and recipes.. you’re a great inspiration!
    Now I’ve opened my cooking blog together with two friends, I hope you can come and take a look.. is in italian but there is a translator on the side bar! Hope to ear from you soon :)
    Marzia (http://whitedarkmolkchocolate.blogspot.com)

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  24. Great news to all of your interested readers! Week of Tastes does exist outside of France. You can find it in Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Norway, the US and here in Australia.
    I started the Week of Tastes here in Sydney Australia two years ago. I focus on children at the moment and have WoT in primary schools as well as events outside school hours. If anyone wants some more info then please go to weekoftastes.com.au and contact me through there.
    Yes it is a brilliant program and so very important. The children absolutely love it as do the chefs, bakers, pastry chefs, food providores who help with the taste lessons.

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