What to eat at a traditional French Christmas dinner


Christmas is coming and your dream comes true: you are in France!
You visit the Christmas markets, eat roasted chestnuts and drink « vin chaud ».

While walking around the stalls, French people talk about their preparations for Christmas: what they’re planning to cook, eat and drink.

But wait.

What will they cook, eat and drink for Christmas?
This is what we’ll see in today’s episode of Comme une Française TV.

What to eat at a traditional French Christmas dinner:

Et toi ?

Have you ever tasted one of these specialties? When and where?
Which one are you most curious about?

The comment section is the best area to start discussions and ask questions!

For more, check out the Christmas in France video series. You’ll find more French phrases, gift ideas and French traditions.

Bonne semaine !


Join the conversation!

  • Merci Geraldine,
    Will keep searching as I think the idea is rather fun!
    (But the search is not so good for my waistline – the Réveillon Christmas collection is delicious!)

  • Hello, can anyone tell me which brands of Papillotes contains the ‘bangers’/explosives? I have bought two different brands but neither of them had this. Or what should I look for on the packet? Thanks! Merry Xmas to all!

    • Bonjour Alicia,

      Indeed, it’s getting less and less common. Look at the packet.
      I’m having a few papillotes from the brand Réveillon, right now, and they don’t have bangers.

  • Salut Géraldine

    Merci pour cette vidéo, j’ai déja préparé la dinde avec marrons glacés, mais c’était “dehors”, je ne connaissais pas de recettes de farces contenant des marrons. Trop tard pour essayer ce Noël mais j’espère en faire pour le proche.

    Joyeux Noël

    • Salut Marie,

      If they contain bangers, papillotes are in the “explosives” category.

      If you’ve ever bought English Christmas crackers, it’s the same classic airport topic around Christmas time.

      If they don’t contain bangers, then they are ok to carry everywhere. 🙂

  • Hi Geraldine, thank you for posting this video, makes Christmas in France a bit easier. My family is coming over for Christmas and I wanted to serve them a real French dinner. I’m preapring the menu and reading all the leaflets of the supermarkets but I was really surprised when I saw ‘foie gras au torchon’. What does it mean? Torchon means towel, right?

    • Bonjour Irène,
      Yes absolutely. Torchon means towel and it’s a way to cook it (“au torchon”) that also exists for ham.
      Google it for more info and videos on the topic.
      All I can say is this : when raw, the foie gras is closely packed in a towel (clean of course) and cooked in water (with spices). There are different ways to prepare it and “au torchon” is one of them.
      If you are not a cook, buy a foie gras that is ready to eat.

      And my tip is : buy some “confiture de figue” to eat with, it’s a wonder. And very good a Quality bread (not supermarket “pain de mie”) at the boulangerie.

  • J’aime beaucoup les Huitres et la dinde, mais je nái jamais mange la dinde aux marrons.
    Il y a Noel dans six jours avec toute la famille australienne chez nous.
    Joyeux Noel et heureux bonne annee.

  • Hi Geraldine
    I haven’t tasted any of these specialties, I would love to try them all and I am definitely going to look out for the Papillotes. Couldn’t quite catch the brand that you were recommending though.
    Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee 2014

  • Mon amie made lovely “buche de Noel” every year, she is an artist. I almost didn’t want to eat it because it was so clever, the meringue ‘champignons’ and all. However, she is also a great cook, so I did eat it! YUM!
    Merci for the advice about a loooooong dinner. That has been happening with us and it works well. We have a fancy dinner, un repas plus formal, on the 24th. ON the 25th, nous avons un repas grande mais informal. Le dos sont delicieux!
    Merci and Joyeux Noel, Geraldine. Ces videos sont charmantes et instructif!

  • Merci Geraldine. I have never tried dinde aux marrons. It sounds unusual and I would like to try it. We are spending Christmas in England this year but next year in France. Joyeux Noël et Bonne Annee.

    • Bonjour Debbie,
      You’re welcome. 🙂
      Les marrons are also called châtaignes, like the roasted ones.
      Joyeux Noël et bonne année à toi aussi !

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