The French people consider eating an art. Salad dressings are homemade and made for just that meal. Breads are carefully selected. Cheese follows lunch and dinner, and lunch last for an hour or so; dinner can easily stretch into 3 hours. Of course, it's not all eating. In fact, the food is consumed slowly and is savored. There's lots of talking and laughing and drinking--the food is sprinkled in here and there.
I was in awe of the pastry shops, because the tiny treats were works of art. They were