Just 15 minutes from Cannes, Mougins is a small medieval village in Provence, long frequented by artists. The quiet lanes and streets (shaded by pine, cypress, and olive trees) are a contrast to the hectic pace of life on the coast, where endless traffic jams (particularly in summer) and a concrete jungle have ruined much of the charm of this stretch of the Cote d’Azur. Mougins is, in fact, arguably more chic than Cannes, in a style the French call ‘bohemian-bourgeois’ (or, simply, ‘bo-bo’): Pablo Picasso spent over a decade living here, Yves Saint Laurent was a regular, the famed chef Alain Ducasse ran a restaurant in the village, and the new socialist prime minister, Francois Hollande, has a vacation home here. It’s perhaps no surprise that Mougins hosts an annual ‘gastronomy festival’, and attracts some of the top chefs from around the world each year.
So, what are French kids eating this week in Mougins? All of the meat served is organic, as is the bread, and one of the meals served every week is entirely organic. The average price is 2.92 Euros ($3.60 US) per child per meal, which is the non-subsidised rate (low income families pay less). Not a bad deal, in my opinion!
As usual, the meals follow a four course structure: vegetable starter; main dish with vegetable side; cheese course; dessert. All meals are served with fresh baguette (eaten plain, usually one piece per child!) and water. No flavoured milk, juice, sports drinks, or pop. No vending machines. No fast food or junk food. Food for thought!
Monday June 25th
Paëlla (as this includes vegetables, seafood, and rice, it is considered substantial enough to be a starter and main course)
Dairy: Goat’s cheese
Tuesday, June 26th
Turkey, with cauliflower and ‘sauce agrumes’ (a citrus-based sauce)
Dairy: Fromage blanc
Wednesday, June 27th
Thursday, June 28th
Cordon bleu and green peas
Cheese: Tomme (a firm, aged yet relatively mild cheese from the Alps)
Friday, June 29th
Roasted fish with roasted tomatoes and polenta gratinée (a baked casserole, with a savory crust)
For those of you who have read other menus, you’ll note that the food served in Mougins isn’t very different than that served in lots of other French villages. This village may be a bit wealthier than average, but an effort is still made to keep prices low. That allows everyone to have access to the cantine if they need it. This ‘solidarity’ (as the French term it) is an important part of the philosophy of the French school system. Food for thought!
This blog post is part of my French Kids School Lunch Project. Every week, I post the school lunch menus from a different village or town in France, where three-course, freshly-prepared hot lunches are provided to over 6 million children in the public school system every day. These meals cost, on average, $3 per child per day (and prices for low-income families are subsidised). My hope is that these menus (together with my other blog posts about the French approach to kid’s food) will spark a conversation about what children CAN eat, and how we can do better at educating them to eat well.