Vichy is one of those countless beautiful small towns in France that have played an important role in history. In this case, Vichy was the headquarters of the French regime which collaborated with the occupying German forces during World War II–regarded as one of the more inglorious episodes in France’s recent past. Today, Vichy is a quiet town in the beautiful (but very sparsely populated) French region of Auvergne, best known for its rolling hills (many of which are extinct volcanos) and it sublime Saint Nectaire cheese.
Every year, more than 100,000 meals are served to the 800 students in the 7 preschools and 5 primary schools in Vichy (students go to a neighboring town for high school). The average cost is just under 3 Euros (about $3.80 US), although children from lower-income families receive subsidies.
So, what are children eating this week in Vichy?
Monday, January 16th
Crepe with cheese, organic bread
Green peas a la francaise
Cheese: Saint Nectaire
Tuesday, January 17th
Tomato and corn salad, organic bread
Fries and ground beef with ketchup
Peaches in honey syrup
Wednesday, January 18th
Thursday, January 19th
Endives with vinaigrette dressing, organic bread
Chicken stirfry with mushrooms
Cheese: Carré de l’Est (a speciality from the Lorraine region)
Friday, January 20th
Vegetable soup, organic bread
Sauteed colin (European hake) with sauce Béarnaise
Madeleine cookies and ‘ile flottante‘ dessert (meringue puffs floating on fruit compote)
Not bad for a small town of 25,000 people!
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.