This Is How Much a Tour de France Rider Eats, as Seen in Baguettes — Culinary Tour de France

With the Tour de France zipping through the countryside this month, I've been thinking about what one would have to eat in preparation for a 2,200-mile, 23-day bike race. A person's typical daily meal plan probably isn't enough to power the trip, right? So how many calories would you have to consume? I asked Nigel Mitchell, head of nutrition for Cannondale Drapac, an American professional cycling team competing in the race, to break down the diet of the average cyclist for his team.

The menu is actually quite involved, which got me thinking even more: Wouldn't it be easier if everyone just ate baguettes instead? The competition is in France, after all. Based on Mitchell's description of an average meal plan (and the calories in an average two-ounce French baguette), here's what that would actually look like.


The 5 Unsung Heroes of Regional French Cuisine — Recipes from The Kitchn

Where most people see a map of France, I always see a menu, each region beckoning with its special, signature dish. There are crêpes from Brittany, salade Niçoise from Nice, choucroute garnie (that's how the French say sauerkraut and sausage) from Alsace, and so much more. These iconic recipes, which combine local produce with history, culture, and tradition, have become symbols of their regions, their fame spreading far beyond France and throughout the world.

But when I set out to research a book about the signature dishes of France, I discovered something surprising. For every famous regional recipe, I found a handful of other, unsung recipes. Born of the same culinary traditions, and often showcasing the same ingredients, these dishes, which are no less delicious than their celebrated siblings, offer an insider's glimpse of a region's culture and history.


5 Things the French Taught Us About Cooking and Eating — Bastille Day

If you've ever been lucky enough to take a trip to France or even if you've just popped into a local French bakery in your neighborhood, you know that the French eat incredibly well. So if there is ever a culture we'd like to learn from in terms of how to cook and eat, it's the French. Here are just five of many things they've taught us about the pleasures of cooking and eating.


The Lesser-Known French Crêpe You Need to Try — Culinary Tour de France

Au revoir, Paris! Ann Mah takes us off the tourist path on a culinary tour of France's favorite regional foods.

Made from chickpea flour and olive oil, this thin, savory crêpe is best eaten hot, its blistered surface stinging your fingertips, and the crisp edges giving way to a creamy, tender center. Socca is the beloved street food of Nice, and its vendors can be spotted throughout the city, hawking it from carts attached to motorbikes, or sidewalk stands.


5 Affordable Wines Real French People Drink — Bastille Day

French wine has always intimidated me. My love for wine blossomed in Italy and for years I felt quite content drinking bottles almost exclusively from there. Italian wines felt approachable to me — and more importantly, many were and continue to be quite affordable for my lifestyle.

Yet as my interest in wine has grown over the years, I've slowly dipped into French wine. And you know what? There really isn't much to worry about. Sure, there are plenty of fancy, expensive bottles out there, but a good chunk of the great wine that comes out of the country is easy to drink and easy on your wallet.

These affordable wines are also the wines real French people drink — and they're the ones you should drink, too.


What to Eat & Drink While Watching the Tour de France — Culinary Tour de France

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I did not grow up watching a lot of television. This isn't because my family had any real objection to television; I think it had more to do with the fact that my mom is German and hadn't watched TV growing up and also that we were always busy running around doing something outside.

Of course, there were exceptions: We watched cartoons on Saturday mornings (Thunder Cats!) and, when I was in high school, we sometimes stayed up to catch George Clooney on ER (although mostly, due to the fact that I had swim practice at 5 a.m., I fell asleep about 10 minutes into the program).

The biggest exception to the rule, however, was the Tour de France. I can't remember exactly when or why or how it became a Thing That We Did, but every July, we'd tune in to watch. The dulcet tones of Phil Liggett, year after year of Miguel Indurain in the yellow jersey, and, of course, Lance Armstrong, defined my TV-watching experience.


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