Vacation in Paris Blog

Le Goûter

Places To Visit - Posted on Feb 18,2019 by Hampton*Jan

If you look up “goûter” in a French-English dictionary, you’ll see it has a number of different meanings. The verb “goûter” means “to taste” whereas the noun means “an after school snack”. But not just any after-school snack. Unlike in other countries where parents might encourage healthier choices like fruits or maybe vegetables and dips, the French goûter is an entirely sweet affair.

The school day in France is long – sometimes ending around 4.30pm and dinner is later by our standards, so by the time kids are heading home, they’re not only starving but need something to keep them going until dinnertime! Enter le goûter. Though it’s translated as an after-school snack, there’s not really any real equivalent for this “meal” in other countries. The closest I can think of is the British tradition of afternoon tea, since the snacks that are served consist entirely of sweet treats.

The goûter is usually something store-bought (the Prince de Lu chocolate filled cookies, the Petit Beurre, Petit Ecolier or Bonne Maman Jam Tarts are personal favourites!) that can be eaten on the go. If the goûter is eaten at home, it might be simply a piece of bread with a square of chocolate inside (the “real” pain au chocolat!), an open-faced sandwich (called a tartine) with jam or chocolate spread, along with a glass of milk or water with a “sirop” (like a cordial). Favourite boulangerie goûter snacks include: palmiers, financiers, madeleines, chouquettes, classic French cakes like Quatre Quarts (pound cake) or Gâteau au Yaourt (Yoghurt Cake) or even a macaron or two…

What about you – what’s the after school snack tradition where you live?


If you subscribe to our newsletter, Mardi’s sharing a delicious recipe for palmiers! Sign up here!

Want more goûter recipes? There’s a whole chapter in Mardi’s In the French kitchen with kids that includes many goûter favorites that you can make at home if you don’t have the luxury of popping by a boulangerie after school!

MARDI MICHELS is a full-time Francophile, French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. As part of her job, she runs cooking classes for boys aged 7 to 14. Mardi grew up in Australia, lived and taught in Paris for over five years and now calls Toronto home. In 2014, Mardi and her husband purchased an historic home in southwest France, which they operate as a vacation rental property ( In her spare time, Mardi teaches French cooking and baking classes in Toronto. Her debut cookbook, In the French kitchen with kids, published July 31, 2018 (Appetite by Random House). Read more at:


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