Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Les petits bonhommes

Happy winter from the Mitten!  This weekend I spent a lovely few hours in my kitchen trying a new recipe.  Even though I've had the incredible good fortune to have lived in France, I had never heard of les petits bonhommes until I saw a French chef preparing them on a cooking show.  They are absolutely adorable, and ever since I saw the show, I've wanted to find time to make them for my students.  You can find the recipe here.

The recipe is not simple and does require some time.  I love to bake though, so for me it was enjoyable and also very satisfying to be able to expose my students and also my own family to this French treat!  Here's how mine turned out:

Let me tell you, these things smelled heavenly!  Not only are they cute, but to me they are so very, very French! I would describe the taste and texture as something close to a German soft pretzel, except that the dough is slightly sweet.  They are made in Alsace (during the Christmas season), so I guess the pretzel-like dough must be a German influence.

I only made a small amount since the recipe was so time-consuming, and I shared them with some of my upper level students since those are my smallest classes. What a fun way this was to celebrate French on a snowy day.  They were delighted!  And why wouldn't they be?  France offers some of the most delicious foods in the world, and this is one of the things that makes the French culture so unique and special.  I think offering my students new types of French food helps to rekindle their love of the culture, and therefore the language!  

Petits bonhommes = happy students with a renewed desire to learn :)  

 If you like to bake, I highly recommend trying this out.  Let me know how it goes if you do!


  1. Hi, I'm currently a college student studying to become a french teacher, and I loved your idea of tying in the culture with food! I actually had a quick question for you, though. I know there are a lot of student that have food allergies these days. How do you normally go about seeing what your students can and can't eat?

  2. Bonjour! My school provides the teachers with medical information about individual students at the start of each school year, so I'm aware of any food allergies already. But, I also ask my students just to be safe! I hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hello! I'm a student teacher studying French and I really like your activity of teaching cooking French foods. This would be a fun hands on acitivity for students. The vocabulary and verbs are very important for daily life in French cultures. I'm just curious if you provide vocabulary sheets prior to the recipe for the students to learn? Or do you let them discover it as they go? How do you scaffold their learning prior to cooking in French? I'd love to do this activity with my class and appreciate any help :)

    1. Bonjour Sara,
      I did not actual do any cooking in class for this particular lesson. I made the bonhommes at home and brought them to school for a treat. This is a French IV class, and their level of French is good enough that I could show them photos of pastry shops in France with bonhommes in the window and discuss the cultural relevance. All four of the students pictured in the photo went on the following year to take Advanced Placement French (5th year) with me, and I was using this activity for the cultural value, which I knew would be helpful for the AP Exam. If I had used the bonhommes in a lower level, I probably would have done so after learning cooking vocabulary in class. There are many ways the idea could be used in all levels of French! Thanks for stopping by.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...