Beignets: A French Summer Treat

by & filed under All, Life In France, My Life.


You know it’s summer on the cote d’azur when you see twenty-somethings pushing around giant red and yellow carts advertising delicious treats along the beach. These young, good looking men and women spend their afternoons and evenings selling hundreds of cold drinks, frozen treats, and fattening treats to lazy tourists who have no desire to leave the beach from a hard day’s labor of sunbathing and swimming.

The most delicious treat of all is the beignet, a donut cut open and generously slathered with your favorite flavor: apple, vanilla, nutella, raspberry, and banana. They cost about  2.50€ and they sell like hot cakes. I heard on a television special that these companies, such as well known Mascotte, can make around €600,000 in just two months.

Mascotte is licensed by different cities to sell these treats as long as they are sold with utmost hygiene and as long as they’re not a nuisance to tourists.  Unlicensed companies are forbidden from selling their food and goods on the beach during tourist season to provide an enjoyable atmosphere to tourists. Without these competitors, Mascotte certainly makes a killing and rightly so.

If you are craving a snack for yourself or for your kids, you’ll find buying from the Beignet man or woman is pretty simple. Just walk up to his or her stand and they’ll make your beignet right in front of you. These sales people are very friendly and are sometimes known for singing songs, dressing in drag, or doing funny things to attract customers. They’ve got the motivation because they’re offered 6% of sales on top of their basic wage. Not only are they friendly, but they’re also easy on the eyes: they’re in shape and super bronzed from pushing that cart around all day.

If you’re a diet conscious person like me, then you obviously won’t want to indulge on a daily basis, but be sure to try a beignet just once to see what the fuss is all about. The French love their pastries and they certainly won’t go on a vacation without the pleasure of an occasional sugary treat and for just a few euros, you’ll be a Frenchy as long as it takes to eat your beignet.

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