My three kids return home from school at 4 p.m. and as soon as they walk through the front door they beg for snacks. I typically give them sliced apples, popcorn, or a granola bar—a small treat that will tie them over to dinner. Occasionally I like to surprise them with a special treat, like puppy chow or chocolate-covered potato chips.
Recently I surprised them with a snack I saw influencer Isabelle Bertolami feature on TikTok: a baguette filled with salted butter and squares of chocolate. Isabelle is an American mom living in France who shares surprising and delightful differences in parenting cultures between the U.S. and France. She revealed this as a classic snack French kids have in the afternoon called le goutêr.
Carbs, butter, and chocolate—this is a pairing that is obviously perfect, so I was excited to share it with my kids. They were floored. My youngest son had the biggest smile when I handed him the treat as you can see in the image above.
Le Goutêr Is a Beautiful and Delicious Daily Snacking Ritual
Goutêr is the French word for “to taste” and according to Isabelle, le goutêr refers to the afternoon snack French kids have to “bridge the gap between school and dinner.”
Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan described le goutêr in the New York Times: “When the hour for le goûter strikes, sometime after 4 and before 6, Parisians young and old can be found in cafes and tea parlors tucking into sweets of every sort, or lining up outside neighborhood pastry shops to turn over their coins for a chocolate-filled croissant, a thick slice of brioche slathered with almond cream or a fat meringue that will leave crumbs and shards in the folds of their mufflers.”
This sounds like a magical food ritual that I needed to experience with my kids. Here’s how I made the treat and my kids’ honest reactions.
How I Made This 3-Ingredient Classic French Snack
You’ll need a baguette, salted butter—I didn’t have any so I used unsalted with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt—and a milk chocolate. Split the baguette lengthwise, and smear a generous layer of butter on the bread. I did both cut sides.
Break the chocolate bar into smaller squares and line them up on one side. Close the sandwich. That’s it! The whole thing took me less than two minutes.
My kids are now in love with the ritual of le goutêr. Here are their honest reactions:
“I was born in the wrong country!”
“Are we having le goutêr tomorrow too?”
“We should get salted butter.”
They go back to school this week and I think this sweet le goutêr will be a regular part of our school year. This is just the kind of joie de vivre our family loves—we are making it a Quinn family ritual.