Do Europeans Live Better Than Americans?
The French have a festive tradition of joining with friends before a meal and sharing cocktails, wine, and savory small dishes. Called l'apertif, this tradition allows the French to see their friends and family often during the week.
The focus of l'apertif is to encourage one's appetite for dinner by consuming several small dishes, such as olives and cheese, along with alcoholic beverages. Inviting a warm and joyful ambience, l'apertif hour marks the end of the day's activities and is a very sacred moment.