In France, however, some people look at you as if you are a member of a completely different species or as if you have no taste if you decide to make any modifications to your order. It can also be difficult to refuse people’s offerings of dairy when you are invited to someone’s home.
I must admit that many people have been understanding, but others act as though they have never heard of lactose intolerance or that it isn’t that serious; however, it is that serious, not that they would know since they are not the ones that have to deal with the consequences of indulging in some breakfast emmental or dessert yogurt.
The worst part is that dairy is almost unavoidable in this country, whether someone offers it to you or not. To put it simply, if you do not wish to cook every single meal that you eat and you do not live in a big city with non-dairy options in restaurants, you will have a difficult time avoiding dairy. With its affinity for meat and dairy, as well as its stubbornness with regards to modifications with cuisine, France is probably a vegan’s worst nightmare.
For someone who does not include cheese into my daily food consumption due to my distaste for it, being lactose intolerant can actually be a good excuse to politely decline those who offer it to me (for those who understand and respect food intolerances/allergies, that is).
Also, I guess I can take comfort in the fact that my skin and my digestive system are thanking me for not consuming dairy. In conclusion, being lactose intolerant in France is not the end of the world, but it definitely requires you to be creative in the kitchen and attentive when reveling in French cuisine.
Naná is a proud Brooklyn native and aspiring digital nomad. She enjoys travel, nature, and art. Her other hobbies include reading fantasy novels, binge-watching series on Netflix, and language-learning. Find her @blackbelletravels