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Fleeting Eats

The truck stops of France’s countryside will soon be a thing of the past

Pork in “forest sauce” with vegetables and fresh tagliatelle

Pork in “forest sauce” with vegetables and fresh tagliatelle

Forget the immense popularity of Paris’ food trucks; if you want authentic French cuisine without the pomp and circumstance of Maxim’s, head out to the truck stops of France’s countryside … while you still can. These popular roadside relais routiers are quickly vanishing. Strict pollution laws and anti-congestion regulation have led to a recent reduction in traffic for these little diners, where both truckers and Sunday drivers enjoy home-style roast chickens, rump roasts, charcuterie plates, cheese platters, carafes of Côtes du Rhône and cappuccinos—usually three courses and wine for a mere 10-20 euros. Roughly 1,600 of these charming country diners still survive. You’ll find them marked by red-and-blue “Les Routiers” signs.

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