Gastronomy in France is a very vast subject that must be lived to be understood and appreciated. Nevertheless, before coming to France, it is essential to know that gastronomy can be defined as the art of the table, linked to the pleasure of eating.
This French specificity is subject to certain rules of savoir vivre; this is what is known as French-style service. Each country has its own culinary specialities that reveal its identity. The French, for their part, devote a real cult to dishes and cuisine. Great chefs consider themselves more like artists, who use flavours to make works of art for the palate. It must be understood that in France, eating is a ritual of happiness. Solemn meals are always shared around a large meal and the abundance of dishes makes it possible to judge the importance of the celebration. The pleasure of eating accompanies meals and guests. The stated goal is to enjoy the moment and the idleness that comes along.
In the professional world, Great Chefs, considered as artists, are subject to great pressure from the culinary authorities who, every year, distinguish restaurants and chefs de France with stars. The more stars a restaurant has, the more guaranteed you will find the best cuisine. The stars bring a lot of prestige to the establishment and allow the decorated chef to vary his recipes and create new ones. Finally, the Tour de France can be a rich and very rewarding adventure for those who appreciate the cuisine and are interested in the history of the dishes and that of the regions of France.
b) Many famous dishes:
France has such a vast culinary heritage that it would be too long to draw up a complete list. In addition, the great French chefs, as culinary artists, invent special dishes every year that are impossible to identify. Nevertheless, some of the most famous specialities outside France are able to represent the dishes of our country. These specialities are also very widespread in France and can be tasted throughout France.
Let’s start with one of the most prestigious dishes in French cuisine: foie gras. Foie gras is a kind of pâté, but never speak of foie gras as a pâté, it would be sacrilegious. Foie gras is eaten on holidays and mainly at Christmas and the first of the year. Very expensive, foie gras can be eaten on toasted rolls but can also be cooked in a pan or melted on meat.
A second dish is very rare and expensive but particular to some French regions: truffles. It is a rather rare fungus that grows under strict rules imposed by nature. Growing underground, under oaks only, there are only dogs or truffle pigs that manage, with their developed sense of smell, to find the famous mushroom underground. The truffle is eaten in small pieces as its price is very high. It is rarer to have the privilege of tasting this mushroom unless you go to prestigious restaurants.
Already more affordable and more famous beyond France, are seafood. Nothing exceptional since every country with coasts can benefit from it. However, each region develops its own way of preparing seafood. Thus, in France and more particularly in Charente-Maritime, we have the éclade. This preparation consists of placing the fresh mussels on a board with four nails in the centre. The moulds are arranged around these nails and the rest is placed around them, like a series of dominoes. It does not then move suddenly or risk dropping everything. Then, a carpet of pine thorns is placed on the shells. These thorns are a very efficient fuel. This preparation is set on fire and once the fire and ashes have dissipated, the mussels are cooked and ready to be eaten; with fingers and a little butter.
The Atlantic regions are also specialized in oyster farming. These molluscs are very appreciated by the French and accompany foie gras during Christmas holidays. Oysters can be enjoyed raw with a little lemon and salted butter or cooked and stuffed.
Of course, it is impossible to come to France without eating cheese. Far from the products offered by vacuum supermarkets, real cheeses are initially discarded because of their strong smell. This characteristic is intended for most cheese products because the product is made from mould. The cheese is prepared by hand and comes from the milk of different animals, usually cows, sheep or goats. It is eaten at the end of the meal always accompanied by bread and is very appreciated with some wines.
The bread just for you, let’s come to it. France is also his pastries and pastries. Croissants, chocolate and other breads such as baguettes are part of the gastronomic heritage. These pastries are eaten at any time of the day and are served with breakfast. Bakeries are the place where bakery products are prepared and sold. The bakers work at night to work the dough from pastries and breads, baking them and selling them in the morning. The most appreciated thing of the French is to be able to taste all this when you leave the oven, still hot, melting and crispy. These typically French “sweets” are also highly appreciated by Americans and English people.
Sweet foods are the French people’s favorite pastime. The proof is in the form of pastries. Pastry is the art of sweet products and the making of desserts. Pastry chefs are the best manufacturers of cakes and other sweet wonders that can take on thousands of different shapes and tastes. Pastries are best enjoyed at the very end of a meal. Many people are familiar with the subtleties of preparing common desserts, as long as they follow the recipes to the letter to achieve the desired result.
The TOP of French cooking recipes
By keeping only the traditional specialities enjoyed by all the families in the country, and putting aside the delicious sophistication of the famous toqués, we have managed to isolate 10 recipes of French cuisine…
Subjective choice, necessarily, but here’s something to enjoy in cooking class!
1. The gratin dauphinois, which more than one grandmother will have prepared with love for her grandchildren, comes straight from the Dauphiné and the late 18th century.
Potatoes, milk and garlic, possibly liquid cream and laurel, come to nourish us.
2. Pot au feu is a classic of French cuisine. It was the content of the eternal pot of the old homes, hung from the rack….
It combines vegetables with relatively hard meats that require a long cooking time. It is ideal for eating with taste while warming up. Heating your house by making your meal is like killing two birds with one stone.
3. The coq au vin is, according to legend, less glorious for the Gauls.
Born in France, it would have been an opportunity for the Romans to undermine the pride attributed to this animal capable of singing with both feet in the air…
Anyway, a beautiful beast combined with good wine, all cooked for a long time, and that’s it!
Above all, don’t forget to cut your poultry into pieces and add garlic, onion, bacon, carrots, mushrooms, herbs!
Beans or moguls, duck confit, goose fat, carrots and rind: that’s Grandma’s secret!
Cassoulet | A particularly energetic Languedoc speciality | source | visualhunt.com
4. Quiche lorraine is not always the most digestible. Eggs, bacon and cream have a lot to do with it!
Those who would prefer it finer than usual would have every right to return to the sources of this family dish.
5. Undoubtedly less Franco-French, because inherited from Eastern Europe, horse tartar (traditional) or beef tartar (more common today) is very refreshing. It’s a must for carnivores!
6. Well from the Southwest, the cassoulet cousins with the févoulet.
It combines poultry fat, beans (tarbais for more) and a little meat (duck confit, Toulouse sausage, rind) without forgetting some vegetables (carrots) and herbs (like bay leaves) as an accompaniment.
7. Beef bourguignon combines meat of character and quality wine, cooking over a low heat creates a succulent alchemy of flavours.
8. It is 100% Mediterranean: the bouillabaisse, which smells like sea iodine… To be enjoyed by the water in summer, for delighted taste buds!
9. Still in the maritime sector, mussels can be eaten in all kinds of sauces. But the sailor is typically French! A plate of French fries, and young and old will be thrilled!
10. Let’s finish with an unusual dish characteristic of metropolitan cuisine: snails with Burgundy sauce! The ideal to please a Frenchman at the end of the year, or to make an English woman swoon!