RELATED: Traditional French pot roast chicken
3 Reasons French cooking is so amazing
The French believe in sitting down to truly enjoy every meal
If you visit France, don’t be surprised if the locals take two hours to finish their meals. Lunch can consist of three to four courses, while French dinner can contain up to two or three separate meals. The French see food as much more than just something to satisfy hunger – it’s something to be savoured and enjoyed, each and every time it’s eaten. These cultural ideals transfer over to their cuisine, creating a rich and lavish food culture that permeates throughout French society!
The market is an important component of daily life
Shopping for food in France is so much more than just taking a trip to the supermarket. In France, local markets are part and parcel of their food culture and are the best places to score the freshest and most authentic ingredients. Mastering the art of French cooking requires a mastery of their markets!
The French love decadence… and moderation
Butter, wine, cheese – these rich and decadent foods are staples in any French meal. However, no matter how delicious the meal, the French also believe in moderation. Again, slow and steady wins the race here!
10 French food you have to try
10. Pork Rillettes
This French pate dish is made of pork that’s poached in fat and shredded to bits. It’s spread on toasted baguette bread and topped off with dried apricots.
Quiche is a creamy, tart-like pastry filled with eggs, milk, cheese, and vegetables. Sometimes, quiche contains meat or seafood, but it is typically a vegetarian dish. Outside of France, mini quiche is often served as an hors d'oeuvre.
Fun fact: Did you know that quiche isn’t French? Quiche originated in Germany, where it went by the name “kuchen” or cake.
French desserts and French snacks
8. French crepes
Crepes can either be eaten as a sweet breakfast or dessert (sweet crepes) or a savoury snack (savoury galettes). As a dessert, French pancakes are filled with a variety of fillings, from jams, custard, syrups, Nutella, fruit, and whipped cream.
7. Opera cake
This French cake is made by layering coffee-soaked almond sponge cake with ganache and coffee buttercream and glazed with chocolate. This decadent coffee cake is lesser known than crème brûlée, macarons, cream puffs, or souffle, but it’s just as irresistible!
Pot-au-feu translates to “pot on the fire” and is widely considered as the national dish of France. It’s a beef stew containing veggies like celery, carrots, and turnips and is spiced with bouquet garni, black pepper, cloves, and salt. An easy and affordable dish to make, the famous chef Raymond Blanc once called it “the quintessence of French family cuisine” because it “honours the tables of the rich and poor alike”.
Another classic dish, escargot is a French delicacy of edible land snails served with a butter and garlic sauce. Sometimes, the sauce is made with wine or brandy. Because escargot snails are often cooked with their shells, restaurants offer you a two-pronged fork to help you fish out the meat.
This pork and bean stew is made with spareribs, onions, cloves, thyme, bacon, white wine, tomatoes, and white beans. This hearty dish is typically slow-cooked for hours and eaten on cold winter days. The dish is very similar to similar European recipes, like the Spanish comfort food fabada asturiana.
3. Chicken coq au vin
Meaning “rooster in wine” coq a vin is one of France’s most well-known chicken dishes. Just like bourguignon (a traditional French beef stew), coq a vin is made with red wine (usually Burgundy), bacon, onions, and garlic.
If you’re looking for top-notch vegetarian recipes, look no further than ratatouille. The dish that inspired the Disney-Pixar film is a vegetable stew consisting of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and a spate of other veggies, herbs, and spices. Since there isn’t one way to make the dish, there are lots of different ratatouille recipes out there!
Remember what we said about the French’s love for decadence? Tartiflette is a prime example of that! This potato and cheese dish is made with cubed potatoes, butter, and reblochon cheese! It’s creamy, rich, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.