French food traditionally relies on simple to do’s that enhance the precious, natural but also aesthetic flavours of home ingredients. Several French chefs have earned international laurels for turning French food into one of the finest cuisines and influencing the world. Food in France has become such an integral part of French culture that it was added to UNESCO’s world list of mouth-watering food in 2010.
1. Soupe à l’oignon
It is a traditional French soup made of onions and beef stock cooked on a low flame, usually served with croutons and melted mozzarella cheese on top. The outstanding taste in French onion soup is from the turning sweet and burnt smoke of the onions, to which sometimes brandy or ginger beer is added at the end of the slow-cooking process. The liquid is usually meat stock, though variations embody using just water, adding milk or thickening it with eggs or flour.
2. Coq au vin
It is chicken braised with wine, mushrooms, salted pork or bacon (lardons), onions, garlic and sometimes with a drop of brandy. Red wine is typically used, though French regional variations exist using local wines.
This is a dreamy dish called Cassoulet. This dish mostly requires beans and various spices. It is cooked at a high flame in a vertical pot so that the beef pieces are cooked over a large surface area.
4. Beef bourguignon
The dish is a thick stew made of beef first washed in red wine, then in beef broth and lastly seasoned with garlic, pearl onions, fresh herbs and mushrooms. The method of slowly cooking beef in wine was likely developed to soften tough (or cheap) cuts of meat. Traditional preparation time is three days to intensify the flavours.
5. Chocolate soufflé
Soufflé is devoured savoury or sweet in France, and you’ve probably found the chocolate dish on dessert menus worldwide. The tender yet crispy chocolate crust with an associate degree oozing, creamy chocolate offer this course a sweet surprise.
It has a raised-pastry crust filled with cheese and steamed vegetables and looks like a quiche. The traditional French filling is with leeks, onions, mayo and cream. There is also a pizza resembling a version of flamiche, which is over and above the top crust of the pie.
7. Confit de canard
The meat is wholly prepared using an ancient preserve and slow-cooking process, where the duck/beef meat is marinated in salt, garlic and various syrups for up to 36 hours and then slowly cooked in its own fat at low temperatures or it can be deep-fried as well. It is typically served with roasted potatoes and raw garlic on the side.
8. Nicoise salad
It’s usually a dish made of lettuce, organic tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, fresh tuna, green beans, Nicoise Cailletier olives and anchovies, although many variations exist, including a chicken meal which people have tried for their own joy.
It is a boiled vegetable recipe that can be served as a starter dish, meal or snack for other dishes, such as sandwiches and omelettes. The vegetables are mostly first cooked in a deep pan on high heat with a small amount of fat, and then baked.
10. Tarte tatin
They say this French apple tart was the outcome of a mistake in 1898 by Stephanie Tartin when trying to make a traditional apple pie. To save the apples in sugar and butter too for long in the pan, she put the pastry base on top of the burning fruit and placed the pan in the oven. She apparently served the upside-down tart to her guests at Hôtel Tatin and it consequently became the hotel’s signature dish.
11. Foie Gras
This can be found at all houses during the Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations. Even if the globe connects this speciality with France, the tradition can be traced back to ancient era. The best way for you to try it is on a piece of brioche with a bit of onion cheese spread or fig jam.
12. Basque-Style Chicken
The Basque is Europe’s one of the richest regions in terms of cuisine. There they breed different kinds of poultry, particularly some rare breeds of chicken and duck. The poulet basquaise is a wholesome dish where the meat is made tender by use of “piperade”, a sauce made up of Bayonne ham, peppers, tomatoes and freshly grounded pepper.
13. Escargots au Beurre Persillé
Travel to Burgundy to taste another typical French recipe, cooked snails with herbs and garlic butter, commonly called “escargots à la bourguignonne”. Cooked, as the name suggests, with a butter parsley cream, they are presented in their shells and you eat them with a little skewer.
14. Charente Mouclade
Mussels from Bouchot (a very popular type) are cooked with shallots, garlic cloves, herbs, spices, eggs, some cream, and most importantly, some Pineau des Charentes (local alcohol). They are mostly elongated and yellow in colour and taste somewhat like prawns.
15. Beef Fondue
Here is another type of fondue. This time you do not dip bread in cheese and it is not even sweet, but cuts of raw meat, mostly beef in boiling oil, which cooks the meat. Do not trust what the name says: though it is very popular in France.
With their unique names, French food items have made a place in our lives. As tempting as these dishes are, they are also traditional and abiding by their culture.