Top 7 Most Famous Foods in France
French food relies on simple combinations of rich, natural flavors that come together to create unforgettable, internationally renowned dishes. In fact, French cuisine is so highly regarded around the world that in 2010 UNESCO added it to its list of intangible cultural heritage.
For many people, their introduction to French food comes in the shape of wine and cheese. From brie and Burgundy to camembert and Chardonnay, there are plenty of delicious pairings to choose from. But there’s a whole world of French cuisine beyond the cheeseboard.
To help you bring the wonder of French cuisine into your kitchen, here’s our list of the top 7 French foods you simply must try at home – with recipes. Bon Appetit!
1. Coq au vin
This quintessential French food was popularized by Julia Child, becoming one of her signature dishes. The dish sees chicken braised with wine, mushrooms, salty pork or bacon (lardons), mushrooms, onions, garlic and sometimes even a drop of brandy. Although the name translates as ‘rooster in wine’ – the braising is ideal for tougher birds – the recipe usually uses chicken or capon. The wine is typically Burgundy, although regional variations of the dish exist across France that use local wines. These include coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), and coq au pourpre (Beaujolais nouveau). Believe it or not, there’s even a coq au Champagne (Champagne).
Cassoulet is a comfort dish of white beans stewed slowly with meat. The dish typically uses pork or duck but can include sausages, goose, mutton or whatever else the chef has lying around. This peasant dish originates from southern France and is popular in Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary. The name of the dish comes from the pot (cassole) that it’s traditionally baked in. This pot is a staple in many French homes, highlighting the popularity of this rich, hearty meal that’s perfect for those colder months.
3. Chocolate soufflé
The word soufflé comes from the French verb ‘to blow’ and, and the name suggests, this is a light, airy dessert. The dish dates back to the early 18th century and nowadays is a staple on dessert menus around the world. The crispy chocolatey crust is perfect for letting the creamy chocolate ooze out for a rich surprise. However, it doesn’t have to be sweet. In fact, cheese soufflés are just as delicious if you’re looking for something a little saltier.
Flamiche means ‘cake’ in Flemish and this dish originates from northern France, near the border with Belgium. It has a puff-pastry crust filled with cheese and vegetables and resembles a quiche. The traditional filling is leeks and cream, although various variations exist. There’s also a pizza-like version of flamiche, which comes without the top crust of the pie. For a southern French twist, try the thin crusty pissaladière, which has anchovies, onions, and olives.
5. Confit de canard
Confit de canard is a tasty French dish of duck – although some chefs use goose or pork – and is one of the finest French dishes. The meat is specially prepared using ancient preservation and slow-cooking process (confit). This sees the duck meat marinated in salt, garlic, and thyme for around 36 hours and then slow-cooked in its own fat at low temperatures. This is a healthier alternative to frying. It is typically served with confit roasted potatoes and garlic on the side. Today this dish is popular all over France, although you’ll find the best variations in the Gascony region.
6. Salade Niçoise
Salade Niçoise is a typical French salad from the Provence region. Often eaten as a side dish, it can also be a light meal on its own. The salad is a mix of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, (canned or fresh) tuna, green beans, Nicoise Cailletier olives, and anchovies. However, there are plenty of different variations to choose from. So, if you’re struggling to come up with the ideal summer menu, why not consider Salade Niçoise?
7. Soupe à l’oignon
This is a traditional French soup made of onions and beef stock, usually served with croutons and melted cheese on top. Dating back to Roman times, this was traditionally a peasant dish although the current version dates from the 18th century. The soup’s unique flavor comes from the caramelization of the onions, which often have brandy or sherry added during the slow-cooking process. If you’re in a soup mood, why not try Marseille’s traditional soupe de poisson à la rouille. Once a fisherman’s favorite, this soup is characterized by a dollop of garlic and saffron mayonnaise placed on top.
|France has a perfect climate and geographical location which makes it possible to locally manufacture most types of foods enjoyed anywhere else. Additionally, the importation of global goods makes it easier these days for the local population to access most products that are otherwise not possible to locally produce at a large scale. |
However, the culture around food is unique here. Although Frenchies eat things that some people in the world might judge them for, that doesn’t really matter to them. Their cuisine is unique, diverse, and delicious. They love their outstanding cuisine, and they know they aren’t alone.
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