CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 25…France…

 

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…

Today I am looking at the cuisine of  France…

How to describe the cuisine of France…its traditional, imaginative embedded in the culture, flavoursome and steeped in history, admired around the world for the sophistication of some of the chef’s techniques that have been handed down through the ages..known for producing top quality chefs, families of chefs like the Roux family…words don’t do some of the dishes justice…French chefs are famous for their dedication to their craft and willingness to teach but are hard taskmaster…

France, the largest country in Western Europe, has long been a gateway between the continent’s northern and southern regions…Wide fertile plains dominate most of the north and west, making France the agricultural epicentre of Europe.

That the French love food is undisputed their food is among the best in the world.. but I do think that there are many chefs around the world who can match a French chef for their commitment to food and cooking and indeed many of those chefs have trained under some of the best French chefs Raymond Blanc,  Jean-Christophe Novelli, Alain Passard, Paul Bocuse, Anne-Sophie Pic one of the few female chefs she is the fourth woman to attain three Michelin stars and has received the World’s Best Female Chef award…but this post is not about the brilliant chefs France has produced but the food…world cooking owes much to French food culture.

What are some of the most famous dishes that originated in France and are now eaten and loved around the world?

  • The croissant.
  • The baguette.
  • The coq au vin.
  • The ratatouille.
  • The boeuf bourguignon.
  • The quiche Lorraine.
  • The escargots de Bourgogne.
  • The onion soup.

That the French love their butter and cheese is an understatement…they believe that food should be eaten and enjoyed with family and friends…there are over 400 types of cheese in France made from all types of milk, including goat…

You would think with all this butter and huge amounts of wonderful food, French people might be obese, but they aren’t. This is called the French paradox redux. Many studies have been done on why the general population of France generally is not obese. No one is quite sure, but these longer-than-average meals made with fresher and unprocessed foods that are common in French food culture may have something to do with it.

One of our family favourites and the first dish I cooked for my husband is Boeuf bourguignon it started out as a peasant dish from the Eastern region of France, in Bourgogne…what started as basically a stew made from the tougher cuts of a cow is now on the menus of the poshest of restaurants…

Many of the most loved dishes of France have humble origins…like the cassoulet that originated from the southern city of Toulouse and its surrounding areas, cassoulet is made of pork, duck, different types of sausages, and a lot of white beans. The dish has been enjoyed for years and years and still continues to be a favourite in France.

This dish is a rich, hearty meal that is best known for eating in those colder months. The name of the dish comes from the pot, “cassole”, that the dish is traditionally baked in.

Ofcourse if you haven’t been to France then watching these 3 cook will give you an experience of French cooking…

What is the most famous food in France? It’s the humble, staple, French food—the Baguette! It’s also one of the most famous French foods in America. The French take their Baguettes very seriously…even here if we pop over to Vietienne is the capital of Laos… we are very close to the border you can get some of the best French baguettes…Vientiane was a French protectorate in Southeast Asia of what is today Laos between 1893 and 1953 hence why we can get authentic French baguettes…

A typical French meal at home or in a restaurant…starts with a light appetiser in summer it is something like melon au Porto or escargo in the winter it is a delicious French Onion Soup.

or it could beCoquilles Saint Jacques aka Scallops, Foie gras on toast or baked Camembert…

Main Course…could be meat or fish or both…the French take their dinner very seriously…in summer served with vegetables or salad in winter..it could roast lamb or beef, coq au vin or our favourite Beef Bourguignon…A bouillabaisse…

For a lighter lunch, it could be a quiche or savoury crepes..is there no end to all this delicious food.

Jeez, no wonder my sister wants to retire there…just writing about the food is making me salivate and we haven’t got to desserts yet…or the wine of which as France is a wine producing country…no beer, sodas or fizzy pop with their meals…it could be a different wine with each course white for fish and red for meat…a famous French saying is “repas sans vin, repas chagrin…Dinner without wine is a sad dinner…

But of course, before we get to dessert there is the cheese course,,, we are in France after all…generally, if there are 3-5 persons then at least 3 cheeses will be served…with a baguette so if you are still hungry or not keen on the main course served you can fill your boots on cheese and baguette…

Desserts are generally light as you still have the coffee to go…fresh fruit, macaroons, delicious french pastries, creme brulee…

And finally…French food culture not only gave the world French food and cooking, but also the critique gastronomique (food critic) and a way to classify and rank food, the Michelin Guides, the same people who make Michelin tires. When they wanted to sell more tires, Michelin thought a guide to travel places might help. Beginning in 1900, Michelin accidentally created a whole new industry. The Michelin Guides and the stars they give can make or break a restaurant around the world…we have so much to thank the French food culture for…

Thank you for joining me today for this virtual tour of French cuisine as always I look forward to your comments xx

20 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 25…France…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…24th October- 5th November 2022-Monday Musings, #Chicken Pot Pie with filo Pastry , Health, Morbid Obesity, #Edible Roots…Grow your own herbs and Saturday Snippets where “Ginger” is my one word prompt. | Retired? No one

  2. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Thanks Carol… definitely amazing food on offer and I think you are right about the paradox and it is something that we experienced in Spain too, less obesity particularly in the under 65s and all fresh produce. I do think too the weather encourages much more outdoor activity. I should have eaten my breakfast before reading this.. now I want cheese lol.. hugsx

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Ahhhhh Jacqui the “Hairy Bikers” are a British institution… we love them and they are great cooks famous all over Britain and Europe they get everywhere and are great guys so unfortunately I don’t think the title will be changed that’s who we know them as…smile…

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  3. beetleypete

    I have had some wonderful meals in France over the years, and also some very indifferent ones too. My experience there is very much that ‘You get what you pay for’, and you can pay a great deal of money for the good stuff.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Darlene

    I love French food. I think part of the reason it is so good is that they use everything fresh. I took a cooking lesson in Provence and we went to the garden and picked the kerbs we were going to use. You can’t get fresher than that! I included some French food in my latest book and Amanda takes a macaroon baking lesson.

    Liked by 2 people

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