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A Guide To French Food - Some Interesting Facts & Information About French Dishes


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You can't stay away from the French food, while in France, the country known worldwide for its numerous gastronomic delights and specialties. Certainly, the French cuisine is extremely diverse including a wide variety of foods and recipes from national and regional cuisines. France really offers one of the richest cuisines in the World.

French cuisine is often categorized as National Cuisine and Regional Cuisine. National Cuisine includes the foods that have been integral part of the French culture for ages. These foods include a variety of breads, savory dishes, desserts & pastries, and some preserved foods. Common breads in the French cuisine include Ficelle, Baguette, Flûte, Pain, and Pain Poilane (large xed vegetables), Bouillabaisse (fish soup), Les endives (Belgian endive), Boudin blanc (Delicatethick crusted circular loaf).

Savory dishes include Biftek frites (steak & fries), Poulet frites (chicken & fries), Blanquette de veau (blanquette of veal), Coq au vin (chicken in red wine), Pot au feu (beef stew with mi flavored sausage similar to bockwurst), Civet de Lapin (rabbit), Foie de veau (calve's liver), and Andouillette (chitterling sausage).

Desserts & pastries include Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brûlée, Mille-feuilles, Choux à la Crème (cream puffs), Tartes aux fruits (fruit tarts), Religieuse (chocolate éclair shaped to resemble a nun), Madeleine (small cake-like cookie), Tarte Tatin (caramelized apple tart), Gâteaux (cake), Éclairs, and Profiteroles (baked puff pastries (choux) filled with cream or ice cream). And, some typically French preserved foods include Cassoulet, Choucroute garnie, and Duck confit.

Greatly influenced by the French geography, the French cuisine also includes a wide range of regional cuisines, including foods & dishes of Lorraine, Alsace, Nord-Pas-de-Calais (Artois, Flanders, Hainaut)-Picardy, Normandy, Brittany, Loire Valley/Central France, Burgundy, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, Bordeaux, Perigord, Gascony, Pays Basque, Toulouse, Quercy, Aveyron, Roussillon, Languedoc, Cévennes, Provence, Côte d'Azur, and Corsica.

LORRAINE dishes include Quiche Lorraine, Potée Lorraine, and Pâté Lorrain. ALSACE specialties include Choucroute garnie (sauerkraut with sausages, salt pork and potatoes), Spätzle, Baeckeoffe, Kouglof, Bredela, Beerawecka, Mannala, Tarte flambée, and Baba au rhum.

NORD-PAS-DE-CALAIS (ARTOIS, FLANDERS, HAINAUT) - PICARDY dishes include Andouillette of Cambrai, Carbonnade (meat stewed in beer), Potjevlesch (four-meat terrine), Waterzoï (sweet water fish stew), Escavêche (cold terrine of sweet water fish in wine and vinegar), Hochepot (four meats stewed with vegetables), and Flamiche.

NORMANDY dishes include Tripes à la mode de Caen (tripe cooked in cider and calvados), Matelote (fish stewed in cider), Moules à la crème Normande (mussels cooked with white wine, garlic and cream), and Tarte Normande (apple tart). BRITTANY specialties include Crêpes, Far Breton (flan with prunes), Kik ar Fars (boiled pork dinner with a kind of dumpling), and Kouign amann (galette made flaky with high proportion of butter).

LOIRE VALLEY/CENTRAL FRANCH dishes include Rillettes (spreadable paste made from braised pork and rendered fat, similar to pâté), and andouillettes (sausage made with chitterlings). Burgundy specialties include Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stewed in red wine), Escargots de Bourgogne (snails baked in their shells with parsley butter), Fondue bourguignonne (fondue made with oil in which pieces of meat are cooked), Gougère (cheese in choux pastry), and Pochouse (fish stewed in red wine).

RHÔNE-ALPES dishes include Raclette (the cheese is melted and served with potatoes, ham and often dried beef), Fondue savoyarde (fondue made with cheese and white wine into which cubes of bread are dipped), Gratin dauphinois, and Tartiflette (a Savoyard gratin with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, cream and pork).

AVEYRON dishes include Tripoux (tripe ‘parcels’ in a savoury sauce), Truffade (potatoes sautéed with garlic and young Tomme cheese), Aligot (mashed potatoes blended with young Tomme cheese), Pansette de Gerzat (lamb tripe stewed in wine, shallots and blue cheese), and Salade Aveyronaise (lettuce, tomato, roquefort cheese, walnuts).

LANGUEDOC dishes include Brandade de morue (puréed salt cod), Cargolade (Catalan style of escargot), Trinxat (Catalan cabbage and potatoes), Bourride (Monkfish stewed with vegetables and wine, garnished with aïoli), Rouille de seiche (Similar preparation of squid), and Encornets farcis (Cuttlefish stuffed with sausagemeat, herbs).

PROVENCE/CÔTE D'AZUR specialties include Bouillabaisse (stew of mixed Mediterranean fish, tomatoes, and herbs), Ratatouille (a vegetable stew with olive oil, aubergine, courgette, bell pepper, tomato, onion and garlic), Pieds paquets (Lambs feet and tripe ‘parcels’ in a savoury sauce), Soupe au pistou (bean soup served with a pistou (cognate with Italian pesto) of fine-chopped basil, garlic and Parmesan), Salade Niçoise (varied ingredients, but always black olives, tuna), Socca, and Panisses.

Author writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing listings for Hotels, Villas, Holidays in Paris, France , and Holiday apartment Rentals .


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