WARNING: The following post may have an adverse affect to your tastebuds. We take no responsibility for heightened senses and induced salivation caused by reading the following article.
Image: French Language Guide
It’s no easy measure to limit ourselves to finding only 10 must-consume foods while visiting France. Each region has their own unique offerings; from Lyon, a region widely known as France’s — and quite possibly the World’s — gastronomic capital, where offal is a common staple; to Normandy, best known for their apples and camembert cheese.
We all know that food eaten in season bursts with more life – strawberries are always more juicy and succulent in summer – it is equally important to sample food that hails from a particular region. This way you’re sure to get the most authentic version of the dish — how it was intended to be.
With that in mind, are your tastebuds ready for a tour of France?
1/ CREPES (Brittany)
The humble crepe—both sweet and savoury—is this regions claim to fame. Galette de ble noir a l’oeufs is the savoury version made from buckwheat flour, ham and egg. Crêpes sucrées, which refers to a ‘sweet’ crepe, is commonly served with a squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkle of sugar.
2/ Foie Gras (Midi-Pyrenees)
A rich, buttery ‘pate’ made from duck or goose liver. Although available throughout France, the produce in this region ensures the quality of foie gras cannot be matched. The free-range ducks and geese are known to be fattened on maize and raised only in this region.
3/ Boeuf Bourguignon (Burgundy)
You don’t need to know French to be able to translate this one.
A tender stew of beef cooked in red wine can only hail from one region: Burgundy (and yes the name does give it away). This region is famous for its quality of beef and red wine —the essentials to the dish.
4/ Escargot de Bourgogne (Burgundy)
While you’re in the region sampling the delicate concoction of beef and red wine previously mentioned, make sure you try these traditional treats.
Snails prepared with garlic and parsley butter are widely associate with classic French cuisine. And Burgundy snails have become on of the gastronomical adventures in France.
5/ Quiche Lorraine (Lorraine)
A rich quiche of eggs, bacon and heavy cream (no cheese), Quiche Lorraine, or quiche with bacon became popular in this region due to the regions German influence.
If you see cheese listed in the ingredients list, keep walking! Don’t fall for any impostors.
6/ Cassoulet (Basque)
This baked dish of white beans and confit duck or goose is most renowned in the Basque region.
Other local specialities to this region — peppers, tomatoes and spicy sausage — have a distinctive Spanish influence.
7. Charcuterie (Basque)
Blood sausage, Basque sausage, Bayonne ham and chorizo are specialities in this region. Enjoying a charcuterie in this regions is a gastronomical event not to be missed.
8/ Coq au vin (Auvergne)
This simple dish of cooking chicken with wine, baby onions and mushrooms varies in taste from region to region. Although originally from Auvergne, other regions of France are gaining popularity.
9/ Bouillabaisse (South-East France)
A seafood soup more commonly eaten as a main meal is this regions specialty, due to its geographical position on the coast. Olives, olive oil and herbs also feature in many of this regions dishes, thanks to the Italian neighbours.
10/ Pain au chocolat (Paris)
Widely dominated by butter, it would be fair to say that Paris is the best place to try all things pastry, and Pain au chocolat is a daily staple. A sweet, squared roll, similar in texture to puff pastry with dark chocolate pieces melted in the centre…say no more.
What are you favourite French foods?
Share your favourite French recipes!
(Photo credits: Crepes – SBS; Foie Gras – Serious Eats; Boeuf Bourguignon – taste.com.au; Escargot – Place Photography; Pain au chocolat – About Food)