French cuisine is considered one of the best in the world, it has absorbed the traditions of many nations, becoming the legislator of culinary art. Of course, it did not emerge overnight: it was a long evolutionary process from simple stuffing of the stomach to the preparation of complex dishes, the eating of which is a special ceremony.
For the French, eating is a ritual of happiness; they are true gourmands and hedonists. We propose to join the mystery of a meal in the French manner.
Top French Foods:
Do you like onions? Certainly not as much as the French. From an ordinary vegetable they have managed to make a delicacy and a masterpiece of French cuisine – onion soup.
Don’t hurry to wrinkle your nose: a proper recipe and the hands of a French chef can work wonders. You won’t even notice how you will be picking up leftovers from the bottom of your plate with a piece of fresh baguette or crouton, which is supposed to accompany the soup.
The recipe has been ascribed to King Louis XV, who woke up hungry at night and cooked the soup with what he had: onions, cheese, and white wine.
The prototype of the modern croissant appeared in Austria, but it was French chefs who invented the recipe of the puff pastry with butter, thanks to which the aromatic crispy crescent became famous throughout the world and became the hallmark of French cuisine – and an integral part of the French breakfast along with the baguette. No “good morning” without a cup of coffee and a freshly baked croissant.
The hallmark of a true French croissant is the absence of toppings; it is magnificent and self-sufficient on its own. Of course, you can secretly dip it in berry jam, but shh…
The world wonders what the secret of slimness of French women who do not hesitate to devour floury baguettes and croissants. It’s simple – “not by bread alone”: the French have a lot of vegetables in their diet.
A favorite national dish is ratatouille: peppers, eggplants and zucchini are baked with cheese or added sauce. The secret ingredient of a real French ratatouille is Provencal herbs, which are inevitably added to the dish. These include fennel, cumin, aromatic mint and rosemary.
Nisuaz is a derivative of the word Nice, where the recipe for the salad appeared. Originally, nicoise was the food of fishermen living on the coast. The ingredients were very common for local places: anchovies, olives, olive oil and obligatory wine vinegar. Subsequently, the recipe was further developed and today there are many variations of the salad with the addition of fresh vegetables and boiled eggs.
Or tart inside out, an “inverted” tart. In the classic recipe, apples are used as a filling, which are previously fried with sugar in butter and then added to the dough.
Today there are many variations of the pie, the main thing is imagination. Instead of apples, take pears, peaches or pineapples, and if you are a fan of vegetables, feel free to use eggplant or tomatoes.
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A dish of mushrooms and chicken, baked in a pot under a cheese crust, is familiar to us under the name “julienne”. In France, the word “joulienne” does not refer to the mentioned dish, but a way of cutting vegetables in julienne for further preparation of soup or salad. And our “julienne” in France is called “cocotte”.
The main thing in julienne cocotte is a thick, creamy béchamel sauce, which is made from milk, butter, and flour. Originally, the snack was made only with mushrooms, as its task was not to satiate, but to whet the appetite. Subsequently, chicken, seafood, bell peppers and even eggs were added to the recipe. Which one would you like?
More specifically, Quiche Lauren is an open pie with a hearty filling of chopped, shortbread-like dough. Fish, vegetables, meat or sausages are placed on a pre-prepared dough mold with high sides and carefully filled with a mixture of eggs, heavy cream, sour cream and cheese.
The traditional pie was filled with smoked brisket, but today it’s hard to remember all the toppings – the imagination of cooks is limitless.
Romantically called “cordon bleu” which means “blue ribbon” it is veal schnitzel which is filled with cheese and ham, rolled up and fried in breadcrumbs, always with melted butter. Tip – forget and do not think about the calories, just enjoy it.
Veal can be replaced with other meat: pork, turkey or chicken breast.
Meet the rooster in wine. The French just love to stew chicken meat in wine, there are a lot of variants of the dish in different wine regions. In the traditional recipe it is necessary to use a rooster, preferably not older than one year and weighing up to 3 kg. Some time ago they were specially bred for this dish. Given the shortage of roosters (yes, that happens) they began to use chicken.
The important rule is to use the whole carcass, and not to cook it in pieces.
If you mix potatoes, cheese and cream, you get an incredibly tasty and hearty side dish. Gratin is a crust that is inevitably golden and ruddy. If the restaurant served you a dish without a crust, return it!
The potatoes are cut into thin slices (this is necessary so that the milk and cream can soak it in more easily), put them in a heatproof dish, pour the cream mixture on them and send to the oven. A mandatory seasoning for gratin is nutmeg, which enhances the taste of potatoes.
Veal liver in Lyon
Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France.
All the traditional dishes of Lyon have a masculine touch: sausages, tripe combined with strong alcohol. It is also where the recipe for liver appeared. This product is difficult to like and easy to spoil when cooking, so Lyon chefs advise “the simpler, the better”.
Small pieces of liver are breaded in flour and fried in clarified butter for only a few minutes, it is very important not to overcook the dish to a sole. The liver goes well with rings of onion stewed in wine. And if you like to eat a heartier meal, a great side dish would be a potato gratin.
Or soup soup from Marseille. This is a traditional fish soup, whose homeland is the coastal areas of France. The recipe for this dish was invented by local fishermen who cooked it from leftover and unsold fish after a day’s work. The peculiarity of the soup is that it is cooked by mixing several kinds of marine fish, including particularly bony ones, to get a rich broth, and the vegetables for the soup are previously stewed. The soup is served with fried baguette and garlic sauce.
The dish is so delicious and popular that it has been praised by Alexandre Dumas, Emile Zola, and Nikolai Kuprin.
For dessert, a cherry clafouti that looks like a casserole and a pie at the same time. It is based on many berries (in the original recipe – cherries) and poured with liquid egg dough. You can take a large pie quiche mold, or you can make it in small muffin molds.
You can replace the cherries with pears, apples, peaches. The main thing is to cut them into small cubes, the size of a cherry.