What is French cuisine?

What is French cuisine?

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What about French culinary specialties?

France is known to be a country where you can eat and drink some of the best products and dishes in the world. However, tourists often don’t know from which region their favorite French culinary specialties come. Indeed, each French dish comes from a particular region of the country and it is said that they always taste better if they are prepared by regional and local restaurants, which also tend to be cheaper compared to the vibrant French capital – Paris.

If you would like to begin a culinary journey in France, that is what you should keep in mind.

Dishes from northern France are more caloric and consistent and thus better to eat during the winter season. It is related to the climate and weather that are colder and rainier than of the southern part. Winter is tougher and people seek solace in food. Therefore, most of the best dishes were invented in the northern part, such as the famous Quiche Lorraine, the Boudin (the Ardennes), the Choucroute and Flammekueche (Alsace), the mussels (Lille) and eventually salted crepes, butter cake, and oysters from Bretagne.

Unlike northern France, the southern part offers lighter but still tasteful dishes which are preferred during the summer. Amongst them, you can notably taste the bouillabaisse (Marseille), the ratatouille (Provence), the Salade Niçoise (Nice), the Quenelle (Lyon), the cassoulet (Languedoc) and finally the Gratin Dauphinois (Dauphiné).

Furthermore, some regions have more than one well-known regional dish and can be seen as the best places to enjoy typical French food. Here you can find the Top 3 Best French culinary regions :

  1. SAVOIE (Savoy)

How could I list the Top 3 Best French culinary regions without mentioning the one that has the most cheese-based regional dishes? Considered one of the best places for winter holidays and especially the ski season, the Savoie attracts many tourists to its numerous ski resorts. According to French people, a ski season could not be done without eating the famous Fondue Savoyarde made with Comté, Beaufort and Savoie Gruyère, the rich-in-taste Tartiflette made with Reblochon, or without doing a Raclette dinner with your friends.

Undoubtedly, Raclette dinner has become a beloved holiday tradition in France. Each participant should bring one of the main ingredients (Raclette cheese, potatoes, cold meat, onions, and pickles) as well as a bottle of white wine from Savoie to the host of the house who owns a raclette grill. A Raclette dinner is a favorable event to spend time and share great moments with people you care about.

  1. BOURGOGNE (Burgundy)

Although this French region is less famous than others and thus attracts fewer tourists, it is undoubtedly one of the best French regions to eat tasty dishes and drink high-quality wine. Indeed, one of the most characteristic French dishes comes from Bourgogne – the Escargots. France’s most incredible culinary speciality for foreign tourists – the snails – are one of the main French festive dishes, especially for the Christmas period. But few tourists know that this dish was actually invented in this region. Amongst all of the other regional culinary specialities that Bourgogne could offer, we can underline the Coq au Vin, the Boeuf Bourguignon, the Morteau sausage, cheese gougères and eventually the Dijon mustard.

Besides, Bourgogne is counted among the largest vineyards area of France, and even the world, as both red and white grapes are produced in this region. The two most famous are Pinot noir and Chardonnay.

  1. NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE (or Sud-Ouest)

French people would say that the Sud-Ouest is not a political region, and they would be obviously right. However, it is a significant French geographical entity and it is usually referred to this designation. The Sud-Ouest contains marvelous French culinary regions such as the Landes, the Basque country and mainly the Gironde. Internationally renowned French dishes are plentiful in this region but the best-known one is undoubtedly the Foie Gras. It represents the greatness of the French cuisine and the joy of all the foreign tourists who come to discover France.

Furthermore, many other culinary specialities could be discovered in this wide region: the Confit de Canard, the Magret de Canard, the Salade Landaise, the Piperade, the Poulet Basquaise, the Bayonne ham, and the Basque cake. It is worth noting that the four last traditional dishes mentioned come from the Basque country.

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine is not only the best French region to eat but also to drink wine, especially the red one, as Bordeaux is considered the largest vineyard area of France, and thus of the world. You will discover the most prestigious classified Grands Crus such as Cheval Blanc, Margaux, Pétrus et Yquem.

To sum up, France is really more than Paris, and so are its main culinary specialities. A culinary journey in the numerous regions of this wonderful, vast and vibrant country seems to be a great idea for people who seek adventure, succulent drinks, and tasty food. France has something to offer to any kind of tourist, at any time of the year.

To learn more about the main French culinary specialties, the French culture and the multiple possibilities that this great country offers, buy our course “French in travelling”, or check out our lesson about Lyon, nicknamed the “Capital of the French Gastronomy”. And if you are still hungry, check some more French dishes!

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