Take a look at the terms belonging to the world of gastronomy. Chef, waiter, menu, à la carte, even the word gastronomy itself… Oh là là, what a coincidence it’s all in French! 🙂 This alone summarizes how French cuisine is a deep-rooted culinary culture and how much influence it has on world cuisines.
In this article, we talked about the classics of French cuisine that you can taste on a possible trip to France. Our mouths watered while writing. Some of them you already know very well, and some we are sure that you have heard for the first time. If you ask where to find all these delicacies in Paris, What to Eat and Where to Eat in Paris? – You can take a look at our famous Restaurants and Cafes article. Bon Appetit in advance!
- French Breakfasts
- What to Eat for Dinner in France
- French Culinary Culture and Table Manners
- Classic Beginnings (Les Entrées)
- Main Courses (Les Plats Principaux)
- The Most Famous French Desserts (Les Desserts)
- Famous French Cheeses
- We Love You So Much, We Are Waiting For You On Instagram
The French prefer quick and practical breakfasts in the morning. They do not have the custom of setting up breakfast tables for a long time. But with globalization, American-style weekend brunches have become very popular.
A typical French breakfast usually consists of a cup of coffee and a croissant , accompanied by orange juice. Sometimes croissants are replaced by viennoiserie pastries such as pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), pain aux raisin (grape rolls), chausson aux pommes / abricots (apple/apricot puffs) .
Jam or marmalade on a delicious baguette is another alternative. In the brunch in question , croque madames , croque monsieurs , savory or sweet crepes or galettes can come into play.
Eating cheese for breakfast shocks them. It is as if eating cheese is like eating Alexander for breakfast in their eyes. 🙂
What to Eat for Dinner in France
Contrary to breakfast, they are used to finding very elaborate tables for lunch. Other than breakfast, they eat the two meals slowly, savoring it with a glass of wine.
But the meal that the French care about the most and keep it richer in terms of the foods they consume is dinner. Despite the experts who say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the French prefer their dinner as three plates. They make the start with a soup or a vegetable dish, depending on the season. This is called an Entree (Entrée). Then they choose the main course, namely “le plat principal”, and at the end they have a dessert, “le dessert”, or they choose a cheese plate (fromage) and continue the evening with their wine.
The French prefer meat, chicken and fish dishes for dinner. As a country, it should be understood that it is the most meat-consuming member of the European Union. However, contrary to popular belief, the meals they cook at home every day are not the most challenging dishes of French cuisine, such as Boeuf Bourguignon or Confit du Canard. They only do that kind of food on special occasions and at Christmas. If they want to eat a lot, there are already thousands of restaurant options in the city.
The French like to have at least a glass of wine to accompany their dinner. It’s like drinking water with a meal for them. Since it is one of the largest wine producers in the world, as well as a country where home-made winemaking is very common, prices are literally cheaper than water. Indeed, while a bottled water is 5 Euros, a glass of homemade wine can be 4.5 Euros.
Cheese is eaten after the main meal. In stylish restaurants, they come to you with a cheese trolley, you can take a nap from there and have a plate made. Be sure to take wine with you. It is also eaten sweet on cheese. Sometimes the choice is made between cheese and dessert.
Now let’s move on to our favorites from French cuisine and permanent signature dishes.
French Culinary Culture and Table Manners
French cuisine means well-established standards, respected traditions, good quality of ingredients, and carefully prepared tables. In particular, it is very important to stay away from exaggeration. Unnecessary details, ornaments and colors are not preferred either in meals or on the dining table. Clean, white tablecloths and cloth napkins are the most important details on the table.
The French do not like to rush food and do not eat fast food. For them, food and the table are almost a matter of ceremony. It is not good table manners to eat as if you are smuggling goods from the fire. Both the fast food culture in the country and the world cuisine are mostly the interests of the Y, Z and Alpha generations. Upper age groups prefer French classics more.
Just like our Anatolian, Aegean and Black Sea cuisine, France has different tastes and local cuisine cultures unique to each region. All this diversity is the main thing that makes French cuisine French cuisine. In general, while seafood is dominant in coastal regions such as Normandy, Bretagne, Marseille, and Cote d’Azur, delicacies such as duck confit, foie gras and pate stand out in Southwest France. While game meat dominates the cuisine in the northwestern region of Alsace, winemaking in Bordeaux and hot dogs in Toulouse stand out.
However, contrary to popular belief, the city of gastronomy in France is Lyon, not Paris. You can taste the best tastes of rustic French cuisine in the restaurants that serve traditional Lyon dishes called “bouchon” here.
In general, we can divide the venues into six groups in France. Restaurants, bistros, brasseries, cafes, bars and traiteurs.
Bistros offer more snacks and quick-release meals.
Brasserie ‘s, on the other hand, are a more relaxed and dynamic version of restaurants.
In the bars, you can find aperitif options or tapas-style sharing plates alongside your drink.
Traiteur ‘s also work like the take away houses we have. There is no sitting area.
Classic Beginnings (Les Entrées)
Onion Soup (Soupe à L’Oignon)
We can say that the most classic beginning of French cuisine is onion soup, which is a flavor that originates from Lyon in its current version, but whose original history dates back to Rome. A true winter classic. But even though it’s called soup, it’s not like the soup we drink with a spoon. It has a much denser consistency. Sometimes it can come to the table in bread. If it didn’t come with bread, there’s croutons on the bottom of the bowl. The soup is also covered with melted cheese. It basically consists of caramelized onions and broth.
Veal Tartare (Tartare Au Boeuf)
Here is another gastronomy term that has entered our language from French. Tartar! Imagine that there is a mound of ground or ground raw beef as we know it, with an egg yolk in the middle. It is placed on the bread that comes with it and eaten as an aperitif.
Oysters and Champagne (Les Huitres & Champagne)
The large, juicy oysters arrive in a tray topped with crushed ice to be gulped in one bite. When eaten with champagne, it creates an umami effect.
Nice Salad (Salade Niçoise)
Salade Niçoise, which can be preferred for a light meal, is a salad unique to Nice, one of the most beautiful cities of the Cote d’Azur region of France. With tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, tuna / anchovies and poached egg.
It’s a French classic that you can never understand by looking at it from afar with cowardly eyes. Best to try and see. Snails flavored with parsley, butter, and garlic, cooked in chicken broth or wine, are a very classic French starter. The snails are first taken out of their shells one by one and washed thoroughly. The snails cooked in the sauce are put back in their shells and served as such. Even if the snails has a unique taste, you don’t get a lot of garlic sauce. We say try it and see for yourself, not as you have imagined.
Foie Gras (Foie Gras)
Foie Gras, or Foie Gras, as it is commonly known in the world, is an appetizer to be spread on bread. Served with toast and sweet white wine. Sometimes it comes in spread form on bread as you can see here, sometimes it is cooked as meat and served on red meats. It was frequently seen on menus due to its taste, but sensitive businesses are now removing it from their menus, as the way it is obtained includes animal cruelty.
Scallops (Coquille Saint-Jaques)
The famous French starter in which scallops are fried in butter until they turn brown, then served in their own shell with sauce.
Frog Leg (Les Cuisses De Grenouille)
Frog legs are another French delicacy that is hard to digest before him. We draw your attention, we call it taste because frog legs are a much more delicious option than you can imagine. It tastes more like poultry meat, like chicken. Since it is already fried and served with sauce, it tastes more like chicken wings. Sometimes it is served as a main course, but those who are skeptical can try it in small portions by taking it as an introduction. We recommend that you try it while you are there. After all, a whole country can’t be wrong, can it?