French cuisines are usually known around the world for their finesse and flavours. French food relies on simple combinations of rich, natural flavours that come together to create unforgettable, internationally-renowned dishes.
Below are 10 French cuisines you should explore the next time you’re in a french restaurant.
1. Soupe à l’oignon
This is a traditional French soup made of onions and beef stock, usually served with croutons and melted cheese on top. The soup’s unique flavour comes from the caramelization of the onions, which often have brandy or sherry added during the slow-cooking process.
2. Coq au vin
This French cuisine sees chicken braised with wine, mushrooms, salty pork or bacon (lardons), mushrooms, onions, garlic and sometimes even a drop of brandy. The recipe usually uses chicken or capon. The wine is typically Burgundy, although regional variations of the dish exist across France that use local wines. These include coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), and coq au pourpre (Beaujolais nouveau).
This is a dish of white beans stewed slowly with meat. The dish typically uses pork or duck but can include sausages, goose, mutton. This peasant dish originates from southern France and is popular in Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary. The name of the dish comes from the pot (cassole) that it’s traditionally baked in.
4. Boeuf bourguignon
Dishes don’t get much more typically French than boeuf bourguignon. The dish hails from the same region as coq au vin; Burgundy in eastern France and there are similarities between the two dishes. Boeuf bourguignon is essentially a stew made from beef braised in red wine, beef broth, and seasoned vegetables including pearl onions and mushrooms. Originally a peasant dish, this recipe is now a staple in French restaurants around the world.
5. Chocolate soufflé
The word soufflé comes from the French verb ‘to blow’. It is a light, airy dessert. The dish dates back to the early 18th century and nowadays is a staple on dessert menus around the world. The crispy chocolatey crust is perfect for letting the creamy chocolate ooze out for a rich surprise.
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This means ‘cake’ in Flemish. The dish originates from northern France, near the border with Belgium. This French cuisine has a puff-pastry crust filled with cheese and vegetables. The traditional filling is leeks and cream, although various variations exist. There’s also a pizza-like version of flamiche, which comes without the top crust of the pie.
7. Confit de canard
This is a tasty French cuisine of duck although some chefs use goose or pork and is one of the finest French dishes. The meat is specially prepared using ancient preservation and slow-cooking process (confit). This sees the duck meat marinated in salt, garlic, and thyme for around 36 hours and then slow-cooked in its own fat at low temperatures. This is a healthier alternative to frying. It is typically served with confit roasted potatoes and garlic on the side. Today, this dish is popular all over France.
8. Salade Niçoise
This is a typical French salad from the Provence region. Often eaten as a side dish, it can also be a light meal on its own. The salad is a mix of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, (canned or fresh) tuna, green beans, Nicoise Cailletier olives, and anchovies.
This is also one of France’s most iconic cuisine. The dish sees vegetables shallow-fried and then layered in a casserole dish before being baked in an oven. This traditional dish can be a side dish, appetizer, or a main course, and tastes great with red wine and fresh, crusty bread.
10. Tarte Tatin
According to culinary legend, Tarte Tatin started life as a mistake. In 1898, hotelier Stephanie Tatin was making a traditional apple pie when she accidentally left the apples cooking in sugar and butter for too long. In a hurry to rescue the dessert, she put the pastry base on top of the burning fruit and put it in the oven. She supposedly served the upside-down tart to her guests at Hôtel Tatin and the result turned into the hotel’s signature dish.
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