French food is recognized for its variety and refinement, with what is currently considered one of the most important cuisines in the world. Its main products are butter, cheeses, tomatoes, fine herbs, pork, sausages, etc. and, above all, vegetables in general.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
Main dishes of French cuisine
The most traditional dishes of France usually include cheese among their ingredients, due as is well known to the wide range of cheeses that French gastronomy has. Bread, duck or goose meat and creams or purees are also often very present on the tables of most houses and restaurants in France. Below we list which are the main dishes of this country.
The aligot is an original gastronomic specialty of the Aubrac massif which spread through the Limousin and Auvergne regions until it was finally known as a typical dish of France. It is a kind of very thick mashed potatoes because it is mixed with raw cheese, known as fresh tomme.
Along with the cheese, the potato paste is heated over a low heat and it is very important to stir it slowly to obtain the texture that characterizes this dish. In addition, in this way the cheese melts evenly, which makes the final texture elastic. Finally, butter, garlic or even fresh cream is usually added.
It is a French dish similar to sausages or meatballs in appearance. It is a paste of wheat semolina which is mixed with flour, eggs and milk to finally accompany it with some poultry, veal or fish. It is a typical gastronomic specialty of Lyon, where the so-called brochet quenelles or quenelles de lucio.
They are shaped in a somewhat peculiar way, since soup spoons are used for this or are made directly by hand. Traditionally, they are cooked "scalding" them in meat broth (broth) or fish, sometimes even crab.
Once this is done, a white sauce based on bechamel, although there are also them with tomato sauce and accompanied by rice. The quenelles are then cooked together with this sauce, so that they acquire the appearance that can be seen in the image. Optionally, you can add a cheese-based gratin or there are even those who fry them in olive oil.
Named Caçolet In Occitan, it is a stew similar to the typical Spanish beans that is made with white beans or beans accompanied by meat from different animals, such as chicken, pork or beef. This dish is typical of South of France, especially from the Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc regions.
This is undoubtedly a most traditional and popular dish, so, as is often the case with this type of food, the recipe may vary from one family to another. However, the fundamental ingredient is White beans, cooked together with pieces of meat and different sausages (pork rib, bacon, bacon crust, confit duck, Toulouse sausages, etc.).
Preparing this dish is not a quick task, since the beans must first be soaked either the day before or at least a few hours before. Afterwards, the beans are simmered along with the other ingredients, including tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and assorted Provencal herbs. In addition, the most traditional way to cook it is in a clay pot or casserole, hence its name.
La cheese fondue It is a kind of cream that can be taken either as a companion to other ingredients or by dipping pieces of bread in it. Actually, it is a dish originally from Switzerland, specifically from the French-Swiss border, around Jura and the Alps.
The typical cheeses that are usually used for the preparation of the fondue are two: on the one hand, the Gruyère cheese and, on the other, the Emmental cheese. These are applied in equal parts, so the resulting flavor is a mixture of both. However, there are several kinds of cheese fondue depending on the region in which it is prepared. Thus, other types of cheese used are: vacherin, sbrinz, gruyère de savoie, beaufort and comté.
The original recipe is for cheese, but over the years a multitude of variants have emerged, including chocolate, which is eaten as dessert. The way to take it is to sink a fork or a small skewer into the pot that contains the very hot melted cheese.
All the diners at the table are dipping in it, so the casserole is common to all diners. This dish is highly calorific. If you want to learn how to cook a real cheese fondue, we recommend you take a look at the following video:
Made with various vegetables, it is a natural dish of Nice and the region of Provence, southeast of France. It is actually a vegetarian meal and the name comes from the verb stir meaning remover. The idea of its preparation is to fry each of the vegetables in olive oil, and then cook them all together. It is a very popular dish throughout Mediterranean Europe.
For the preparation of this popular French dish, a stew based on garlic, peppers, garlic, zucchini, onions and aubergines is made, from which the various colors that characterize this rich dish are obtained, as can be seen in the image shown below. Of course, you can not miss the olive oil. Finally, that is, once all the vegetables have been cooked, various spices are added, including thyme, bay leaf, basil and oregano.
Coq au vin
El Coq Au Vinliterally rooster to wine, is perhaps the most famous dish of the Occitan cuisine, which has been nationalized as a typical dish of France. In southern France, duck or goose meat is used, while in northern Occitania other types of meat such as beef can be used.
Legend has it that the original recipe for this exquisite dish is due to a chef from Julius Caesar, the famous emperor of the Roman Republic. According to the story, this cook invented this dish in his eagerness to pay homage to his emperor after the conquest of Gaul. However, many are the regions of France that dispute the invention of this dish, since in reality its origin is uncertain to date.
As its name suggests, a generous amount of wine must be added for its preparation, generally Red wine, although in some variants white wine is used. In addition, it is essential to add a vegetable such as onion or turnip to enhance its flavor. In some areas mushrooms are also added, usually morels (also called cagarrias, morels or murgols.
Translated into Spanish as Nice saladIt is a dish originally from the Nice region, although nowadays it has acquired special popularity in the Cote D'Azur region. Its appearance is striking due to the bright colors that are achieved thanks to a variety of ingredients: tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, beans, lettuce, cooked potatoes, cucumbers, onions, tuna, black olives, anchovies ... All of this is seasoned with the popular sauce Dijon vinaigrette.
The traditional recipe is the one that became popular from 1880 in the Montpellier Region, according to which this s It should be prepared on a flat plate, on which a "bed" of varied vegetables sits, including those mentioned above. It should be mentioned, however, that the original version of this salad did not include red peppers, onion or potato, but instead hearts of artichoke instead.
The term breast by itself is equivalent in Spanish to thin, that is, it refers to a lean meat fillet, which usually comes from a goose or fattened duck, being very important that the bird has been previously barley, since in this lies the difference between being considered breast or traditional brisket.
In this way, if breast means lean, duck equivalent to pato, so this dish consists of roast duck lean. This dish is made with lean fattened duck or goose meat, which is served in fillets. It is usually served with orange sauce and as a garnish it can include couscous, rice or roast potatoes.
Hake in beurre blanc
This dish consists of hake logs or loins that are served in beurre blanc sauce. This sauce is typical of France and, specifically, it comes from the Brittany region. It is made from butter (although there are those who prefer to use Milbona milk cream) mixed with a reduction of white wine and shallots.
The history of the invention of the beurre blanc sauce is most curious, since according to legend, it actually arose as a result of a mistake made by the French cook Clémence Lefeuvre, who forgot to put an egg when preparing a bearnaise sauce (béarnaise sauce in French).
This dish is currently famous around the world. It is basically a savory cake with a base of breeze or shortcrust pastry and filled with a mixture made with born y eggs.
The original recipe from the Lorraine region did not actually include more ingredients, but over time another staple has been incorporated: cheese. Also the bacon or ham and other vegetables can be found in the different variants of this recipe.
It is a cold cream similar to a soup, although it can sometimes look more like a puree, depending on how runny it is. It is also reminiscent of the famous Andalusian gazpacho for its texture. In any case, its ingredients are: leek, potato, onion, cream and milk. All of this is crushed and traditionally served in a bowl or deep plate.
The origin of this cream is somewhat uncertain, since there are those who consider that it is actually a dish of American origin. The most widespread version tells that the original recipe was prepared by the French chef louis diat during the time he worked for the Ritz-Carlton in New York. The cook chose the city of Vichy to name his discovery, since it is located near Montmarault, his hometown.
Actually, galettes are a salty variant of pancakes from the region of Brittany that differs from these because they are made with buckwheat dough and water. They are filled with all kinds of ingredients, including: meat, fish, mushrooms, vegetables, etc.
However, the term cake It is often used in French cuisine to refer to a large number of dishes that are characterized by their circular shape and their crisp touch on the palate. There is a variant, for example, called galette des rois (literally, galette of kings), a very typical dish during January 6 or the Three Kings Day.
Literally, foie gras in French it means fatty liver and has been adapted to Spanish as foie gras. In reality, this dish is similar to the pate so popular in Spain, although it is not a pate as such. In France, it is made with goose liver or duck, which has been previously fattened with corn.
The production of foie gras has been banned in several countries such as Germany, Argentina, India, Italy or Great Britain due to laws that prohibit force feeding. Apart from France, the following countries are also foie gras producers: Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, USA, China, Belgium and Canada.
Duck Confit is the Spanish translation of canard confit. It is a dish that consists of roasted duck leg and is the specialty of the region of Gascony, southwest of France.
The technique of preparing the duck confit It is one of the oldest that exists and consists of salting the piece of meat and poaching it in its own fat. The entire process lasts almost 3 days, since the confit must be soaked in salt and garlic for 36 hours. It is served with roasted potatoes as a garnish.
French toast or tartine
Tartine in Spanish it sounds like pie o little tart, but nevertheless this is not what this name refers to, since the base of the tartine is bread, usually a slice of bread. Other ingredients that are easily spread are usually added to this, such as butter and jam, the most typical in the sweet version of the tartine.
However, the salty version of the tartine is very similar to the typical skewers among the spanish tapas. Ingredients such as cheese, pâté or foie gras are the most common. The result is very similar to bruschetta, one of the most typical Italian dishes. The slice of bread can be served either toasted or natural. For example, the famous pa amb tomaca from Catalunya would be a dish very similar to the tartine.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that when preparing a tartine you must take into account the bread consistency that we are going to use, especially if we are going to use several ingredients, since the greater the quantity, the more they will weigh, and therefore the more consistent the bread must be to be able to hold all these ingredients without breaking.
Bouillabaisse is the name adapted from this original dish from Provence, specifically from the city of Marseille, although its original name in French is bouillabaisse o bolhabaissa in Provençal Occitan. It is actually a simple dish consisting of a chowder made from boiling various whole fish.
Bouillabaisse has a very similar dish within Portuguese gastronomy: the fish stew, which in turn is also very popular in Galicia (Spain). Be that as it may, the legend about the origin of this soup tells that it began to be prepared by the fishermen, who made this stew in order to use all the fish that remained at the bottom of their baskets.
However, some authors estimate that the origin is due to the famous Suquet de peix Catalan, whose fame spread through the Pyrenees in a northerly direction as early as the XNUMXth century.
The tartiflette is a dish that is prepared in the oven from the cuisine of Savoy and Haute-Savoie, although historically it was born in the area that ranges from the Aravis massif to the Val d'Arly, where in turn the reblochon cheese, one of the main ingredients of this dish. Today, this dish is so famous that Savoy people are really proud of their star dish.
In addition to the reblochon cheese, the tartiflette contains cooked potatoes, bacon, onions, pepper, fresh cream (called crème fraîche in French), a touch of pepper and a little white wine for flavor. All this is cooked in the oven, so that the cheese, being in the upper layer, is gratinated.
Name squeegee as such it refers to the variety of cheese of Swiss origin of the same name, specifically original from the canton of Valais. It is a cheese made from raw cow's milk that, without melting, is usually presented in the shape of a wheel. Each wheel usually weighs an average of 6 kg. It is in the French regions of Auvergne, Brittany, Savoy and Franche-Comté that the largest production of this type of cheese exists.
However, the name of squeegee applies today to the electric grill where this cheese is cooked today along with other ingredients such as boiled potatoes, pickles and sausages. The most common is to cook this dish during group meals or celebrations with family or friends, so that diners sit around the grill at the table and cook and put what they want on their plates.
In addition, the grill has a kind of specific tray where the raclette cheese is placed. In this way, since the tray is shaped like a paddle, which makes it much more convenient to pour the melted cheese over the rest of the food on the plate (eg potatoes and sausages are usually covered with it). In Switzerland, it is also very typical to have a hot drink or light white wine (eg Chasselas wine) to accompany it.
El Tarte, Also called flamenkuchen, both names of Alsatian origin, it is a typical dish from Alsace, the Palatinate and Baden (Germany). In French, it is usually called Flambé pie. In fact, due to its appearance and way of preparation, Flammkuchen is a very similar to pizza Italian, although with slight variations.
Thus, the base is made with a thin bread dough, made from flour and water, which is given a circular shape (hence its similarity to pizza). On this base, other elements are placed that have varied over time, but that traditionally were two: raw onion, bacon (bacon) and liquid cream for cooking. All this is applied on the raw dough and everything is baked together for about 15 min.
The form of presentation on the table is once again very similar to that of pizza, since it is served on a wooden board, cut into portions and the pieces are picked up by hand. According to tradition, this dish was already popular in 1900.
El Baeckeoffe (literally, baker's oven), of Alsatian origin and closely linked to the gastronomic tradition of Strasbourg, is a type of stew whose preparation requires very slow cooking, at least 24 hours, so it takes a minimum of two days to prepare it.
The ingredients that make up this dish are three types of marinated meats (lamb, pork and beef), boiled potatoes with a touch of Riesling wine, garlic, onions and Provencal herbs. All this is cooked, as we have already mentioned, over low heat in an Alsatian terrine, a kind of frying pan where this dish is traditionally cooked.
Although its appearance is unusual, the tapenade It is a very typical dish in Provence that has the advantage of being very simple to prepare.
It consists of capers or black olives, olive oil and crushed anchovies, hence its appearance. These are the basic ingredients, but you can add others such as tuna, green olives, garlic, various spices, lemon juice or even a touch of brandy. It is usually eaten as an aperitif, spread on toast, or as a condiment for meat or vegetable steaks.
Adapted to Spanish as sauerkraut (sauerkraut in French), although the original term is actually Sauerkraut In German, this dish is used as a condiment in a wide range of dishes both in Alsace (France) and in Germany, Poland and Russia. Consists in cabbage leaves (cabbage) fermented in water and salt. In addition, when it comes to serving it on the plate, it is usually seasoned with pepper, dill and other spices. It usually accompanies sausages or pork.
While within the gastronomy of Germany, sauerkraut accompanies a wide range of dishes such as pork ribs, pork knuckle, sausages or Bratwurst or Klunz or mashed potatoes, in France it is usually seen in most dishes that are consumed daily in Alsace, although especially when sausages are eaten. Traditionally, the French version is characterized by undercooking and being fairly light in color.
El beef bourguignon or Burgundy beef is another of the most traditional dishes in France, originally from the Burgundy region, hence its name. It's about a beef stew in which the meat is simmered with burgundy red wine. In addition, other ingredients are added, such as carrots, onions, garlic and a condiment widely used in France called Bouquet Garni.
When all the ingredients mentioned above have been cooked, the resulting liquid is usually thickened a bit with a roux, that is, a sauce made from butter and flour. Thanks to this, the consistency that characterizes this sauce is achieved.
The veal blanquette or veal stew It is a dish of French origin made from stewed beef, butter sauce and carrots. It is actually similar to Baeckeoffe both in ingredients and in the manufacturing process. However, the main characteristic of this dish is that sauce is used blanquette, that is, blanqueta sauce, which arises from the resulting broth after the cooking process of the meat and the rest of the ingredients.
Thus, blanqueta de veal (name given in Spanish) is a beef stew, although there are also versions in which rabbit or chicken is used and there is even blanqueta de salmon, monkfish or bream. The distinctive element of this stew is its white "background", since when using water and vegetables to cook the meat, the resulting broth has a whitish or semi-transparent color. And it is from him that the famous "blanqueta sauce" is obtained.
andouillette It is the French name for a type of traditional sausage from the cuisine of France, although especially from the cities of Troyes, Lyon, Cambrai and Rouen, as well as the regions of Périgord and Provence, among other areas. This type of sausage It is made from pig intestine and stomach. Before 2000, they were also prepared with veal, but it was discontinued after the use of beef tripe was banned from this year.
What is most striking about andouillette is its intense aroma, the result of the mixture of seasonings and spices that it contains, as well as wine. In short, it is a very calorific food, since it has a high fat content. It is common to find them in markets already cooked, ready to eat on the street. Although the most common is to cook them on the grill, it can also be done in the oven or in the pan, in the latter case with a touch of white wine. In addition, they are usually served with French mustard.
For its part, the andouillette of Troyes It is the one that has acquired the most fame on a general level and the one most demanded by tourists who travel to France in general and Troyes in particular. In fact, it is said of the one in this city that it is the "genuine" one. The main characteristic of these sausages is that the meat is not stuffed as is usually done, but is introduced into the casing as is.
Once stuffed, the chitterlingsStill raw, they are cooked in a broth that each cook prepares in their own way, but which could be said to be similar to pickled sauce. Finally, they are eaten cold as an aperitif.
Rawness, which translated literally into Spanish does not mean anything other than rawness, is an appetizer or first course consisting of various raw vegetables.
It is like a salad in which the vegetables are served raw. The most common vegetables on a plate rawness are the following: carrots, celery sticks, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, various types of lettuce, beets and asparagus, among others.
The most traditional way is to serve them in a flat dish and seasoned with a vinaigrette sauce. In addition, there are those who accompany them with other foods such as boiled egg, mayonnaise, cheese cubes or canned tuna.
French desserts: traditional recipes
Without a doubt, the first dessert that comes to most of us when we talk about the typical desserts of France are the famous Crepes, which today have become popular throughout the world. However, French gastronomy has a large number of equally exquisite desserts that we present to you in the following sections.
It is probably one of the most international desserts in French gastronomy and comes from Brittany. It is dough made from candeal wheat flour, which is shaped into a disk (diameter of about 16 mm). Although they are usually eaten as dessert smeared with Fondue chocolate, cream or another type of sweet, can also be taken with salty ingredients.
The pancake itself is actually a lot like pancakes or pancakes, especially consumed in the canadian cuisine. The difference is that the thickness of a crepe it is much less than what is usually given to pancakes.
To get good results when cooking crepes, it is essential to have the right utensils. Thus, it is essential to use a pan that is as flat as possible, since we must work with a spatula. There are pans for the preparation of crepes called crepes, which are ideal for achieving excellent results. If you want to learn how to prepare some authentic French crepes, we recommend you take a look at the following video:
El macaroon in French and macaroon in Spanish it is a type of cookie of French origin who has acquired world fame. It is made from egg white, ground almonds, sugar and icing sugar. However, it is actually a dessert of Italian origin (maccarone in Italian) that was already consumed in this country during the XNUMXth century.
Originally, the macaroon had no filling, but consisted only of two round domes with a flat base. However, this has changed a lot over time, since nowadays they not only always have padding (called ganache), but it can be found in multitude of flavors.
In this way, macarons Today they are considered more of a cake than a simple cookie. It is important not to confuse them with another sweet called Macaroon, made with almond paste.
Swiss gastronomy has a dessert very similar to what they call Luxemburgerli. With an appearance practically the same as the macaroni, the difference between them is that the luxemburgerli is smaller in size (2,5 cm in diameter approx.) And more spongy to the touch.
Cooking macarons can be simple, but it is very important to use the exact amount of each ingredient and respect the cooking times of each of them if we want our macarons to acquire the viscosity that characterizes their texture. In the following video tutorial, the process of preparing this delicious dessert is shown step by step:
Also known simply by the name of far, this cake is a gastronomic specialty of the Brittany region. Its texture is similar to that of pudding or a consistent flan. The dough is made from wheat flour, butter, milk, eggs and sugar, although you can also add a touch of vanilla or rum. Inside are added prunes whole or pieces of pear.
It is basically a apple cake which differs from the usual one because in this cake the apple pieces have been caramelized with sugar and butter. The most characteristic thing about this cake is that the production process is done in reverse, that is, the apples are placed on the base and then the dough is added. It is turned over when placed on the plate to be served.
These small but delicious cupcakes are original Bordeaux, in southwestern France, in the Aquitaine region. The characteristic pleated cylindrical appearance of each of these cakes is the reason why they are called Canelés, since in the Gascon language, cinnamon means gutter (type of pipe).
His recipe includes the following basic ingredients: eggs, milk, sugar, butter, flour, rum, and vanilla. To achieve the shape that characterizes them, special copper molds are used for this purpose. Although the traditional molds are made of copper, there are also some made of aluminum or even silicone.
On top of each cake add a layer of candy, which is why they are cooked in two different stages, at different temperatures: in this way, while the inside is fluffy, the outside layer remains crisp and dark.
The cake tropézienne It is one of the most traditional desserts in France, since it is estimated that back in the 50s it was already consumed in the French provence. According to legend, the recipe was created by the Polish pastry chef Alexandre Miccka, who first prepared it in his Saint-Tropez pastry shop. Actually, it is a version of a typical dessert of Polish gastronomy.
Thus, the tropézienne It is a type of brioche filled with pastry cream. The dough, for its part, is prepared in the same way that pie bases are usually prepared, that is, with yeast, flour, milk, eggs, soft butter and sugar.
The dessert called clafoutis It consists of a cake of French origin made from cherries whole, hence their appearance. It is an original dish from Limousin and in Occitan it is given the name of clafotis, from the verb clafir, Meaning Fill.
It consists of placing a good amount of cherries in a usually round mold and then bathing them in a liquid mass similar to that of crepes, although it is added more abundantly so that the mass acquires the necessary height to cover all the cherries.
This dough is made with the ingredients mentioned below: butter, sugar, milk and flour. During the baking process, they all set and the cake acquires the uniform appearance that can be seen in the image. There are versions in Auvergne in which apples or pears are used as a substitute for cherries.
The financial They are very typical cakes in France that are usually eaten for accompany the tea. The name, as it seems, means support and it is due to its origins.
It is estimated that they began to be consumed in 1890 in Paris, in the bakery called The Lasne, located next to the city's Stock Exchange. Thus, those who went to this pastry shop were mostly men in suits who worked in the world of finance who chose this cake for its size and the comfort with which it can be eaten, without risk of staining.
Although today there are many variations, the most approximate recipe is the one that includes the following ingredients: butter, pastry flour, powdered almonds, egg whites, whole almonds, a pinch of salt and icing sugar.
El gingerbread, sometimes translated as Gingerbread although its literal translation is gingerbread, is a type of sweet bread typical of France. It is fundamentally characterized by containing a lots of honey and spices, including anise and ginger, hence it is also called "gingerbread". The one with the most fame today is the one from Dijon and the town of Gertwiller (Alsace), where it even has a museum called Musée du Pain d'Epices et de l'Art Populaire Alsacien.
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