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French food

French food

French food characteristics

Food of a country is influenced by its ingredients, in case of French food it is butter, garlic, aromatic herbs, cheese, escargot, frog's legs, foie gras, and pate.

Origins and history of French food

It starts in the middle ages with meals similar to Moorish and often served all at once, included spiced meats- pork, beef, poultry, and fish. Meats were salted and smoked to preserve, and vegetables were salted to preserve for winter. During the 15th and 16th centuries the French cuisine was heavily influenced by Italians. In the period of 16th and 18th century, guilds regulated distribution of goods including food and there restrictions limited further development of culinary art in France. In the 18 century, Haute Cuisine or High Cuisine developed driven by chef Verenne’s cookbook which focused more on ingredients of the mean and less of their quantities. The French Revolution meant end of guilds and freedom for French chefs. One of the most influential chefs of the 18th and 19th century was Carême who created hundreds of sauces, many still used today. In late 19th and early 20th century new developments of haute cuisine took place, much of it due to chef Escoffier. He simplified Carême recipes and his own ideas, in fact developing the new modern French cuisine, characterized by separation of kitchen into 5 sections, each responsible for a part of the dish. The continued focus of the modern French cuisine has been to move away from larger menus focus on the quality of ingredients.

Present day meal structure in France

French meal structure consists of: Le petit déjeuner (breakfast), Le déjeuner (lunch) and Le dîner (dinner). Breakfast often consists of small slices of French bread spread with jelly, and or pastries. Lunch which used to be the most important meal of the day, often taking two hours break in work. cafeteria. Dinner typically consists of three: the entrée, the plat principal or main course, and the cheese or desert course.

Typical dishes in France

Cassoulet, ragout, soufflé, Tatin tarts, mille-feuilles, classic French cuisine: snails, duck liver, onion soup, lobster bisque, ratatouille, crepe Suzette.

Other popular French dishes : Blanquette de veau (blanquette of veal), Coq au vin (rooster in red wine), Bouillabaisse (fish soup), and Boudin blanc (delicate flavored sausage).

Find more on popular French recipes ...

Popular meats in France

Chicken (poulet), turkey (squab dinde), duck (canard), goose (oie), beef (boeuf), veal (veau), pork (porc), lamb (agneau), mutton (mouton), rabbit (lapin)

Popular fish and seafood in France

Cod, sardines, tuna, salmon, trout, mussels, oysters, shrimp, calamari.

Popular vegetables in France

Tomatoes, pomme de terre (potato), haricot verts (French green bean), carotte (carrot), poireau (leek), navet (turnip), aubergine (eggplant of aubergine), courgette (zucchini), échalotte shallot.

Popular fruits in France

Oranges, apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrant, blackberries, grape, grapefruit, blackcurrant.

Popular herbs and spices in France

Oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, sage, fennel

Find more on French seasoning ...

France is known for its rich and varied cuisine, with its cheeses, wines, delicious pastries, numerous regional culinary specialties and excellent local produce.

Food of southwest of France

The southwest of France is a corner of France where you can enjoy delicious food. Places to visit for a culinary experience are Toulouse, Biarritz, Dordogne, Bordeaux.

If you want to find local flavors such as foie gras, confit, magret or crumble, or want to know the secrets of Armagnac and wines of Cotes de Gascogne? Then you should visit the Gers.

A culinary stay in the Gers will give you a unique opportunity to discover the secret of the recipe that made the reputation of France in the world: Foie Gras. Many villages, such as Gimont give you the opportunity to unlock its secrets.

Another typical dish of the southwest is Cassoulet. Rich and nourishing, cassoulet is eaten throughout the southwest although Castelnaudary is still considered "the city of Cassoulet".

Visit Bayonne and enjoy Bayonne ham. The Espelette peppers are also a local specialty, this chili is grown in a very special traditional way.
In Dordogne, local products are numerous, you will find here delicious mushrooms and foie gras.

Food of northwest of France

From Normandy to Brittany through the Loire Valley and Touraine. You can treat yourself to dinner at the gourmet restaurant Le Breard referenced by the Michelin guide, and the Bottin Gourmand. Not far away, at Bayeux, you can either breakfast or lunch or dinner at the Manoir de Mathan. His chef will awaken your senses making you taste its famous terrine cobble Isigny with apples and calvados. Take advantage to visit the Normandy region,  stop at Etretat, you will discover breathtaking cliffs but more importantly, you will enjoy a delicious fish soup. In the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, you can taste the famous Maroual course, chicory gratin, the pickled herring, potj'vlesh or spiced ice. 

You can also opt for the Loire Valley before arriving in Britain. At the heart of the Sologne, stop in small traditional inns, you will enjoy the best coq au vin in the world! In this hunting area, game is to honor deer stew, deer, wild boar. Crossing the Loire , stroll through the streets of old Nantes, visit the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne and, for lovers of petit beurre, visit the factory where these biscuits were created.

Discover Breton traditions, stay in Saint-Malo, Rennes and Vannes or inland to Ploërmel or Guer. You can try the buckwheat cakes and pancakes with a glass of chilled craft mead. For dessert, do not hesitate to ask for Kouign amann, very sweet but certainly tasty cake!