French cuisine is a style of cooking originating from
French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges
Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute
Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to bring
people to the countryside during the 20th century and
beyond, to sample this rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of
CULTURE OF FRENCH
French cuisine is extremely diverse France's extraordinary
range of different geographies and climates which support
the local production of all types of ingredients, and France's
long and varied history.
In many ways, an understanding of the culture of French
food and recipes is an understanding of France itself.
Meals range from the very basic, such as the
traditional baguette plus cheese plus inexpensive
wine, to very elaborate affairs than can involve a
dozen courses and different wines consumed over
REGIONAL INFLUENCES ON
Local availability- The French, a nation of gourmets, know
that the best food is made from local ingredients, which are
fresher and of better quality than items which have been
transported long distances.
Neighbouring countries and immigration- Areas of
France which border on other countries have incorporated
some of the cuisine of their neighbors.
History and economic conditions- The culture, lifestyle
and economic conditions over a long period of time have
formed the development of local food traditions.
The Italian connection- In 1533, Catherine brought an
entourage of Italian chefs with her to France, who
introduced to France a variety of dishes, food preparation
and dining practices.
Classical French cuisine (also known in France as cuisine
bourgeoise). This includes all the classical French dishes
which were at one time regional, but are no longer
specifically regional. Food is rich and filling, with many
dishes using cream-based sauces.
Haute cuisine is classical French cuisine taken to its most
sophisticated and extreme. Food is elegant, elaborate and
generally rich. Meals tend to be heavy, especially due to the
use of cream and either large portions or many smaller
portions. There is a strong emphasis on presentation and
the meal is expensive
Cuisine Nouvelle. This
style developed in the
1970s, as a reaction against
the classical school of
cooking. The food is
simpler and lighter. Portions
are smaller and less rich.
Cuisine du terroir. This
focuses on regional
specialties and is somewhat
more rustic in nature. Local
produce and food traditions
are the main focus.
Wine and cheese
Aside from bread and water, the most common
accompaniments to a French meal are wine and cheese.
Unlike other countries, in France wine is considered a
standard part of everyday meals, and is neither expensive
nor reserved for special occasions.
With everyday meals, ordinary wines are served, although
it is expected that the style of wine match the style of food
In addition to its use in cooking, cheese is often served as a
course in itself. In this case, it is served after the main meal
but before dessert.
STRUCTURE OF MEALS
Le petit déjeuner (breakfast) is often a quick meal
consisting of "tartines" (slices) of french bread with
jelly, croissants or pain au chocolat (a pastry filled
with chocolate) along with coffee or tea.
Le déjeuner (lunch) was
once a two hour mid-day
meal but has recently seen a
trend toward the one hour
lunch break .
In large cities a majority of
working people and students
eat their lunch at a corporate
or school cafeteria, which
normally serve complete
Le dîner (dinner) often
consists of three courses,
hors d'oeuvre or entrée
(introductory course often
soup), plat principal (main
course), and a cheese
course or dessert,
sometimes with a salad
offered before the cheese
&dessert would be fresh
The meal is often
accompanied by bread,
wine and mineral water.
French cafés serve some of the world's best coffee, but
each of us has our own preferences.
Café (kuh-fay) is plain coffee with nothing added, but is
strong as it is brewed like espresso.
Café au lait (kuh-fay oh-lay) is a popular French coffee
style that has been popularized in America, as it's served
in tres francais New Orleans at Café du Monde.
Café crème (kuh-fay khremm) is, as it sounds, coffee served
in a large cup with hot cream.
Café Décafféiné (kuh-fay day-kah-fay-uhn-ay) is
decaffeinated coffee. You will still need to tell them you want
milk (lait) or cream (crème) with your coffee.
Café Noisette (kuh-fay nwah-zett) is espresso with a dash of
cream in it. It is called "noisette," French for hazelnut,
because of the rich, dark color of the coffee.
Café Americain (kuh-fay uh-meyhr-uh-kan) is filtered
coffee, similar to traditional American coffee.
Café Léger (kuh-fay lay-zjay) is espresso with double the
FRENCH SPECIAL OCCASIONS
The two most important religious festivities of the year for
Christians are Christmas and Lent.
White or black puddings (made with light meats and fats or
animal blood) will almost always be a part of the dinner.
A fat goose or a stuffed turkey will be the center of the menu
while family specialties may shine after the nuts and cheese
Special desserts such as buche de Noel may represent
generations-old recipes or the best from the patisserie.
In more recent years fish and seafood have been permitted
together with the use of eggs and butter, yet there is a sense of
restraint in the forty days of fasting menus.
POPULAR FRENCH DISHES TO
BEAT THE COLD
Butternut Squash Bisque Recipe
Gratineed Onion Soup Recipe
Chicken and sausage cassoulet recipe
CHICKEN IN CREAM SAUCE RECIPE
COQ AU VIN RECIPE