Best French Food: France is of course known for its fabulous French cuisine – in fact it has UNESCO status!
The “gastronomic meal of the French” is part of the “intangible cultural heritage of humanity,” said UNESCO officials when they voted French Cuisine on to the list in 2010… quite right too!
Food is incredibly important to the French, whether its buying at a market, preparing it at home, eating in a smart restaurant or an authentic inn, buying fresh bread or artisan made cakes or cheese – the choice is limitless and quality is key.
We thought it would be a good idea to ask some of the wonderful writers at The Good Life France what their favourite French dishes are and their best French food tips.
Paola Westbeek: What’s not to love about the French kitchen? I think I can honestly say I love ALL French food (not to mention wine)! But if I have to pick only one, I guess that would be a plate of twelve, fat, juicy and very garlicky escargots!
Donna Faulkner: As a vegetarian I know I am missing out on a great experience by not eating most of the brilliantly prepared dishes so special to France. My favourite French dish is actually a local bread speciality of the Vendée called Préfou.
Evelyn Jackson: So many to choose from! I love sausage and aligot, a regional specialty here. Is wine a dish??
Margo Lestz: Well, I am really a person who likes her sweets so I am going with a “pain au chocolat”, a pastry similar to a croissant, but in a different shape and with chocolate in the centre. They are best just out of the oven when the chocolate inside is still melted. Yum!
Marilyn Cathchpole-Dossat: Difficult one this (being a non meat eater) but I love moules frites, all the potato dishes (without lardons) truffade, aligot, pate aux pommes de terre and choucroute de la mer.
Amanda J Fisher: Croque Monsieur – because no matter how many I eat, I still love this tasty, satisfying snack [Ed’s note – difficult to disagree especially when you try master chef Michel Roux Jr’s fabulous recipe for an authentic French Croque Monsieur].
Linda Matthieu: Fish with beurre blanc. That sauce is fabulous. For dessert, Poire Belle Helen – love that new to me combo of vanilla ice cream, canned pears and hot chocolate sauce.
Donna Kerridge: Is it too un-PC to say foie gras, with toast and grilled figs?! Just about any hearty, country dish served up with friends and copious amounts of red wine.
Susana Iwase Hanson: Daube du Sanglier – wild boar stew. When it’s cooked properly, it’s to-die-for (but must be combined with the right red wine).
Bob Lyons: Buffet, peppered steak, fries and mushrooms in a Campanile Hotel restaurant accompanied by a large pichet of vin blanc. I look forward to eating like that more than anything else.
Kirsten McKintosh: I have to choose just one? Confit de Canard or Tarte Tatin.
Sue Aitken: Cassoulet – robust, country style cooking at its best, closely followed by a good Steak au Poivre.
Roger St Pierre: Confit de canard
Jill Barth: A piping hot bowl of bouillabaisse, loaded with Provençal spices, vegetables, fish and lots of garlic. Let’s also do a crusty baguette and a chilled rosé from the South.
Susie Woodhams: Magret de canard with peaches.
Heather Tyler: Tarte Normande
Susan Keefe: Coq-au-Vin
Alecia Caine: That’s a hard question! I will say the Tartiflette from the Savoie region in the Alpes, its pure comfort food for cold weather, made with creamy, buttery potatoes, salty bacon and tart and creamy Reblochon cheese, as American chef Anthony Bourdwin says “you can never have too much cheese, bacon, or starch”. Enjoy it with a white Savoie wine.
Janine Marsh: Cake! I love French patisseries and the care, attention and sheer passion that goes into producing something that tastes divine, decadent and desirable! I always think cake tastes better when it has a history too like Peach Melba. One of my favourite books this year was “White Truffles in Winter” about the great French chef Escoffier who invented Peach Melba amongst many other celebrity dishes. I like Tarte Bourdaloue – a great classic of French pâtisserie. It was created by a famous chef named Coquelin in 1909 and named after the street where his bakery was located, Rue Bourdaloue in Paris’ 9th arondissement – bet you want one now don’t you?!
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