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Dishes and desserts typical of French gastronomy

French food is recognized for its variety and refinement, which 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 its ingredients, because it is well known to the wide range of cheeses that French cuisine has. Bread, duck or goose meat and creams or purees are often also present in the tables of most houses and restaurants in France. Below we list what are the main dishes of this country.

Aligot

Aligot is an original gastronomic specialty of Aubrac massif It spread throughout the Limousin and Auvergne regions until it is finally known as a typical French dish. It is a kind of very thick mashed potatoes because it is mixed with unrefined cheese, known as take me fraîche.

Together with the cheese, the potato paste is heated over 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 is melted uniformly, which makes the final texture become elastic. Finally, you usually add butter, garlic or even fresh cream."Aligot

Quenelle

It is a French dish similar to sausages or meatballs because of their 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 calls became famous brochet quenelles or quenelles de pike.

Preparation of French Quenelles

They are shaped in a somewhat peculiar way, since for this you use soup spoons or they are made directly by hand. Traditionally, they are cooked by “scalping” them in meat broth (bouillon) or fish, sometimes even crab.

Once this is done, a white sauce is prepared based on bechamel, although there are also with tomato sauce and accompanied by rice. The quenelles are then stewed 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.

Cassoulet

Called caçolet In Occitan, it is a stew similar to 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 dish of the most traditional and popular, so, as often happens with this type of food, the recipe can vary from one family to another. However, the fundamental ingredient is the White beans, cooked together with pieces of meat and different sausages (pork rib, bacon, bacon crust, duck confit, Toulouse sausages, etc.).

Preparing this dish is not a quick task, since beans must be soaked beforehand either the day before or at least a few hours before. Then, the beans are simmered along with the rest of the ingredients, among which tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and various Provencal herbs are usually lacking. In addition, the most traditional way to cook it is in a clay pot or cassole, hence its name.

Presentation of a cassoulet dish in Toulouse

Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is a kind of cream that can be taken either as an accompaniment to other ingredients or by dipping pieces of bread into it. Actually, it is a dish originally from Switzerland, specifically from the Franco-Swiss border, around Jura and the Alps.

The typical cheeses that are usually used for the preparation of fondue are two: on the one hand, gruyère cheese and, on the other, emmental cheese. These are applied equally, so that 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 cheese, but over the years many variants have emerged, including chocolate, which is taken 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 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:

Ratatouille

Made with various vegetables, it is a natural dish of Nice and the region of Provence, southeast of France. Actually, it is a vegetarian meal and the name follows from the verb touiller what does it mean stir. The idea of ​​its preparation is to fry each of the vegetables in olive oil, then cook them all together. It is a very popular dish throughout Mediterranean Europe.

For the preparation of this popular French dish, a stew is made based on garlic, peppers, garlic, zucchini, onions and eggplants, 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’t miss the olive oil. Finally, that is, once all the vegetables are cooked, various spices are added, including thyme, bay leaf, basil and oregano.

Coq Au Vin

He Coq Au Vinliterally wine rooster, is perhaps the most famous dish of the Occitan cuisine, which has been nationalized as a typical French dish. In the south of France, duck or goose meat is used, while in the north of Occitania other types of meats such as ox can be used.

Coq Au Vin

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 chef invented this dish in his eagerness to pay tribute to his emperor after the conquest of Gaul. However, many are the regions of France that dispute the invention of this dish, since in fact its origin is uncertain to date.

As the name implies, a generous amount of wine must be added, usually Red wine, although in some variants white wine is used. In addition, it is essential to add some vegetable such as onion or turnip to enhance its flavor. In some areas mushrooms are also added, usually colmenillas (also called cagarrias, morillas or murgoles).

Colmenillas, cagarrias or murgoles

Salade niçoise

Translated into Spanish as Nizarda Salad, it is a dish originally from the Nice region, although today it has acquired special popularity in the Cote D’Azur region. Its appearance is striking because of 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 this is seasoned with the popular sauce Dijon vinaigrette.

The traditional recipe is the one that became popular after 1880 in the Montpellier Region, according to which room It should be prepared on a flat plate, on which a “bed” of varied vegetables perches, among which are those mentioned above. It is worth mentioning, however, that the original version of this salad did not include red peppers or onions or potatoes, but that hearts of artichoke instead.

Salade Niçoise or Nizarda Salad

Cannon magret

The term magret by itself it is equivalent in Spanish to lean, that is, it refers to a lean meat steak, which usually comes from a goose or primed duck, being very important that the bird has been previously barley, since in it lies the difference between being considered magret or traditional breast.

In this way, yes magret means lean, canard equals duck, with which this dish consists of roasted duck lean. This dish is made with lean duck meat or primed goose, which is served steaks. Usually, it is served with orange sauce and garnish can include couscous, rice or roasted potatoes.

Cannon magret

Hake al 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, comes from the Brittany region. It is made with 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 the most curious, since according to the legend, it actually arose as a result of an error made by the French cook Clémence Lefeuvre, who forgot to lay eggs when preparing a Béarnaise sauce (béarnaise sauce in French).

Hake Blanc Blanc

Quiche Lorraine

This dish is currently famous around the world. It is basically a salty pie based on a breeze or broken pasta and filled with a mixture made with cream and eggs.

The original recipe from the Lorraine region, in fact, did not include more ingredients, but over time another basic one has been incorporated: cheese. Also bacon or ham and other vegetables can be found in the different variants of this recipe.

Quiche Lorraine

Vichyssoise

It is a cold cream similar to a soup, although sometimes it may look more like a puree, depending on how liquid it is. Also remember for its texture the famous Andalusian gazpacho. In any case, its ingredients are: leek, potato, onion, cream and milk. All this is crushed and traditionally served in a bowl or a deep dish.

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 extended 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 chef chose the city of Vichy to name his discovery, as it is located near Montmarault, his hometown.

Galette

Actually, galettes are a salty variant of Crepes from the region of Brittany which 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 galette It is usually used in French cuisine to refer to a large number of dishes that are characterized by their circular shape and their crispy touch to the palate. There is a variant, for example, called Galette des Rois (literally, Kings galette), a very typical dish during January 6 or Three Kings Day.

Foie gras

Literally, Foie gras in french means fatty liver and has been adapted to Spanish as fuagrás. Actually, 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 primed 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 forced feeding. Apart from France, the following countries are also foie gras producers: Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, USA, China, Belgium and Canada.

Foie gras

Duck confit

Duck confit is the Spanish translation of confit de canard. It is a dish consisting of roasted duck leg and is the specialty of the region of Gascony, to the southwest of France.

The technique of preparation of duck confit is the oldest that exists and consists of salting the piece of meat and poaching it in its own fat. The entire process takes almost 3 days, since the confit should be left smeared in salt and garlic for 36 hours. It is served with roasted potatoes as a side dish.

Duck confit

French toast or tartine

Tartine in Spanish it sounds like cake or 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. To this one is usually added other ingredients that spread easily, such as Butter and the jelly, 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 Spanish tapas. Ingredients such as cheese, pate or foie gras are the most common. The result is very similar to that of bruschetta, one of the most typical dishes of Italy. The slice of bread can be served either toasted or natural. For example, the famous pa amb tomaca de Catalunya would be a dish very similar to the tartine.

In addition, it should be mentioned that when preparing a tartine you should 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 amount, the more they will weigh, and therefore more consistent should be the bread to be able to endure all these ingredients without breaking.

Salted salmon and cheese tartine on rustic bread

Bouillabaisse

Bullabesa is the name adapted from this original Provence dish, specifically from the city of Marseille, although its original name in French is bouillabaisse or bolhabaissa in Provencal Occitan. It is, in reality, a simple dish consisting of a fish soup made from boiling various whole fish.

The bouillabaisse has a very similar dish in Portuguese cuisine: caldeirada de peixe, which in turn is also very popular in Galicia (Spain). Anyway, the legend about the origin of this soup tells that it began to be prepared at the hands of the fishermen, who made this stew in order to use all the fish that remained at the bottom of their baskets.

However, some authors believe that the origin is due to the famous suquet de peix Catalan, whose fame expanded through the Pyrenees in a northern direction as early as the 19th century.

Bouillabaisse or Bouillabaisse

Tartiflette

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, place where the reblochon cheese, one of the main ingredients of this dish. Today, this dish has such a reputation that Saboyan people are really proud of their star dish.

In addition to reblochon cheese, tartiflette contains cooked potatoes, bacon, onions, pepper, fresh cream (called believe me fraîche in French), a touch of pepper and a little white wine to add flavor. All this is cooked in the oven, so that the cheese, being in the top layer, is gratin.

Raclette

Name raclette 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 as a wheel. Each wheel usually weighs an average of 6 kg. In the French regions of Auvergne, Brittany, Savoy and Franche-ComtĂ© is where there is greater production of this type of cheese.

However, the name of raclette applies today to the electric grill where this cheese is cooked today along with other ingredients such as cooked potatoes, pickles and sausages. The most common is to cook this dish during group meals or family celebrations or with friends, so that diners sit around the grill at the table and cook and put on their plates what they want.

In addition, the grill has a kind of specific tray where raclette cheese is placed. In this way, since the tray is shaped like a lollipop, which makes it much more comfortable 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, in addition, it is very typical to drink a hot drink or light white wine (eg Chasselas wine) to accompany.

Raclette cheese, a basic in all raclette

Flammkuchen

He Flammkuchen, also called Flammenkuchen, both names of Alsatian origin, is a typical dish of Alsace, the Palatinate and Baden (Germany). In French, it is usually called Tarte flambée. Actually, because of its appearance and form of preparation, Flammkuchen is a very tasty meal. similar to pizza Italian, although with slight variations.

Thus, the base is made with a thin dough of bread, made from flour and water, which is given a circular shape (hence its similarity to pizza). On this base, other elements that have varied over time, but which were traditionally two, are placed: raw onion, bacon and liquid cream for cooking. All this is applied on the raw dough and baked all 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, it is cut into portions and the pieces are taken by hand. According to tradition, this dish was already popular in 1900.

Flammkuchen with traditional ingredients

Baeckeoffe

He baeckeoffe (literally, baker’s oven), of Alsatian origin and very close to the gastronomic tradition of Strasbourg, is a type of stew whose preparation requires a very slow cooking, at least 24 hours, so a minimum of two days is required to prepare it.

The ingredients that make up this dish are three types of marinated meats (lamb, pork and ox), boiled potatoes with a touch of Riesling wine, garlic, onions and Provencal herbs. All this is cooked, as we have said before, over low heat in an Alsatian terrine, a kind of pan where this dish is traditionally cooked.

tapenade

Although its appearance is unusual, the tapenade It is a very typical dish in Provence that has the advantage that its preparation is very simple.

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, assorted spices, lemon juice or even a touch of brandy. It is usually taken as an appetizer, spread on toasted bread, or as a seasoning for meat or vegetable fillets.

Tapenade of black olives

Choucroute

Adapted to Spanish as sauerkraut (choucroute in French), although in reality the original term is Sauerkraut In German, this dish is used as a condiment for 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 serving it on the plate, it is usually seasoned with pepper, dill and other spices. It usually accompanies sausages or pork.

While within the cuisine of Germany, sauerkraut accompanies a wide range of dishes such as pork ribs, pork knuckle, sausages or Bratwurst or the Klunz or mashed potatoes, in France it is usually seen in most dishes that are consumed daily in Alsace, although especially when sausages are taken. Traditionally, the French version is characterized by not cooking much and being of a fairly clear tone.

Choucroute or Sauerkraut

Boeuf Bourguignon

He Boeuf Bourguignon or Burgundy ox is another of the most traditional dishes of France, original from the Burgundy region, hence its name. It’s about a beef stew in which the meat is cooked with red wine from Burgundy over low heat. In addition, other ingredients are added, such as carrots, onions, garlic and a seasoning 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, butter and flour-based sauce. Thanks to this, the consistency that characterizes this sauce is achieved.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Veal Blanquette

The veal blanquette or blanquette de veau It is a dish of French origin made from stewed beef, butter sauce and carrots. Actually, it’s similar to baeckeoffe both in ingredients and in the manufacturing process. However, the main feature of this dish is that salsa 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, the blanque de calnera (name given in Spanish) is a stew of veal, although there are also versions in which rabbit or chicken is used and there is even blanquette of salmon, monkfish or dorado. The distinctive element of this stew is its white “bottom”, since when using water and vegetables to cook the meat, the resulting broth has a whitish or semi-transparent color. And it is where you get the famous “blanqueta sauce”.

Blanquette de veau or veal blanquette

Andouillette

Andouillette It is the French name of 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 PĂ©rigord and Provence, among other areas. This type of sausage It is made based on intestine and pork stomach. Before 2000, they were also prepared with veal, but stopped being used after it was forbidden to use veal guts from this year.

What most attracts the attention of the andouillette is its intense aroma, the result of the mixture of condiments and spices that it carries, as well as wine. In short, it is a very hot meal, 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 accompanied by French mustard.

For its part, the andouillette from Troyes It is the one that has gained the most fame at a general level and the most demanded by tourists traveling to France in general and to 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 usual, but is introduced into the gut as is.

Once stuffed, the andouillettes, still raw, they are cooked in a broth that each cook prepares in his own way, but that could be said to be similar to pickled. Finally, they are eaten cold as an appetizer.

Andouillette de Troyes

Crudités

Crudités, which literally translated 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 vegetables are served raw. The most common vegetables on a plate of crudités They are the following: carrots, celery on branches, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, various types of lettuce, beets and asparagus., among others.

The most traditional is to serve them in a flat dish and dressed with vinaigrette sauce. In addition, there are those who accompany them with other foods such as hard boiled egg, mayonnaise, cheese taquitos or canned tuna.

Desserts from France: traditional recipes

Without a doubt, the first dessert that comes to us most when we talk about the typical desserts of France are the famous crepes, which today have become popular throughout the world. However, French cuisine has a large number of equally exquisite desserts that we present in the following sections.

Crepes

It is probably one of the most international desserts of French cuisine and comes from Brittany. This is dough made from wheat wheat flour, which is shaped like a disc (diameter of about 16 mm). Although they are usually taken as dessert spread with chocolate fondue, cream or other type of sweet, can also be taken with salty ingredients.

Crepes

The pancake itself is actually very similar to pancakes or Pancakes, especially consumed in Canadian cuisine. The difference is that the thickness of a crepe is much smaller than what is usually given to pancakes.

To obtain 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 excellent results. If you want to learn how to prepare authentic French crepes, we recommend you take a look at the following video:

Macarons

The macaron is a kind of cookie of French origin that has acquired worldwide fame. It is prepared based on 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 16th century.

Originally, the macaroni had no filling, but consisted only of two round domes with a flat base. However, this has changed a lot over time, as today not only do they always have a filling (called ganache), but it can be found in a multitude of flavours.

Thus, today’s macarons are considered more like a cake than a simple cookie. It is important not to confuse them with another sweet called macaroon, made from almond paste.

Swiss gastronomy has a dessert very similar to the one they call Luxemburgerli. It looks practically the same as the macaroon, the difference between them being that the luxemburgerli is smaller (about 2.5 cm in diameter) and fluffier to the touch.

Cooking macarons can be simple, but it is very important to use the exact amount of each ingredient and to respect the cooking times of each one of them if we want our macarons to acquire the viscosity that characterizes their texture. In the following video tutorial, the preparation process of this rich dessert is shown step by step:

Far Breton

Also known simply as far, this cake is a gastronomic specialty of the region of Brittany. Its texture is similar to that of pudding or a consistent custard. The dough is made from wheat flour, butter, milk, eggs and sugar, although a touch of vanilla or rum can also be added. Inside, whole prunes or pieces of pear are added.

Farz de bretĂłn o far

Tarte tatin

It is basically an apple pie that differs from the usual one because in this pie the apple pieces have been caramelized with sugar and butter. The most characteristic feature of this cake is that the production process is done in reverse, i.e. apples are placed in the base and then the dough is added. It is turned over when it is placed on the plate to be served.

Tarte TatĂ­n

Canelé

These small but delicious biscuits are original from Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, in the Aquitaine region. The characteristic cylindrical aspect with folds of each of these biscuits is the reason why they are called canelés, since in Gascon language, canelat means gutter (type of pipe).

Their recipe includes the following basic ingredients: eggs, milk, sugar, butter, flour, rum and vanilla. To achieve the shape that characterises them, special copper moulds are used for this purpose. Although the traditional moulds are made of copper, there are also aliminium or even silicon moulds.

A layer of candy is added on top of each cake, which is why they are baked in two different stages, at different temperatures: in this way, while the inside is spongy, the outside layer is crispy and dark.

Tarta tropézienne

Tropézienne cake is one of the most traditional desserts in France, as it is estimated that back in the 1950s it was already consumed in French Provence. According to the legend, the recipe is due to the Polish pastry chef Alexandre Miccka, who prepared it for the first time in his bakery in Saint-Tropez. In fact, it is a version of a typical dessert in Polish gastronomy.

Thus, the tropézienne is a type of brioche filled with pastry cream. The dough, on the other hand, is prepared in the usual way for cake bases, i.e. with yeast, flour, milk, eggs, soft butter and sugar.

Tarta tropézienne

Clafoutis

The dessert called clafoutis consists of a cake of French origin made from whole cherries, hence its appearance. It is an original dish from Limousin and in Occitan it is called clafoutis, from the verb clafir, what does it mean to fill.

It consists of placing a good amount of cherries is a mold usually round and then bathed in a liquid mass similar to that of crepes, although it is poured with more abundance so that the mass acquires the necessary height to cover all the cherries.

This dough is made with the following ingredients: butter, sugar, milk and flour. During the baking process, all of them curdle and the cake acquires the uniform aspect that can be seen in the picture. There are versions in the Auvergne where apples or pears are used as a substitute for cherries.

Financiers

The financiers are very typical biscuits in France that are usually taken to accompany tea. The name, as it seems, means financier and is due to its origins.

It is estimated that they began to be consumed in 1890 in Paris, in the bakery called La Lasne, located next to the Stock Exchange of the city. Thus, those who came to this bakery were mostly men in suits who worked in the world of finance who chose this little cake for its size and the comfort with which it can be eaten, without the risk of getting stained.

Although today there are many variations, the most approximate recipe is the one that includes the following ingredients: butter, pastry flour, almond powder, egg whites, whole almonds, a pinch of salt and icing sugar.

Pain d’épices

The pain d’Ă©pices, translated as gingerbread, is a type of sweet bread typical of France. It is mainly characterised by the fact that it contains a large amount of honey and spices, including aniseed and ginger, which is why it is also called “gingerbread”. The most famous of these is the one from Dijon and Gertwiller (Alsace), where there is even a museum called the MusĂ©e du Pain d’Epices et de l’Art Populaire Alsacien.

Pain d'Ă©pices (pan de jengibre)

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