“Nothing would be more tedious than eating and drinking, if God had not created them as a pleasure and a necessity.” - Voltaire
This thought of Voltaire fits perfectly with the French people and their sense of food. For the French, preparing food and tasting it is not just satisfying a need, but providing pleasure, a real feast for the senses.
It is not by chance that we chose French cuisine as one of the topics we will cover in the culinary column "".
French culinary traditions are considered one of the most delicate and refined in the whole world. Their reputation is well-deserved, as the preparation of many dishes in French cuisine requires a combination of quality products, fine techniques, rich flavors and lots and lots of inspiration.
Food in France is not just a mix of products, it is entertainment, tradition, a matter of taste, and an essential part of the life and culture of this country.
What are the main things that build French cuisine and make it a benchmark for all others?
It is generally divided into three main sections: Gourmet kitchen; Traditional cuisine; Regional cuisine.
Regional specifics: in the north, culinary traditions dictate that butter and cream are mainly used, while in the south, olive oil is preferred. In the north, the dishes are denser, dense, heavy, while in Provence the menu is more Mediterranean and lighter. In the southern regions of France, much of the cuisine is also influenced by the traditions of the surrounding countries. In the regions closer to Spain, the recipes show a greater use of products such as peppers, tomatoes, sausage. In the areas around Italy, a lot of olive oil, basil, oregano, and rosemary are used, typical of the traditional Italian cuisine in the north.
French Braised Veal
You might be surprised, but one of the important elements in the culinary traditions of France are the open-air markets Yes, the markets. They are a major part of French culture. Fresh produce markets can be found all over the country – from the smallest villages to the big cities, and to the heart of France – Paris. For the French, it is important that the products they will use are as fresh as possible and they like to be locally produced, at least the main part of the menu.
Market in Provence, France.
Time is important to them. What is special about the French when it comes to food is not only its preparation, but also its enjoyment. On average, the French spend 2 hours just for their lunch. It is lunch that is the main meal for the French and often consists of 4 courses. This does not only apply to adults' lunches, but also to students.In most schools in France, lunch consists of 3 courses.
Pleasant company is a must. Enjoying food is not enough for the French. It is important for them to share it in a pleasant company, with whom the pleasure of a nice lunch or dinner will be a truly wonderful feeling.
The we alth of flavors. Along with Chinese and Georgian cuisine, French is famous as one of the most original, diverse and rich in the world.
Higher aerobatics It is no secret to anyone that the concept of high-class cuisine, refined, based on many fine techniques and unusual products, was presented for the first time precisely in France. The most famous and respected culinary guide in the world, Michelin, is also of French origin, which is proof of its truly high qualities.
Various sauces are one of the highlights that are invariably present in the dishes. The British even have a joke about it: if there are 3 kinds of sauces and three hundred and sixty kinds of religion in England, then in France there are three kinds of religion and three hundred and sixty recipes for sauces.
The wine. With more than 27,000 wine cellars throughout France, wine has always been one of the emblems of this country.
Compared to many other European countries, French cuisine does not use a lot of dairy products. The only exception is the cheeses that France is famous for.
Favorite French speci alties
Brandade. This is a typical dish from Provence, very simple but incredibly tasty. It is a pate of dried fish and olive oil.
Bouillabes. One of the favorite dishes of those living in the southern regions of France. It is a soup made from different types of fish and seafood. Served with toasted bread with aioli (homemade mayonnaise).
Traditionally prepared Ratatouille.
. This wonderful dish comes from beautiful Nice. It is prepared from stewed seasonal vegetables, and you can serve it to your guests as an appetizer, as a side dish, and why not as a main course.
Interesting facts about French cuisine
- In France there is a different type of cheese for every day of the year.
- On average, about 500,000,000 snails are consumed in France annually.
- 10 billion baguettes are produced every year in France. The traditional French baguette contains only three ingredients: flour, yeast and s alt, and its weight should not exceed 250 grams.
- To combat the problem of food being thrown away, France was one of the first countries to ban supermarkets from throwing away unsold products, instead donating them to charity.
- In France, the consumption of spirits with more than 21 percent alcohol is permitted for those over 18. However, persons over the age of 16 may drink other lower alcohol beverages such as wine and beer.
Curious details of French table etiquette
- Everyone sits together at the table and eats in each other's company, not in front of the TV.
- The baguette or bread is not sliced, but broken.
- It is imperative to know the types of glasses for different wines - the small oval is for white wine and the larger and round glasses are for red wine.
- If you eat frog legs, do it with your fingers, not with utensils. But if you eat fruit, definitely use a knife.
- If using lettuce, fold it, don't cut it.
- Look people in the eye when you raise a toast.
- Always keep your hands above the table.
- Finish your meal but don't ask for extra. If your host has something to offer, he will.
- If you are hosting a French-style dinner, stick to the order: often offer or leave bread on the table, it is best to put several different kinds in a basket on the table and everyone takes freely.Don't forget the order of the wine - white always before red, and cheese before dessert.
- When serving a cheese platter, try to have different utensils for each one so the flavors don't mix.