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French cuisine is known everywhere as one of the best cuisines in the world. Rich and varied, it offers a wide range of flavors and textures. Both traditional and creative, French cuisine has a large repertoire of recipes, each as delicious as the next.
I will present to you a small overview of the 10 most famous French dishes. They will delight you and make you want to go on a gastronomic (and linguistic!) trip to France.
Part 1: Popular French winter dishes
There isn’t one national dish in France but hundreds of them that make gourmets and gourmands happy! French cuisine is often rich and filling. This is why traditional French winter dishes are more common than summer ones. The specialty of the most popular French foods is that they are cooked with quality products, thanks to the know-how of the artisans of the different French regions. France is full of regional specialties that delight food lovers.
This is perhaps one of the most known traditional French winter dishes. Cassoulet is a regional specialty of Languedoc. It is a stew of white beans, accompanied by pork and duck confit, all simmered in goose or duck fat. A treat to enjoy if you are not on a diet!
This typical French dish is a stew of beef, carrots and mushrooms cooked slowly in red Burgundy wine. It is a gourmet dish, which is served with a side of potatoes, French fries or mashed potatoes. This Burgundy specialty is a traditional French family dish that is often cooked when hosting people.
The Limousin potato pie
This is a flaky pie made with potatoes and onions minced meat can be added for a more complete meal. Limousin is a land rich in culinary specialties. In fact, if you are interested in discovering this region, I invite you to reserve your place for the next French language immersion stay in Limousin. In addition to the many activities and visits, you will be able to enjoy authentic French food.
Le pot au feu
Le pot au feu is one of the favorite dishes of the French people. It is a slow-cooked beef stew in a vegetable broth with cabbage, carrots, onions, leeks and celery. It is one of the most popular French dishes and is eaten widely in winter. It can be served with coarse salt, mustard and small pickles.
The garnished sauerkraut of Alsace
This is the most recognized dish of Alsace. It is composed of sauerkraut cooked in white wine (cabbage cut into strips and fermented), meat and potatoes. There is a variant in which the meat is replaced by fish which is called “sauerkraut of the sea“. It is a hearty dish that is eaten widely in winter.
The Parmentier pie
The “hachis Parmentier” is an easy French dish made of mashed potatoes and minced beef. It is often served with a green salad. This gratin is named after Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813), an apothecary who popularized potatoes in France as a way out of the famine. Today, this quick dish is eaten on weeknights and weekends.
French winter dish par excellence, the tartiflette is well known by gourmets. Originally from Savoie, this typical French dish is made of potatoes, bacon, cream, onions and reblochon cheese. For more richness, the reblochon is grated. To bring a little freshness to this very heavy dish, the French eat it with a crunchy green salad.
Part 2: The tastiest French summer dishes
As we have seen, good French cuisine is rich in cream, butter, cheese, and sauce. The French culinary repertoire offers many winter dishes. But it is possible to enjoy delicious French food in summer other than mixed salads. You just have to choose seasonal vegetables to enjoy small meals in summer.
Summer is the season for peppers. It is also the right season to make a ‘poulet basquaise’! This dish typical of the Basque country is made up of soft chicken simmered in a mixture of peppers cut into strips, Bayonne ham, tomatoes and Espelette pepper. A French dish that has the warmth of summer.
The Niçoise ratatouille
For the vegetable lovers, the Niçoise ratatouille will delight you! It is a vegetable dish made of tomatoes, eggplants, onions, zucchinis, peppers, garlic, all cooked in olive oil. This French delicacy can be eaten on its own or with a meat side dish.
No, it is not a steak with a tartar sauce! Steak tartare is one of the typical French bistro foods. It can be found on almost every menu! It is a preparation based on raw beef coarsely chopped with a knife and mixed with onion, spices and condiments. It is usually served with an egg on top, and accompanied by French fries.
These are the 10 most famous French dishes. I invite you to try these dishes to get an idea of what French cooking is all about. You want to read this article in French, check here: Top 10 des plats français les plus connus. Or you would you like to enjoy this authentic French food while visiting Limousin and improving your French language skills? Book your French language immersion stay in Limousin now! On the program: French language workshops, taste of local French culture, guided tour and good humor!
Thank you for reading my article! I hope you enjoyed discovering the 10 most popular French dishes. Would you like to ask me a question? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment on the Your online French teacher blog!
Élodie – Your online French teacher
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Linguistic stay in France – Limousin – Nouvelle-Aquitaine