Sophisticated and a little retro, Unesco heritage since 2010, French cuisine is one of the most renowned . The most famous chefs are precisely French, authors and proponents of succulent recipes and gastronomic trends, which have become cult not only in French cooking schools, but all over the world. Accompanied by refined wines, the French cuisine is divided into delicious dishes based on meat or fish, creamy and buttery sauces, signature dishes, greedy desserts or simple and unmistakable hot soups . A real institution, which since 2011 is celebrated every year (the third weekend of September, throughout the country), with the famous French Gastronomy Festival.
Between laid tables and the refined art of French tasting, we will “serve” you the most famous and appetizing dishes. Here ‘s what you eat in France : typical dishes, tips and curiosities about French cuisine. Bon appetit!

10 Typical French dishes

1 – Escargot de Bourgogne
Photo of DanceWithNyanko. The most famous and discussed dish of the entire French gastronomy: the very famous escargot de Bourgogne.
Defining it as a snail dish is very simplistic, for what has instead become a cornerstone of this sophisticated and refined cuisine .
Fleshy snails (land snails), flavored with garlic, butter and parsley, served as a gourmet dish in the most refined restaurants. A flavor for true connoisseurs … but not only. Seeing is believing!

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €13.00
  • Main ingredients : land snails, garlic, butter and parsley

2 – Omelette

A sort of omelette, made with eggs and cheese : a very simple dish, which has become in effect one of the emblems of French cuisine.
Golden and slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside, Omelette expresses the mastery of French chefs. Delicate in preparation (to obtain the consistency described above), all the steps of the ancient and original recipe must be followed to the letter .
The omelette is now also served in different variations , which include the addition of wild herbs, champignon mushrooms or ham.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : €10.00
  • Main ingredients : eggs, cheese, filling of your choice

3 – Soupe a l’oignon
Photo by Ludovic Peron. Whether you choose a bistro or a starred restaurant, you cannot give up a steaming Soupe a l’Oignon: a very tempting onion soup .
Creamy and with a characteristic aroma, this soup based on onions, enriched with flour (and this is the ingredient that makes it creamy) and wine, is a strong dish in every season . Served with golden and crunchy croutons and sprinkled with Gruyere cheese (one of the most famous French cheeses), it is the cornerstone of the oldest French cuisine.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €10.00
  • Main ingredients : onions, meat broth, white wine, flour, croutons and Gruyere cheese

4 – Boeuf Bourguignon
Photo of DC. A meat-based dish, beef morsels are usually used, very similar to a stew , which bears the name of the renowned wines in which the meat is cooked: the typical reds of Burgundy, a historic region of France.
Fragrant and substantial, accompanied by vegetables browned in oil and butter, it is also good as a single dish , as very often you will see it served with a side of pasta. Absolutely to try!

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €15.00
  • Main ingredients : beef morsels, browned vegetables, red wine, oil, butter

5 – Ratatouille
Originally from Nice, this vegetarian and colorful dish is another of the most traditional .

Existing in two different versions , which respectively provide for the addition of tomato sauce or vinaigrette (an emulsion based on salt, oil and vinegar), Ratatouille and a mixture of vegetables , usually aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and peppers, cut into cubes and stew together with the aromatic herbs. Very similar in flavor to Sicilian caponata, Ratatouille is the most eaten dish in Provence .

SEE ALSO : 10 Things to eat in Nice and where

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €14.50
  • Main ingredients : aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and peppers + tomato sauce or vianaigrette

6 – Vichyssoise
Source: wikimedia commons. Usually served in elegant French porcelain, the Vichyssoise is a cold velvety soup , based on onions, leeks, potatoes, cream and chicken broth, invented by the French chef Louis Diat, back in 1917.
The soup is dedicated to the city of Vichy and and inspired by poor ingredients , which give it a simple and delicate flavor on the palate.
As elegant as the name it bears, Vichyssoise is a bon ton dish and one of the oldest and most traditional flavors of France.

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €14.00
  • Main ingredients : onions, leeks, potatoes, cream, chicken broth

7 – Bouillabaisse
Another Provencal dish, this time dedicated to the flavors of the sea. Bouillabaisse is in fact an exquisite fish soup , typical of the city of Marseille.
Prepared by fishermen directly on the beach as early as 1700, the Boullabaisse is now considered one of the most elegant French dishes and exists in many variations , which involve the use of different fish or crustaceans.
In 1980 the Marseillais even deposited the original recipe for the soup , however even today the Boullabaisse continues to inspire imagination; and in France, if not all the existing versions, you will have to try at least one.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things to eat in Marseille and where

  • Recommended for : lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €20.00
  • Main ingredients : various fish and / or shellfish, oil, parsley, garlic, saffron, fennel, orange peel, croutons

8 – Pate en croute
Certainly one of the most elegant and delicious dishes of the entire French cuisine: a buttery and crunchy shell of puff pastry and stuffed with meat pate , usually using chicken livers, pork loin or fillet, smoked bacon and cooked ham.
A real delicacy, usually served as a second course, which was usually presented on the occasion of royal dinners at the court of Louis XVI.
Worthy of the noblest palates, pate en croute is still one of the most popular traditional dishes today . It will be really perfect if accompanied with eggs and vegetables.

  • Recommended for : appetizer, lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €15.00)
  • Main ingredients : puff pastry, meat pate

9 – Foie Gras

The most famous dish of French haute cuisine : Foie Gras. Duck or goose, it is liver marinated in Port and Cognac and then left to cook in a bain-marie.
Considered a holiday dish , and usually one of the courses of Christmas and New Year’s dinners, today it has been a bit cleared through customs and can be easily found even within more homemade menus.

Fried, roasted or smoked over wood , Foie Gras is a must-try flavor on a trip to France.

  • Recommended for : appetizer, lunch, dinner
  • Average cost : €20.00
  • Main ingredients : duck or goose liver, Port wine, Cognac

10 – Quiche Lorrain
From Lorraine comes the most famous French quiche: Quiche Lorraine, a brisee pastry shell filled with creme fraiche (sour cream), eggs, cheese and bacon . The goodness of this dish is truly unparalleled and just think that the French have even dedicated a party to this tasty and creamy cake , which falls every year on May 20th.
It has therefore become part of the French gastronomic tradition par excellence, and a highly recommended dish for lunch or dinner , or even simply as a substantial snack, between one monument and another.

  • Recommended for : always
  • Average cost : €10.00
  • Main ingredients : brisee dough, sour cream, eggs, cheese, bacon

Typical French desserts
Born from small mistakes and sophisticated recipes, French desserts really deserve a separate mention. Between very soft choux pastry (at the base of many preparations), caramelized fruit and soft almond or meringue sweets, French pastries and a truly curious and almost fairytale world . Elegant and refined, French desserts are ancient and very greedy : whether it is a single portion or a whole cake, a marzipan cake or a stuffed beignet.
So here is a small “narrated tour”, one of the most important sugar specialties from beyond the Alps.

1 – Saint’Honore
Created by chef Chiboust in the very distant 1846, the Saint’Honore cake is perhaps the most famous of the entire French pastry. Sumptuous and elegant, it is a sponge cake and custard , decorated with wisps of whipped cream and caramel beignets.
Beautiful to look at and above all good to eat, the Saint’Honore stands in the windows of the most elegant patisseries in Paris and is the cake for special occasions. To try without fail!

  • Average cost : €7.50
  • Main ingredients : sponge cake, custard, whipped cream, beignets, caramel sauce

2 – Macarons
Raise your hand if you don’t know macarons. Colorful and with the most varied tastes , these very French biscuits are real bon bon and it is said that they were presented in France by the cook of Caterina de Medici, in 1533.
They are composed of two small colored meringues, held together by a creamy filling of chocolate, fruit or even flowers (violet macarons are truly exceptional). Very bon ton, they are small gastronomic souvenirs, which tell the sweet France in a single bite.

  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : meringue, filled with jam or flavored cream

3 – Paris Brest
Photo of Deror_avi. This dessert has a very particular history, in fact it takes its name from a cycling race , which took place precisely from Paris to Brest, and to which in 1891 the pastry chef Louis Durand dedicated this cake, which from the donut shape recalls the appearance of a bicycle wheel.
Composed of choux pastry filled with butter cream and decorated with almond and sugar flakes , the Paris Brest became famous throughout France and is today one of the most renowned and sought after cakes.

  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : choux pastry donut, butter cream, almonds, sugar

4 – Madeleine
Nominated by Marcel Proust in one of the most famous passages of “On Swann’s side”, in which the author evoked an old memory linked to these sweets and with it the time now lost, the Madeleines are delicious soft sweets, with a curious shell shape , flavored with almonds.
There was no cookie jar of the most elegant French mesdemoiselles of the past that did not contain freshly baked Madeleines. Even today , French pastry shops prepare them in large quantities , and eating them always evokes the elegance of the most ancient and famous France.

  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : flour, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, almond flavor

5 – Croquembouche
Invented during the early 19th century by chef Marie-Antoine Careme, Croquembouche is one of the most delicious French desserts .
Scenic and almost sculptural, the Croquembouche is exactly a pyramid of beignets filled with Chantilly cream or whipped cream , held together by delicious caramel strands. The name is an onomatopoeia and literally means “crunchy in the mouth”; the effect at the first bite and in fact just that. Extremely elegant, and still considered today in France as the dessert for special occasions .

  • Average cost : € 12.00 (four beignets)
  • Main ingredients : beignets, Chantilly cream or whipped cream, caramel

6 – Savarin
Brandon Daniel’s photo. Typical of the Alsace-Lorraine region , the Savarin was dedicated to the French gastronome Anthelme Brillat-Savarin by the confectioner brothers Julien, in 1844.

Very similar to the Neapolitan baba , the Savarin has the same leavened dough, but in the shape of a donut. In the classic and original version, Savarin is also soaked with a liqueur-based syrup , usually Grand Marnier or rum, just like baba. The decorations vary from cream to cream, from chocolate to candied fruit. Baba lovers (but not only them) will certainly not be able not to taste this distant “French cousin”.

  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : flour, eggs, butter, yeast, honey, liquor bath

7 – Creme Brulee
Documented for the first time in a French cookery book dating back to the seventeenth century, the creme brulee is a sophisticated spoon dessert , obtained from a delicate vanilla cream, cooked in a bain-marie, and from an inviting crust of sugar that it covers its surface, usually obtained with the flame of a torch or with the last grill cooking of the oven.
The curiosity linked to the way of eating creme brulee lies precisely in having to break this crust with a teaspoon and then find the soft heart of cream . Existing today in different variations, from mint to lavender, from rosemary to gorgonzola, the classic vanilla creme brulee remains unsurpassed.

  • Average cost : €4.00
  • Main ingredients : vanilla cream, caramelized sugar

8 – Crepe Suzette
We are in Montecarlo, at the Cafe de Paris, and it is 1895. The young apprentice chef Henry Charpentier has just mistakenly poured the liqueur into the pan of crepe , which in contact with the gas ignited, flaming the crepe and … creating a masterpiece: this is how Crepe Suzette is born. According to a legend, Suzette was the companion of the prince who I really appreciate this new and flamboyant version of the crepe.
Crepe Suzette are today a symbol of French pastry ; they are served soaked in a syrup based on caramelized sugar, tangerine or orange syrup and Grand Marnier, and then cooked flambe.

SEE ALSO : 10 Things to eat in Montecarlo and where

  • Average cost : €4.00
  • Main ingredients : crepe, sugar syrup and liqueur

9 – Tarte Tatin
Even the Tarte Tatin was born from a mistake : it is said that Stephanie Tatin at the end of the nineteenth century was preparing an apple pie, but forgetting the layer of brise dough and therefore leaving only the fruit with butter and caramelized in the oven. sugar. When she noticed the forgetfulness, she added a disk of dough on the apples and once the cake was cooked and turned upside down she had just created the Tarte Tatin: the most famous reverse apple pie in the world .
Very famous today in French pastry, and very curious in its presentation and also very greedy. It exists in different variants, which respectively provide brise or puff pastry and also different types of fruit, the important thing is that the cake is served upside down.

  • Average cost : €7.50
  • Main ingredients : apples, butter, sugar, puff pastry or brise

10 – Clafoutis with cherries

A poor dessert typical of the Limousine area , which the farmers prepared with whole wild cherries.
Creamy and delicious, it looks like a cake made with eggs, milk, sugar and flour, filled with cherries and covered with a crust of sugar . Clafoutis with cherries still remains today in France as a traditional dessert, however it also exists in more modern variants , which involve the use of raspberries, apricots, peaches, apples, pears and grapes.

  • Average cost : €6.00
  • Main ingredients : eggs, milk, flour, sugar, cherries

Drinks and liqueurs: what you drink in France
Among liqueurs, wines and spirits, that of French drinks and another small world to be discovered . Fruity flavors and woody liqueurs, precious elixirs aged in oak barrels in small towns of Provence or in ancient cellars of Paris. Another literary tour to discover the finest French liqueurs and wines. To savor and enhance all that we have told you so far, here is a small carrelata with the five most important and precious drinks in France.

1 – Champagne
Fine and light, champagne is one of the oldest French wines , the invention of which is currently attributed to the Benedictine abbot Dom Pierre Perignon.

Characterized by the sparkling froth , which distinguishes it from any other still wine, Champagne is still today one of the most famous French alcoholic beverages in the world. Perfect to accompany Foie Gras.

Average cost : € 55.00

2 – Calvados

Apple cider and pear distillate , one of the most famous and appreciated in the world and produced only in the French department of Lower Normandy. Calvados is now protected by the controlled designation of origin AOC (Appellation d’origine controlee). The typical Norman tradition provides that Calvados is drunk halfway through a meal.

Average cost : € 8.50

3 – Cognac
Cognac is a famous distillate of French wine, also protected by the AOC denomination of controlled origin.
It is produced in the towns of Cognac and Segonzac; the particularity of its flavor depends on the wood of the Limousine woods , with which the barrels in which it is aged are built. Cognac goes very well with the small delicacies of French pastry.

Average cost : € 70.00

4 – Cointreau
Produced in Saint-Barthelemy-d’Anjou, Cointreau is a French liqueur dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century. With its characteristic orange flavor, it is stored in iconic amber bottles. To drink straight or with ice.

Average cost : € 20.00

5 – Pastis de Marseille

The typical French aperitif , with a very fragrant aroma of anise. Originally from Marseille, it was born in 1915 and is still the most requested cocktail in sophisticated French cafes today. With a very white milk color, it should be drunk cold, accompanied by ice cubes.

Average cost : € 10.00

Tips and curiosities: where to eat and what to avoid
The French gastronomic one is a journey that must be made twice: yes to the bistros, where the traditional French ancient cuisine that we have just told you still maintains simplicity and authenticity . Double yes to a cafe with a retro soul and even a little bohemian, for desserts that respect the originality of the past.

The markets are still to be discovered ; and finally yes to small concessions also ina starred restaurant : for the same ancient flavors adapted to the modern and certainly surprising. Because French cuisine is a cuisine that must be experienced with total curiosity.

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