Right from a very young age, children in France are taught how to appreciate good food and are surely proud of the culinary reputation that the country holds throughout the world. French food has a culinary tradition that dates back to several centuries ago. The modern French food is an outcome of many centuries of evolution, perfection and a lot of research. It forms an integral part of their beautiful culture. The chefs from France are also known to be one of the most creative chefs in the world; they are known for their ability to satisfy some of the most discriminating types of tastes with some of the most authentic French dishes.
Inevitable Italian Influence
Most of the success and popularity of French food is owed to Catherine de Medicis. She was a Queen who came to power in the year 1533, when she travelled to France from Italy; she brought her own entourage of chefs from Florence. At that period of time, Italian chefs were known to be more experienced than French chefs. They brought in their own techniques and methods that were modified to go well with the food products of France. This kind of cooking was quickly picked up by the people of France and ever since, the country’s influence on French food and practically never ceased.
The Vast region-based variety
The kind of food eaten varies in a big way based on the geographical regions. It can be as varied as very light on the tummy food from the Mediterranean regions of Provence to heavy game-based cuisine of Normandy. The French don’t seem to be too fond of snacks between meals. They have 3 satisfying meals a day. The breakfasts are usually light with just coffee and bread and is followed by a huge lunch and an ever larger dinner (four course or more). Here’s a gist of the different kinds of cuisines of France.
- Normandy: This region is popular for its great apples and dairy products. This is where the famous Camembert cheese originates. It was first made in the village of Camembert and is an exclusive product of this region. Apples here are not just used in dessert but also in alcohols and cocktails. Calvados is an extra strong brandy made from apples. The most popular beverage that this region is known for is Pommeau de Normandie.
- Provence: The sunny and warm weather of Provence helps with the production of good vegetables and best quality fruits that have a wonderful aroma. Typical ingredients of the cuisine from Provence will have herbes de province, garlic and olive oil. Tatatoulle is a popular vegetable stew which is made of olive oil, onions, zucchinis, tomatoes and pepper. Salade Nicoise is another popular dish which contains tomatoes, tuna, lettuce, black olives, anchovies, eggs and green beans.
- Southwest France: The cuisine from this part of the country is made of produits du terroir. Truffles are found all over this portion and the most popular of the varieties are the black truffles which are underground mushrooms. These are rare and are a delicacy. They are cooked with different spices and sauces that can be very aromatic and tasty.
- Lyon: This place is the uncrowned gastronomic capital of the country. The city has produces many renowned chefs like Léon de Lyon, Pierre Orsi, Paul Bocuse, etc. It is also home to some of the finest cooking institutes in the world.
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There are many more minor varieties that are much adored by the French people. A visit to a good French restaurant like Le Bouchon restaurant, Sherbrooke is a must for a serious learner.