Traditional French Food You Must Try
Although there are many delicious delicacies to try in France (not to mention the wines) there are a few distinctive traditional french dishes which are so “French” that you really shouldn’t leave France without tasting them! This is my most favorite French Cookbook by Miss Julia Childs
This is in essence goose liver pate, the texture is soft and creamy and although it can look unappetizing the taste is divine.
Foie Gras is incorporated into several dishes it can be pan-seared, roasted or it can be eaten on its own or with toasted French bread.
Sometimes Foie Gras is flavored with liquor, fruit or fried onions. During the Christmas season you’ll find it on a lot of menus and it is generally considered a gourmet-type delicacy often served with truffles.
The most well known traditional French food has to be the baguette, many imagine Frenchmen cycling along wearing a beret and with a baguette in the bicycle basket! Well you may just see this image on a trip to France.
Try buying a freshly baked baguette and pairing it with good French cheese and wine – simple and delicious. French bread can be eaten as a simple meal or accompanying any meal to soak up the gravy and wipe your plate clean.
Apart from the French baguette there are other types of French bread that should be tried and of course the delicious pastries like the French croissant.
Although some may turn their noses up at this uniquely French treat escargot or snails are delicious.
Served as an appetizer, the mollusks are often part of a gourmet menu. They are usually taken out of the shell to be cooked with garlic and butter then returned to the shell with generous amounts of butter and garlic and served to the diner.
The diners are given special tongs to grip the shells while digging out the snails with a small fork.
Just like the wine, every region of France has its own famous cheese. Cheese is a standard part of most traditional French food. A cheese platter can be served as a final dish of a multi-course meal or as a small meal in itself.
The range of French cheeses is vast with about 400 unique kinds including Brie de Meaux, Roquefort, Camembert, Comte and Chevre.
When in France either order a cheese platter in a restaurant or visit the local fromagerie to select a few samples. The local markets are also a great place to try French cheeses.
Cuisses de Grenouilles
If you’re really adventurous and want to try something uniquely traditional French then the ultimate traditional French food is frog’s legs!
The taste can be compared to salty chicken with the consistency of white fish. They are usually prepared with salt, pepper and lemon juice then crumbed and fried in olive oil.
If you try frog’s legs “a la Parisienne” they’ll be served with an onion cream sauce. The legs are quite healthy and are high protein and low fat!
Where To Shop in Paris
There has never been a better time to book cheap flights to Paris, especially if you’re looking to combine fantastic shopping with a touch of celebrity spotting.
Actor Ben Affleck was spotted in the city in mid-October, promoting his latest movie. While there he managed to squeeze in some retail therapy with his wife, Jennifer Garner, stocking up on designer fashions at Chanel and Dior before visiting the upmarket Bonpoint department store for haute couture kids clothes.
As the designer capital of the world, Paris is perfect for a weekend shopping break.
Those with money to burn head for the Louvre-Tuileries district and the designer stores of Rue Saint-Honoré, Place Vendome and Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Here, classic designers like Hermès, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent rub shoulders with innovative independents like N15 and Colette, who sell chic housewares alongside high-end fashion, perfumery and cosmetics.
A Plethora of Shops to Choose From
More top designers line the Avenue Montaigne and Avenue des Champs-Elysées, including the Chanel and Dior stores favoured by Ben and Jennifer. The area is also home to a number of upmarket chain stores such as Zara.
Further east, but still on the sophisticated Right Bank, lies the historic district of Le Marais. Dating back to the 13th century, the aristocratic heart of the city offers a totally unique shopping experience.
Visit the Place des Vosges for antiques and artworks, or the trendy Rue de Charonne for hand-crafted leather goods and knitwear.
The boutiques of Rue des Rosiers and Rue des Francs-Bourgeois showcase the next generation of young French designers, while wallpaper, ceramics and other housewares can be found on the Rue de Poitou.
The chic Boulevard Beaumarchais is home to gleaming new boutiques and concept stores, while the Rue Vieille du Temple offers a host of places to eat and drink.
Between the Rue Vieille du Temple and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées lies Les Halles, which was once the city’s marketplace. Today, it is a huge underground shopping mall, which together with the above-ground Rue de Rivoli houses numerous major chain stores.
Saint-Ouen, to the north, is where you’ll find the largest of the famous Parisian flea markets, while prestigious Art Nouveau department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps can be found on Boulevard Haussmann, 3 km to the west.
So far, we’ve only mentioned the stores of the Right Bank, but cross the river and you will find the Bohemian shops and cafes of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a newly-opened Christian Lacroix and even a Bon Marche department store.