French Food

French Cuisine is Divine

French cuisine is characterized by its extreme diversity. In that, it can only be compared to Chinese cuisine or the cuisine of India.

Traditionally, each region of France has their own distinctive cuisine:

  • Cuisine from northwest France uses butter, cream (crème fraiche), and apples;
  • Cuisine from northeastern France is reminiscent of German cuisine and uses lard, sausages, beer and sauerkraut;
  • Cuisine from southwest France uses duck fat, foie gras, porcini mushrooms (cèpes), and gizzards;
  • Provençal cuisine (from the southeast) favors olive oil, herbs, and tomatoes.

Besides these four general areas, there are many more local cuisines, such as the Loire Valley cuisine famous for its delicate dishes of fresh water fish and Loire Valley white wines, the Basque cuisine famous for its use of tomatoes and chili, or the cuisine of Roussillon akin to Catalonian cuisine.

With the movements of population of contemporary life, such regional differences are less noticeable than they used to be, but they are still clearly marked, and one traveling across France will notice significant changes in the ways of cooking and the dishes served.

Moreover, recent focus of French consumers on local, countryside food products (produits du terroir) means that the regional cuisines are experiencing a strong revival in the early 21st century.

“French cuisine”

What is known outside of France as “French cuisine” is the elaborated cuisine of the higher classes of Paris, served in restaurants for hefty prices. This cuisine is mostly influenced by the regional cuisines of northern France, with a marked touch of refinement.

It should be noted, however, that average French people do not eat or prepare this cuisine in their everyday life, and rather eat the regional cuisine of the region where they are located (or the region where they grew up).

French wine and French cheese are an integral part of French cuisine (both Paris high cuisine and regional cuisines), both as ingredients and accompaniments. France is known for its large ranges of wines and cheeses.

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