France is the first country in the world to got its food classified as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. French people have turned eating into art and something way more important than just satisfying a need. While tourists usually want to try French cuisine classics such as onion soup, snails and frog legs, French people don’t commonly eat these types of dishes. Here are some of the best French dishes that people actually eat frequently in France:
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If there’s one famous French dish it would be Ratatouille. Made of eggplants, zucchinis, tomatoes, onions and olive oil, this southern dish is a must-try. In restaurants, it’s usually served as a side dish. It goes well with fish or chicken. You can also buy a caned one in an organic supermarket, they’re generally delicious.
Another southern dish, petits farçis are vegetables (tomatoes, pepper, and zucchinis) stuffed with ground meat (beef or pork or a mix of the two). They’re usually served with rice. It’s common around Nice. If you’re in Paris look for a Mediterranean restaurant, otherwise you can easily find its counterpart: the Tomate Farçie.
Galette au Sarrasin (buckwheat crepe)
Traditionally from Brittany, you’ll find Creperies Bretonnes everywhere in France. Made with buckwheat flour, these crepes are super tasty and are usually eaten with ham, eggs, and cheese, but it comes in all kinds of flavors. You typically accompany it with apple cider (the fermented one), and you can have a regular crepe for dessert.
You’ll notice in France most sauces and stew are made with wine, Moules marinières are no exception. These mussels are cooked in cream and white wine, delicious. It usually is accompanied by fries. It’s okay to eat for children too as, when cooked, the alcohol evaporates, and only the taste remains.
Cheese, cheese, and cheese (with some bread)
You cannot visit France without trying the cheese, and the stinkier, the better. Almost every restaurant will have a cheese platter. Cheese is usually eaten after the main course and before dessert, or instead of dessert. I would advise to buy it directly at a cheese shop or the market, you’ll get the best ones there, and the staff can help you choose and tell you what wine is best for each type of cheese. For the bread, head for the bakery, skip the traditional baguette and try something different, there are tons of different kinds of bread way better than baguettes. If you’re on a budget, buy the cheese at the supermarket (but not the bread).
Quiche Lorraine is another French classic, made with onions, bacon, and cheese; this quiche is super tasty. As its name states, this dish comes from Loraine, in Eastern France, but is widely popular across France. Another great quiche you can try is the quiche provençale, there are a lot of different ways to make it, but it’s usually vegetarian and delicious.
Another unmissable dish, foie gras is a must try. Made of duck or goose liver, French people usually eat foie gras during festive events, especially around Christmas. You can have it as a starter at the restaurant, or buy it at the supermarket (don’t get the cheapest one, try to find one with the “Label Rouge” tag), get some onion jam to get with it and ask at the bakery the best bread for foie gras.
Bouillabaisse is a fish and seafood soup that originated from Marseille, in southern France. You can find it in most Mediterranean style restaurants. It’s usually served hot and as the main course. But traditionally, you would eat the broth at the starter then, be served the fish with potatoes as a main.
Raw meat can be seen as gross by many, but beef tartare is just so good. At the restaurant, you usually have two options: prepared or unprepared (sometimes they also have Italian style tartare). Unprepared, they bring the meat and everything you need to flavor it yourself. French style beef tartare includes onions, capers, pickles, parsley, egg yolks, olive oil, lemon, and mustard. It’s usually served with French fries.
What would be an aperitif without Saucisson? Saucisson is a type of dry sausage and comes in tons of different flavors. You can eat it alone or with some bread. You’ll find the best ones at the deli shops or the market. You can also find some at the supermarket (look for the Label Rouge tag).
Magret de canard
Breast duck is loved by French people, according to recent polls, it makes the top 10 of French people favorite food. The best way to eat it is pink. It’s usually served with something sweet like figs or apple.
If you’re visiting Paris, you should take a food tour. The guide will know all of the best places to try authentic French food, and they can arrange a tasting in local shops. You can also check out the best places to eat in Paris.
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