French food is world famous for its usage of mild spices and excellent presentation. Cooking food, for the French, is an art that is well known across the globe. The use of mild spices, cheese and wine is reminiscent of France’s rich culture and heritage. French foods use a lot of butter and real cream. The way French cuisine has evolved can be gauged from the fact that the country saw centuries of socio-political changes or evolution with the cuisine. French food ingredients and dishes vary by region and regional dishes have become national.
Classification of French Cuisine
French cuisine can be broadly classified into following categories:
Historical and Cultural Influences on French Cuisine
France has common borders with several countries including Germany and Italy, so cultural and culinary influences are quite obvious. The foods in the French region of Alsace are identical to Germany’s dishes. The southern region of France has a large North African immigrant population, so the cuisine here is highly influenced by North African cuisines.
Commonly Used Ingredients and Cooking Methods of French Cuisine
Commonly used ingredients in various French dishes include lavender, thyme, sage, basil, fennel, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. Apart from sausages, honey is a prized ingredient in the region. Meats that are generally consumed include lamb, beef, and chicken.
Globally Popular French Recipes
• Steak frites (steak and fries) – This is a popular dish in which steaks are served with fries. Lettuce leaf garnishing is an optional inclusion. The dish is served with béarnaise sauce, mayonnaise, or mustard.
Traditional French Recipes
France has many regions and the traditional food varies accordingly. Each district in France is known for its unique flavor. Traditional French foods that are commonly served include Confit de Canard, a beautifully preserved duck and fish stew from Britanny.
Gourmet French Recipes
The word gourmet has come from France and French food is all about such courses. A typical gourmet French food would include mouthwatering delicacies such as: