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French National Foods

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French National Foods

The French cuisine and the French national dishes have developed from centuries of social and political change. French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine.


There are many dishes considered part of French cuisine. Some dishes are considered universally accepted as part of the French national foods, while others fit into a unique regional cuisine.


Breads, cheeses, and wines are a major part of the French cuisine, playing different roles regionally and nationally, with many variations and laws.


List of French National Foods


Pot-au-feu is a French beef stew. Which is "the quintessence of French family cuisine and is the most celebrated dish in France. It honors the tables of the both the rich and poor. There are variations as to the cuts of beef, vegetables and spices involved, but a typical pot-au-feu contains beef or sausages, usually some kind of cartilaginous meat, such as oxtail and marrowbone, root vegetables and bouquet garni.


Blanquette de veau is a French veal ragout or stew in which pieces of veal  and vegetables are cooked  in a sauce of broth, flour, butter, cream, and/or egg yolk. Mushrooms, rice, pasta and potatoes commonly accompany this dish, which is served hot.


Coq au vin  or 'rooster in wine' is a French national dish, a braise of chicken cooked with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. A similar beef stew is Boeuf Bourguignon


French Foi GrasFoie gras  is  made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened by force-feeding. Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté, and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak. French law states that "Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France.”


Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France containing pork, sausages, goose or duck and and white haricot beans cooked in a cassole or earthenware pot.


Quiche Lorraine is a French National dish, an open pie made with eggs and milk or cream, bacon and cheese in a pastry crust.


Escargots de Bourgogne  or snails baked in their shells with parsley butter is a traditional French national dish.


Bouillabaisse  is a Provençal traditional stew of mixed Mediterranean fish, tomatoes, and herbs that is symbolic of this region of France.


Ratatouille is a vegetable stew with olive oil, aubergine, courgette, bell pepper, tomato, onion and garlic. It is a traditional French Provençal dish, originating in Nice.


Steak frites  or steak and fries and Poulet frites or chicken and fries is a popular dish served in French  Brasseries.


Crepes are considered a French national food. The thin soft pancakes are served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar to flambéed crêpes Suzette or elaborate savory fillings, served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as desserts.


French National desserts are:

Mousse au chocolat or chocolate mousse

Crème Brûlée  also known as burnt cream is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel.


Mille-feuilles the French pastry of layered puff pastry and pastry cream or crème pâtissière

Tarte Tatin or the famous caramelized apple tart

Éclairs  or the choux dough fingers filled with a cream and topped with icing.




There are several dishes that are considered part of the French national foods. Many come from haute cuisine or Nouvelle cuisine in the fine-dining realm, but others are regional dishes that have become a norm across the country.

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French National Foods