January 12, 2011

Food Adventures In France

Aside from the bustling capital of Paris, the Mediterranean beaches to the south, and the wine country, nothing is more characteristic of the country than the French cuisine.  There are hundreds of flights to Paris available from international airports worldwide so as you might expect, the country is easily accessible.  However, if you really want to enjoy yourself while visiting the country, then take advantage of the many food adventures in France.

Quintessential French food traditions

France has an international reputation for offering some of the finest dining in the world and there are many places where you can experience the best cuisine that the country has to offer.  Check with the locals or any of the staff members at your hotel for recommendations as well as the areas to avoid.

The Baguette – this thin loaf of crusty bread is by far the mainstay of every French meal.  The locals will oftentimes serve it topped with melted cheese, as a sandwich, or as la Raclette which is a grilled dish that is very popular amongst the locals.

Other French favorites include the following:

  • Croque-Monsieur – ham and cheese sandwich
  • Mousse au Chocolat – chocolate mousse
  • Quiche au Saumon et Crevettes – salmon and shrimp quiche
  • Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée – French onion soup

There are several other snacks that are recommended, but the true favorites and the ones you should experience are the ones mentioned above.

Must-try foods

Once you have sampled your share of the dishes above, we have a few more recommendations for must-try foods, depending on what region of France that you are visiting.

  • Aligot (Auvergne Region) – pureed potatoes mixed with melted cheese
  • Boeuf Bourguignon (Burgundy Region) – slow cooked beef with gravy
  • Confit de Canard (Perigord region) – a beautifully prepared plate of duck found mostly in the northern France known as the Aquitaine Region
  • Cotriade – the Brittany Region’s popular fish stew
  • Foie Gras (Landes Region) – duck or goose liver that is very commonly found in most supermarkets and a bit pricey
  • Fondue Bourguignonne (Burgundy Region) – beef chunks boiled in oil and served with a variety of sauces
  • Tartiflette (Savoie Region) – bacon or pork and potatoes served with Reblochon cheese

Be sure when you are visiting any of these areas mentioned above that you try some of these favorite regional dishes.

Famous restaurants

But if you really want to experience all that French cuisine has to offer then there is only one way to do that. The French are famous for their restaurants so make sure you don’t miss out.  Here are some very popular ones you should consider for a great dining experience:

  • Maxim’s (Paris) – the locals and many prior visitors will oftentimes tell you that it just doesn’t get any better than Maxim’s
  • Le Chantecler (Nice) – considered one of the most famous restaurants along the French Riviera, the restaurant offers a revolving menu so that seasonal dishes are never missed and the food is always fresh
  • Les Trois Marches (Versailles) – being located near the Palace of Versailles, it should come as no surprise why so many locals and international visitors eat here because it is a cozy dining venue that appeals to romantic couples

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