French food is one of the most popular culinary topics quite often and there are many reasons behind this. Some find it super extravagant and others – not really impressive and overrated. If you are like me and love the French culinary art, then certainly you will love most of the traditional French meals I would like to share with you today.
My favorite French foods
Traditional meals from French cuisine are plenty and here I only have time to share with you very few of them. French cuisine features many delicious main courses, desserts and appetizers from simple to complex.
Since France is a big country, there are many dishes considered part of the traditional cuisine. Some of them fit into unique regional cuisine, while others are considered universally accepted as part of the national cuisine.
Jambon-beurre, Hachis Parmentier and the classic Crème brûlée are only a few from the enormous list of traditional French food recipes, and here I will present some of my favorite ones.
The French Onion soup: Soupe à L’oignon
I haven’t thought even for a minute, which dish to start with first. The French onion soup is something like a trademark of the French cuisine and there is simply no question about it.
Soupe à L’oignon is usually served as a starter, and it is a type of soup based on beef broth and caramelized onions. The version of this soup which is popular nowadays originates in Paris, France in the 18th century.
The French Onion soup is served gratinéed with croutons and cheese on top or a large piece of bread. An interesting fact is that the onion soups were favorite a long time ago. At least as far back as Roman times, but in the past, they were seen as food for poor people, as onions were easy to grow and plentiful.
If you would like to try something which you can’t find exactly everywhere but is still one of the traditional meals from French cuisine, then check this suggestion.
The original dish Chicken Marengo was named after the Battle of Marengo between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian troops in 1800.
This is another traditional French dish consisting of a chicken sautéed in oil with garlic and tomato, garnished with crayfish and fried eggs. Chicken Marengo is similar to Chicken à la Provençale, but with the addition of egg and crayfish, which are traditional to Chicken Marengo. However, it’s good to know that they are often omitted these days.
This meal is one of the authentic and traditional recipes in French cuisine, but you can find similar recipes in other countries as well.
The word “hachis” means a dish in which the ingredients are chopped or minced. For general, daily use of Hachis Parmentier is the French equivalent of cottage pie or shepherd’s pie. In the high-level cuisine, this is a dish made with baked mashed potato, combined with diced meat and sauce lyonnaise and served in the potato shells.
Hachis Parmentier is named after a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who as a vocal promoter of the potato as an edible crop for humans in France and throughout Europe.
The Absolute Veggie Stew: Ratatouille
One of the most popular French foods, not only in France. Have you watched that notorious film about the charming rat? If yes, then you probably know what is Ratatouille.
Ratatouille, sometimes also referred to as ratatouille niçoise is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, from Nice. Ratatouille translated to English means literally “to stir up”.
Ratatouille consists of tomatoes as a foundation for sautéed garlic, zucchini, eggplant, onions, bell peppers, fennel, marjoram, and basil, bay leaf and thyme.
Through the years this vegetarian meal became super favored and nowadays is one of the most popular traditional French foods, known worldwide.
The Cheesy Whipped Potatoes: Aligot
Aligot is a French dish from Southern France, and it is made from fresh cheese blended into mashed potatoes, dairy cream, butter, and some garlic.
This fondue-like dish is a traditional French meal in L’Aubrac region, southern France and one of the Flagship specialties of Aveyron.
Most useful for the preparation of Aligot is Cantal cheese, which is the easiest to find, but if you have the opportunity to find Laguiole, then you can try to resemble the original recipe for Aligot.
Slow cooked Casserole: Cassoulet
The dish Cassoulet is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the casserole. If you have a chance to visit France, this is one of the traditional French foods I warmly recommend you to try. Cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole which originates in the south of France.
The typical Cassoulet contains white beans, meat, and pork skin. The meat in Cassoulet is usually pork (in the form of pork sausages), but could also be duck or goose and sometimes mutton.
Chicken with Burgundy Wine: Coq au Vin
The word “coq” in French means “rooster” or “cock” and the word “vin” means “wine”. Coq au vin is chicken braised in red Burgundy wine, lardons, mushrooms and optionally garlic. This is again one of the typical and authentic French foods with tradition.
For this recipe, Burgundy wine is used but in many regions of France make variants using local varietals, such as coq au vin Jaune, Coq au Riesling, Coq au pourpre or Coq au Violet, Coq au Champagne, etc. depending on the wine with which the dish is prepared.
Snails with Butter: Escargots à la Bourguignonne
Are you keen to try something more extravagant? Maybe you know that ” Snails with butter” is one of the famous French appetizers and it is really delicious. This is of course if you like snails and French recipes.
Escargot in French means “edible snail”.Escargots à la Bourguignonne is a famous French delicacy consisting of cooked land snails and garlic butter with parsley.
This delicious traditional French food is served especially during Christmas Eve or festive family meals.
Trinity cream or Crème brûlée is one of my favorite French desserts and I am sure am not the only one who thinks this is one of the most amazing and popular deserts in the whole world. “Burn custard” is what crème brûlée means in French. If you know what is crema Catalana, then you maybe also know what is brûlée. Both creme Catalana and Crème brûlée are very similar and one of the similarities that both are almost equally delicious to me.
The history of this famous dessert is interesting but more important is its look and great taste. I am sure many of you have tried to make it because to prepare a delicious crème brûlée is not that difficult. Still, there are a few small tips you need to know.
I hope you will enjoy as much as I do these delicious French traditional foods. Now you can try and experiment to prepare by yourself some of them by using the links to their recipes. By the way, when you have time and want to learn more about French culture, check what are the most interesting things about France.