Top 5 French Dishes You Must Eat While Your Visit France
France is one of the best places to visit, from the famous Eiffel tower, the Alps Mountain Mediterranean beaches, alpine villages, and medieval cities. In addition, France is well known for world-class wine and delicious food.
With so much culture and history, the food in France varies from one region to the other. Here are some internationally famous dishes that you should try out on your next visit to France.
1. Steak Frittes
Steak Frittes means steak and fries. This is one of the most iconic meals in France made from deep-fried potato strips and pan-seared or grilled steak. The fries used range from thin factory-produced to hand-cut potato wedges. Often the locals fry the potatoes twice to achieve a golden color and a crispy texture.
Although the fries are the main accompaniment, the steak is the prime element of this dish. The type of cut used may vary from one restaurant to another. Traditionally, the locals used the round steak, the meat from the rear leg of the cow. Other commonly used cuts for this meal include:
• The rib eye cut
• Sirloin steak
• Filet Mignon
• Flank steak
• Hanger Steak
Customarily the locals cooked the meat to rare or medium-rare, fried on a pan with butter or olive oil. Today, some restaurants cook it on a barbeque or grill. You can eat steak frittes with or without sauce. Some typical sauces that accompany this meal include the béarnaise sauce, egg yolks, or hollandaise.
Some restaurants top the sauce on the steak over the whole meal or serve it on the side. For the toppings, the locals serve steak frittes with onions softened in butter or a pat of herb butter. French wine acts as a perfect accompaniment for this dish.
We suggest you to try Le Relais de L’entrecôte if you are looking for a restaurant to try the Steak Frittes !
2. Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf Bourguignon, means Burgundy beef. The meals originated from Burgundy, France, a region famous for wine and beef. Mainly the dish consists of beef slowly cooked in soft red wine until it achieves a soft texture and delicious savory taste. The locals obtain the meat from white cattle, famous for their tender meat. Some restaurants use the whole piece of beef, while others prefer smaller pieces. Either way, they consider marbled meat since the fat adds flavor to the meal.
While the beef cuts vary, the locals prefer using the rich Pinot Noir or Gamay wines. Other ingredients for this meal include mushroom, onions, garlic, thyme, carrots, bay leaves, and parsley.
Some restaurants even add potatoes and bacon lardon to improve the flavor. This dish may take two days to cook on a slow cooker. The longer the ingredients stew together, the better the Boeuf Bourguignon. Traditionally they served the meal with boiled potatoes. Today, some restaurants offer crusty bread, steamed rice, or buttered noodles as accompaniments.
Cassoulet was originally a simple farmhouse meal made of baked beans with meat and other locally available ingredients. The meals’ composition varies from one town to another. Initially, the locals prepare the meal by cooking pork sausage, gizzards, white beans, and duck confit together. If you visit Castelnaudary, they prepare the Cassoulet with sausage, duck confit, and pork shoulder. Auch’s contains duck and goose meat, while in Carcassonne, the meal contains mutton.
Some restaurants use Coco Tarbais while others flageolet beans. Originally the locals cooked Cassoulet in a hearth or an oven using residual heat. This slow simmering allows the beans to absorb the meat’s flavor. The dish also contains some vegetables added based on availability, but most chefs include garlic and onion.
Chefs also use bread crumbs and goose fat to top the dish. Others serve it with some green salad, bread, and a glass of wine to the dish. This is your perfect option if you happen to visit the region on cold winter days. You can also find this dish canned in France supermarkets and grocery stores.
4. Pot Au Feu
Pot au feu is another classic stew widely accepted across France. The dish consists of beef broth, tender, succulent meat, and vegetables, but the ingredients vary from one region to another. Locals prepare this meal by cooking cartilaginous beef cuts for a prolonged period. This meat produces a delicate broth with a jelly appearance. Once the broth begins to get a gelatin texture, the chef considers it ready.
The stew may also contain leek, onion, turnip, potatoes, parsnips, and white cabbage. Some chefs may include cloves to give the broth a brown color and a smoked taste. They also add nutmeg to the broth before serving.
Typically, this was a family dish served during the cold season. So, expect to have the meal served in a large dish with the meat at the center and the vegetables around it. If the chef used marrow bone to prepare the broth, they might spread the marrow on bread before serving. You may want to try out Pot au feu during winter and pair it with a glass of dry red wine for that authentic experience.
5. Gratin Dauphinois
Gratin Dauphinois, named after its region of origin, Dauphine is another delicacy you wouldn’t want to miss out on your trip to France. It consists of potatoes, slowly cooked in herbs flavored cream to melting perfection. The locals prefer the floury baking potatoes for this dish since they quickly soften and soak up in the cream.
Traditionally, chefs baked Gratin Dauphinois in large clay pots and added some subtle flavorings. Garlic is one common spice used in this dish. They crush and rub the garlic around the baking tray’s walls before filling in potatoes and creamy milk. It lenders some subtle garlic flavor to the dish, which isn’t too much to overwhelm you.
Others add a pinch of nutmeg and black pepper too. The modern chef also includes some fresh thyme and alpine cheese to improve the flavor. Gratin Dauphinois usually has a crispy brown texture.
Traditionally, the locals served this as a main dish with a green salad and fresh lemon dressing. This is, therefore, a perfect vegetarian dish. Today, some restaurants serve it as a side dish with pork, roasted chicken, or ham. Most restaurants serve the dish in clean square cuts or by the spoon while still hot.
The Bottom Line
There is a wide variety of food in France that you can try out, from vegetables, pastries, fries to traditional meat dishes. The above five specialties are some excellent samples of the incredible dishes offered in this region. French continues to perfect their cuisine over the years, so you can always try something new for each of your visits.