If you love French dishes, your mouth may already be watering at the title of this article. Perhaps you have specific French dishes in mind like sweet or savory crepes, escargot served in garlic butter, or Coq au Vin. There are a number of French dishes that outside of France, are most typically associated with French cuisine. Many of these are haute cuisine, a style of cooking used on special occasions, such as holidays like Christmas, and in French restaurants, differing from the more standard French fare. The French, for example, don’t tend to start their day with a serving of crepes, but instead are more likely to have bread and jam or cereal with a morning cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
The foods we most commonly think of as French dishes are prized by the French, but may only be served occasionally. This is certainly the case with escargot, small snails prepared in garlic butter. Escargot in France are usually reserved for special occasions, and like Americans, not everyone in France are fans of snails. Most often, people favor the garlic butter more than the actual snail.
Although crepes are especially popular in Brittany, they are actually a favorite French dish throughout much of Western Europe. Savory crepes are considered more of a meal, while sweet crepes are generally classed as a dessert. Savory crepe fillings may include cheese, asparagus, ham, or other meats, while sweet crepes may have fruit fillings, whipped cream, or are sometimes just eaten with a little powdered sugar. One of the French dishes most associated with crepes is Crepes Suzette, which is typically flavored with orange peel, topped with Grand Marnier and ignited for a fantastic flambé presentation.
Another of the French dishes that is actually popular year round is foie gras. This is duck or goose liver pate, frequently prepared by force-feeding the animal to produce a fattened liver. Foie gras can come in various forms in French dishes. It may be served on its own, or may be part of other dishes. It can fill ravioli, be made into hamburgers, or stuffed into various meats. Foie gras lovers may find it more difficult to find the dish as some cities have imposed bans on serving it in restaurants.
A few other famed French dishes include the following:
- Coq au Vin — chicken braised or stewed in wine.
- Cuisse de Grenouille — fried or sautéed frog legs often served in garlic butter.
- Beef Bourguignon — beef stew made with red wine.
- Bouillabaisse — fish stock combined with fish and shellfish
- Omelets — beaten eggs cooked and stuffed with ingredients like meats, vegetables and cheeses.
- Quiche — an egg custard in a pastry shell, usually with additions of cheese, cream and vegetables or meat.