Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

10 Most Common Foods in France

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French food is one of the most popular cuisine options in the world due to its diverse array of delicious flavors. Some of them have been kept in french tradition for centuries. Many people worldwide consume products that were initially designed by French chefs without even being aware of it.

Expertise of our Local Chefs

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One thing that may not be widely recognized is the level of skill and expertise that local chefs need to attain before they are able to create classic recipes. Each step of the cooking process requires careful attention, such as properly salting the food.

10 most common foods consumed in france

French Cooking Classes

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Anybody planning on visiting the country should heavily consider taking a cooking class. Here is an example of things you should expect from a cooking class.

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Top 10 of Commonly Consumed Food

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If you are interested in learning more about the many types of food which are typically eaten by locals here, here are some various cuisines and products that you need to try while touring around the country.

1. Bread

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When you imagine French food, the many different types of bread may come to mind. From baguettes to the various pain graines-céréales options which have a wide variety of grains mixed with different types of seeds.

Pain de campagne is a great sourdough recipe which is great for many different meals. Pain complet is another option which is hearty and made with whole wheat flour. Pain de seigle should be tried by anybody who is a fan of rye. 

Top Types of Bread to Try

  • Baguettes.
  • Pain Graines-Céréales.
  • Pain de Campagne.
  • Pain Complet.
  • Pain de Seigle.

2. Pastries

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Pastries are a common thing to snack on here. There are many different varieties and flavors of pastries, such as the pain au chocolat, which many of us spend our entire lives enjoying. There are a wide variety of different options of pastries, which can make sampling all of them difficult. 

Crêpes are a common product here. They are especially popular as an afternoon snack and come with many different varieties such as Nutella, fruit jam, sugar, Chantilly, and so on. There are also many other options for pastries such as éclairs, madeleines, macarons, millefeuille, and much more. 

Some of the Top Pastries

  • Croissant.
  • Crêpe.
  • Éclair.
  • Madeleine.
  • Millefeuille.
  • Macaron.

3. Cheese

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This is a product created religiously. There are well over 350 types of it here, and it is a widely consumed product. Each of these cheeses can be categorized into three families. Pressed cheeses have been subjected to pressure to remove the whey, and induce ripening. Well known french pressed cheeses are: Comté, Cantal, Mimolette...

Soft cheeses typically have a much softer inside and can sometimes be gooey and mushy. CamembertBrieMunster, and Saint-Nectaire are some of the famous ones.

Blue cheeses make up a great degree of mixed products and unique ones. Blue cheeses typically will have a harmless blue mold on the product for adding extra flavor. The most famous one is Roquefort.

All of these come from three different families of milk. Some of the best flavors include . 

The Main Families:

  • Pressed cheeses.
  • Blue cheeses.
  • Soft cheeses.

4. Soup and Potage

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There are many traditional French soups and potages available all across the country. Many different soups are available, from bisque and garbure, to tourin, and much more. Potage is another popular product, where ingredients are boiled and then cut or mixed together, in order to form a heavy cream soup

Top Types of Soup:

  • Bisque.
  • Garbure.
  • Bouillabaisse.
  • Oille.
  • Tourin.
  • Potage.

5. Magret de Canard

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Magret de canard is a popular meal served which is both delicious and simple. All you need to make this plat de résistance is a nice juicy duck breast with the fat skin still on, some fries or roasted potatoes and green salad on the side. This dish is also great if you serve it with red wine from Bordeaux region. This is a product which is difficult to find in any other place, but very frequently served in brasseries

Main Ingredients:

  • Duck breast with the skin.
  • Green salad, eventually with nuts and goat cheese.
  • Fries or roasted potatoes with sea salt.

6. Desserts

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Desserts are one of the wonderful delights of visiting this country. There are many different varieties to choose from. The moelleux au chocolat is a chocolate cake baked to perfection. Mousse au chocolat is a creamier option which is great for those who are fans of chocolate. Some other popular deserts are baba au rhum (rum cake), and crème brûlée (burnt cream).

Top Types of Desserts:

  • Moelleux au chocolat.
  • Mousse au chocolat.
  • Baba au rhum.
  • Crème brûlée.
  • Millefeuille.

7. Salads

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French salads are typically very healthy and delicious alike. In various regions and cities, you will find that many will use many different types of leaves and ingredients. Sometimes a salad doesn't even include leaves at all. The dressing will ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and various other ingredients according to the regional taste. 

Popular Salad Add-Ins:

  • Seafood.
  • Meat.
  • Fruit.
  • Vegetables.

8. Seafood

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Many locals love seafood products in our country. Since we are located so close to the Atlantic Ocean, some of the tastiest and freshest crevettes grises (brown shrimp) on Earth is located right here. However, the bigger ones typically come from Asia. 

Raw oysters are also very popular in this country and remain as a popular dish in restaurants. Lobsters are another product which can be found in various recipes, along with crabs and fish. Typically, you will find seafood in various lunch and dinner starter and main courses at local restaurants. 

Main ingredients:

  • Raw oysters.
  • Crevettes grises (Antlantic gray shrimp).
  • Lobsters.
  • Crabs.
  • Fish.

9. Raclettes

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This is one of the most common dishes since it can be cooked predominately during the process of eating. All you need is raclette fromage (raclette cheese), some potatoes that have already been cooked in your pressure cooker, and your choice of add-ins. 

Then, you use raclette cooking pans to melt the fromage onto the potatoes and add the other ingredients. Some popular options include ham, onions, and pickles

Materials Needed:

  • Pressure cooker.
  • Raclette cooking pan.
  • Potatoes.
  • Raclette fromage.
  • Raw ham.
  • Onions, pickles, and other desired condiments.

10. Omelettes

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Each year in Bessieres, a giant omelette is made with over 15,000 fresh eggs as part of a celebration which dates back to the times of Napoleon. As the legend states, Napoleon enjoyed an omelette prepared by a local chef so much that he ordered a ginormous omelette to be made for his entire army. This tradition alone is a reason why many French citizens love omelets to this day.

Some of the popular add-ins for this product include jambon gruyère (ham with gruyère), and girolles (mushrooms). However, you will typically be able to choose from a wide variety of potential different add-ins. 

Main ingredients:

  • Eggs.
  • Milk.
  • Salt and Pepper.
  • Your choice of add-ins.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:


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  1. What are some french snacks?

Although snacking is not as common in France as it is in the US or the UK, the French do enjoy certain snacks from time to time. If you go on a picnic with friends, then you will likely eat a combination of meats and cheeses, much like a charcuterie platter, and perhaps a baguette. Baked goods like croissants are another common French snack, though they are more likely to be eaten in lieu of breakfast. Likewise, crepes are a common street food that can serve as either a meal or a snack. French supermarkets and deli stores also hold a treasure trove of unique and delicious French snacks. In a supermarket, make sure to find some homemade cookies, like madeleines, quatre-quarts, canelés and financiers, biscuits like sablés, macarons, gaufrettes, or candies like caramels, fondants, calissons, nougatines and violettes by local brands in the deli section. However, if you’re in France, be sure not to waste too much time snacking—you’ll want to save your appetite for the delicious meals that you’ll eat.

  1. What kind of fruit grows in France?

France’s Mediterranean coast provides an ideal climate for growing a variety of fruits, making France one of the largest fruit producers in Europe. France is perhaps best known for producing two types of fruit—grapes and pears. In France’s numerous wine regions, winemakers grow thousands of grapes in vineyards, so the vast majority of French grapes are used to make wine. France is also well-known for its pears, such as the Passe Crassane—a pear that is frequently used in French cuisine. However, while France may be best-known for pears and grapes, apples are the most commonly grown fruit in the country, comprising over half of France’s overall fruit production. France also produces large quantities of melons, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and kiwis along with smaller amounts of plums, cherries, strawberries, and walnuts. Visitors to France should therefore take the time to sample the variety of locally grown fruits that they will find in French markets and restaurants.

  1. What is a typical lunch in France?

In France, lunch is typically the main meal of the day, and French people spend more time enjoying lunch than most people in other countries. A traditional French lunch thus consists of three courses: the entree, a first course or appetizer, such as a soup; the plat, the main course, which may be a meat dish; and a dessert. Most French restaurants will therefore serve lunch as a set menu, so diners will pay a set price for a pre-set three-course meal with limited options.

During the work week, however, many French people forego an extensive, multi-course meal and simply eat a salad or sandwich for lunch. Sometimes, they may eat this meal at a cafe, or they may make their own lunch at home. Although lunch has become a much simpler meal in modern France, the French still take their time when eating lunch. Most French people will spend at least 45 minutes enjoying their meal, and you’ll seldom find a French person eating at their desk.

  1. What is a seven course french meal?

A traditional formal French meal can be a lengthy affair that consists of seven separate courses. The first course, l’Aperitif, is similar to an appetizer course in the US since it consists of small bites and a wide choice of alcoholic beverages. The next course is often called l’Entree or Hors-d'oeuvre, and unlike entrees in the US, this course is often another heartier appetizer, such as a soup. Following this course, you will have the fish and a glass of white wine, which is often followed by a citrus sorbet as a palate cleanser; sometimes there is a vodka and citrus sorbet version, named Coupe Colonel. The main course is fourth, and traditionally, this course will be a meat or poultry dish with a side of vegetables. Fifth, you will have a small, simple salad. The next course is cheese, which is traditionally eaten plain, but as a foreigner, you may be offered bread with your cheese. All these courses are accompanied by red wines. Finally, the last course is a dessert, which is traditionally rich and decadent, and it may be accompanied by champagne or liquorish wine. The whole ritual might end with an espresso.

  1. What is tartiflette?

Tartiflette is a traditional French dish made from potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions, and lardons (pork fat). Many modern recipes use bacon instead of just lardons, and you can add other ingredients, such as garlic, at will. Tartiflette originated in the Alpine town of Savoy, and it is a popular food in French ski towns. To make tartiflette, you will begin by boiling potatoes, and while the potatoes are boiling, you will saute or fry your other ingredients in oil. When your potatoes are done boiling, you will drain them and thinly slice them. You will then layer them in a baking dish along with the fried or sauteed mixture, and you will top the baking dish with slices of reblochon cheese and season it with salt and pepper. Finally, you will bake your tartiflette at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbling.

  1. How do you cook cassoulet?

Cassoulet is a slow-cooked casserole dish made with meat, pork skin, and white beans that originated in southern France. To make cassoulet, you first need to prepare the ingredients. The night before you intend to cook this dish, you should soak the white beans in salt water until you make the dish the next day. Then, you should drain and rinse the beans. You will then set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and begin to prepare your ingredients over the stove. You should begin by cooking your meat, stirring and draining the pot periodically, and you will then add your onions, beans, and other vegetables. Next, you must remove all vegetables except for the onions and the beans, and you will then mix the rest of your ingredients together in a casserole pan, ensuring the beans are fully submerged in the mixture. Finally, you will bake your mixture for 6 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until the 4.5 hour mark.

  1. What foods are popular on France’s Mediterranean Coast?

While many famous French foods are popular throughout the country, there are many excellent French foods that originated on France’s Mediterranean coast. Seafood is plentiful here, so many French dishes that contain shrimp, mussels, and other seafood originate on the coast. Bouillabaisse – a soup that features four different types of fish cooked with onions, garlic, and herbs – is a common French seafood dish. Additionally, southern France borders Italy and Spain, so many dishes here are influenced by Spanish and Italian cooking tradition. In the Southwest, for example, dishes are often spicier, reflecting their Basque influence. Another popular food – soupe au pistou – is the French answer to Italian pesto. This summer soup contains basil, garlic, and pecorino along with tomatoes, white beans, and green beans. Likewise, olive tapenades are also popular in this region. In addition to these dishes, France’s Mediterranean Coast is also known for desserts like gateau des rois, a cake commonly eaten during Christmas, and tarte tropézienne, a cake made of orange cream sandwiched between brioche.

  1. What is goûter and aperitif?

As a general rule, French people do not eat between meals, and in France, snacking indicates that your last meal was not completely satisfying. However, while the French do not ‘snack’ in the traditional sense, they do have goûter or aperitif, which are considered to be smaller meals. Goûter roughly translates to a ‘light afternoon meal’ that occurs around 4 pm. This small meal commonly consists of sweet treats and cakes, and some foreigners compare it to afternoon tea. However, goûter is generally considered to be only for children after they leave school, so few adults regularly have goûter. Aperitif, on the other hand, typically occurs prior to a meal, and it is generally enjoyed by adults. This consists of light drinks and appetizers like olives, crackers, or peanuts. However, the social aspect of aperitif is considered to be just as important as the food since it is meant to be an opportunity for guests to socialize prior to a full meal.

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More About Our Baguettes Classes

Getting a bit technical during our Baguette Class in Paris

The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece.  But in our Baguette Class in Paris  you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.

Learning more during your Baguette class in Paris: Croque Monsieur Bread and Brioche

This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...

And you might learn some history during your Baguette Class in Paris

While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.

More About Our Wine and Cheese Lunch in Paris

Cheese and Wine in Paris

The pleasures we can derive from French cuisine can seem endless.  However two of the best known and loved French gastronomic heroes are French cheese and wine. Whether we talk about a Brie which actually comes from very close to Paris, to a creamy Camembert from Normandy, or a Comté from the Alps, French cheese has a delight for all palates. And of course, French wines are even better known whether from Bordeaux great wines or Burgundy sophisticated whites – all of which enthral wine lovers.  Well, at our course on cheese and wine in Paris you will come to appreciate that although each is delicious on its own, properly matched cheese and wine together can make the experience of each even more enjoyable and an absolute delight.

How to pair French cheese and wine

Because not all pairings are actually what people expect, at Le Foodist we have decided to call these experiences 'Daring Pairings'. Maybe because we like to step out of the ordinary to challenge our taste buds, but really all we try to do is give you the perfect match fo cheese and wine in Paris.  So not only will you learn how to select the best wine to go with your cheese, but you will also learn what are the big cheese families in France – there are actually only five, and this is one of the keys to great pairing. In discovering all these pairings of cheese with wine you will be convinced that indeed two things together can be better than the sum of their parts.

It is important to have fun with pairing cheese and wine in Paris

Beyond the tastings though, we have found that the best way to help our clients remember and re-use their experience is to vary the way to approach both wine and cheese.  That is why during our courses on cheese and wine in Paris we share sensory games and many an anecdote to bring the produce to life in your mind as well as on your palate. Overall we will feature four excellent wines, one Champagne and demonstrate to you how best each combines with cheese, letting your taste guide you along with our teaching.

Understanding cheese and wine pairing while in Paris

While for many top Parisian wine stores and restaurant wine lists can be confusing and even intimidating, we believe that after our lunch learning how to pair cheese and wine in Paris, you will feel much more comfortable navigating all of those.  And we sincerely hope your knowledge will help you unlock a door to a whole new world of enjoyment of French wine and cheese pairing.  At every step of the way our sommelier will also share unique tips and tricks to understand wines better and how culture and wine are so related in France; hopefully enriching your own experience as well.

And they do not have to do with what you will find in those markets. They have to do with when you can go shopping there. Open Air markets are only open in the morning. Typically from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. And they are not open every day. As a matter of fact for the vast majority they are open either open every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), or sometimes only twice a week. 

This is the case of the Bastille Market (Metro Bastille and Metro Bréguet Sabin )which is open only on Thursday and Sunday morning. We like to send people there because it is a very big market with over one hundred vendors. And it has a nice stand of Crêperie in the middle. Here you get a video of a lady preparing a crêpe there; and you can get that crêpe for only 3 Euros!
There is only one Open Air market open every day of the week, it is called Marché Aligre (Metro Ledru Rollin or Metro Faidherbe Chaligny) which happens on the eponymous street. It is an interesting market because you find all kinds of quality in that market – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also a nice covered market in the middle of it called Marché Beauveau – sometimes called Marché Beauveau Aligre. On the contrary, Covered Markets are open every day, and not just in the morning, but also in the late afternoon. Typically from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are blessed with two markets close to where Le Foodist is located, so we can walk to a market every morning – sometimes it is the Maubert market, and sometimes it is the Monge market. Both nice with their own specififies. Last but not least, none of these markets is open on Monday. Do not sign-up for a Market Tour on Monday, you might never see that money again …

Choosing Ingredients in Paris

While all markets are different, they also have some things in common. First they work on specific schedules as explained before. But also you will find always at a minimum the following vendors: a Maraîcher – this is the name we give to people selling fruits and vegetables, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesemonger and a baker. Normally you will find several of each, with different levels of quality, organic or non-organic, local or not local (but mostly not local unfortunately).
And we explain how to recognize each of those of course during our Market Visits and Cooking Classes in Paris. But choosing ingredients can be daunting at first, because of the variety that is on display. A typical fishmonger will carry 20 different types of fishes, and as many shrimp and shelf fish varieties. A good cheese monger will easily carry up to 100 different types of cheese and obviously you could get over 100 different cuts of meat at a butcher (from the type of meat to the cut itself). And a normal Maraicher will carry between 50 and 100 fruits and vegetables as well.
This is what makes these markets so exciting – the variety of products, the beauty of their display, and the exchange you can have with most of the vendors. We give you tips though on how to make sure that exchange with the vendors go well – a few magic words, and everything will be fine!

Cooking in Paris

Obviously going to markets is nice, but actually knowing that you are going to cook what you find there is even more exciting. It is not uncommon for Parisians to buy a little bit too much food because they get so excited at the idea of cooking it all! But as most of us have hardly any space where we live, that can limit the enthusiasm sometimes. Because of the lack of space, Cooking in Paris can be quite different from cooking in the rest of France. And there are also dishes that are typically associated with regions which the Parisian will not cook at home – but taste when they visit friends or families in the various regions of France. However our kitchen has plenty of space, so we can cook traditional French dishes without a problem – whether they come from Paris or any region. And the most important part for us is to ensure that we share techniques much more than just recipes. As a matter of fact, we love to share a bit of the science behind what we do so people can better remember the “what” by understanding the “why”.

Sharing Stories

In November 2010, some experts from the UN cultural organisation, decided tha France’s multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the “world intangible list” of the UNESCO.
In this list you can find all kinds of cultural practices, including Mexico Day of the Dead festival for example. Importantly this is not suggesting French cuisine is better than other cuisines (even though we the French tend to believe that …). It is only saying that the gastronomic meal and what it entails is a very vivid cultural practice which people in France partake into on a very regular basis. That is why the same experts indicated that the French gastronomic meal is a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. And in that social custom, there are many parts: the attention we pay to the way we choose ingredients, how we pair wine with food, how many dishes we will present to our guests, how we lay the table, etc… But one big part of the cultural practice is that commensality (the fact of sharing the food) is always accompanied by sharing stories about …. Well, you would have guessed it, Food of course!
To us it is THE perfect example of how Food and Culture come together – actually we decide to share food is a considered a cultural practice. I would argue that it is true of all countries, regions, etc… As the way we relate to Food is such a big part of anybody’s identity. But as a result and to make sure you have the most genuine experience of French culture, after the a coking class in Paris at Le Foodist, you will share a gastronomic meal at a common table with your Chef and fellow participants to the class.

French Wine and Food Pairing

As mentioned above, one of the big cultural practices in France is choosing how to pair Wine and Food in general and Wine and Cheese in particular. We actually have a class which focuses specifically on this. As it is so important though, we always make sure we share white and red wines during our meals, chosen to pair well in our opinion with the food we cook. And being at the table together is a good opportunity to discuss about wine as well, with concepts such as “terroir” (to simplify, terroir means “what you do depends on where you are”) which are essential to grasp the way the French think about Food.
And all this will always go with a cheering “Santé” – which quite simply means, to your good health!

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