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10 Most Common Foods in France

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

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

Anybody planning on visiting the country should heavily consider taking a cooking class. Here is an example of what you learn in a cooking class. If you are a newbie, here are some things you should expect from a cooking class.

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Top 10 of Commonly Consumed Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

FAQ

  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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