What to Taste in France

 

Being a unique quintessence of gourmet ingredients, aromatic herbs, various cheeses, fine wines, and wonderful desserts, French cuisine has long been the country's calling card along with the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Many French dishes have even gained worldwide popularity, being considered culinary classics. In this rating, we've gathered the most iconic French specialties (less extravagant than the frog legs or truffles but still traditionally delicious) which deserve being tasted during your trip to France. Ready to get the taste of the world's most romantic destination?

 

What to Eat & Drink in France

1. Ratatouille
Ratatouille

The southern region of Provence is famous not only due to its fascinating lavender fields and architectural marvels but for being the motherland of some mouthwatering dishes, including delicious Ratatouille. This simple French stew, famed in the similarly-named animation film about a rat-chef, is made from typical local vegetables like pepper, zucchini, and eggplant, some recipes may include mushrooms. The first variations of Ratatouille appeared at the end of the 19th century, but this traditional dish is still loved by locals around France.

2. Oysters
Oysters

In case you are a seafood eater, you should definitely have the French region of Bretagne on your bucket list as this part of France is the main supplier of seafood in the whole country. As such, you simply can't leave Bretagne without tasting delicious oysters drizzled with lemon juice. In fact, oysters have made part of the traditional French diet for centuries which means that the locals have no rivals in cooking them. French oysters have gained an excellent reputation due to their high quality, so we see absolutely no obstacles to degustate them.

3. Escargot
Escargot

A delicacy that can seem a bit strange to foreigners but is so beloved by the French is Escargot, or simply snails. According to the traditional recipe, snails are cooked with garlic-parsley butter, or sometimes wine, and served hot in their shells. Considered elite food in Roman times (yes, the tradition of cooking snails goes that far), nowadays Escargot is a widespread French specialty, affordable for anyone. Are you ready to feel like a real French gourmet?

4. Onion Soup
Onion Soup

The French onion soup is a hearty dish, originating from ancient times. This specialty has spread throughout France due to the simplicity of its preparation and a small number of ingredients. To cook the classic onion soup, you need only beef or vegetable broth, onions, butter, some flour, some species, and grated cheese for serving. Eventually, this saturated soup has gained worldwide popularity being a lifesaver during the cold season. Plus, every inventive French chef brings a new insight into this dish so degustating the soup is a must!

5. Nicoise Salad
Nicoise salad

Wondering what to order for a light meal? The tasty Nicoise Salad is definitely the best answer to this question. Originating from the marvelous city of Nice, this delicate refreshing salad represents a mixture of hard-boiled eggs, tuna, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, green beans, and lettuce, all dressed with olive oil or vinegar. Being a typical example of classic French cuisine, Nicoise Salad can be found in the majority of French restaurants, so leaving France without trying Nicoise has no excuse.

6. Quiche Pie
Quiche

Being great pie eaters, the French have invented a new type of pie called quiche. This is a French tart, consisting of pastry crust and all imaginable fillings, including pieces of cheese, meat, chicken, seafood, and various vegetables. The most popular quiche type in France is Quiche Lorraine which comes with smoked bacon pieces, eggs, and a bit of cheese. Quiche pies are served both cold and hot, and you can enjoy them as a separate meal because such pies are quite nutritious.

7. French Cheese
French Cheese

Of course, the list of French food recommendations can't do without mentioning the wide assortment of French cheeses. From hard and crumbly to soft and squishy, France produces cheese of all textures, colors, and tastes: Brie, Camembert, Munster, Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Langres... The French nation is one of the largest consumers of cheese in the world. In fact, this rich variety is difficult to ignore so no matter what French region you are going to explore, it'll certainly have some cheese specialty for you to try.

8. Croissant
Croissant

Being real trendsetters in terms of gastronomy, the French are really proud of their outstanding desserts, and they definitely should be! Is there anything that can rival a morning ritual to have a light and flaky croissant with a cup of coffee in some Paris cafe? To tell the truth, croissants are perfect at any time of the day. No matter what kind of croissants you prefer: a simple classic or some variations with chocolate, jam, vanilla creme, or any other filling, we bet you won't be able to resist the allure of some aromatic French bakery and pop in to try the delicious treat.

9. French Macarons
Macarons

Stunning France is a pastry lover's paradise, and one more evidence to this statement are sweet macarons. This meringue-based treat, consisting of egg white, sugar, almond flour, and sometimes food coloring, was invented in the 8th century AD but started gaining its popularity only in the 16th century at the royal court. Today, the offer of macaron flavors is incredible: from classics to creative combinations like pistachio, raspberry, salted caramel, lavender, and rose water. In any case, you can never go wrong with yummy macarons.

10. Profiteroles
Profiteroles

This wonderful French dessert, airy Profiterole, is a tasty light and crispy pastry ball filled with a sweet filling, usually whipped cream, sometimes ice cream. These yummy puffs may also be decorated with various toppings like caramel, chocolate sauce, sugar powder, nuts, and others depending on your preferences. Profiteroles are a perfect light treat, often served at various celebrations around France like weddings and Christmas holidays. All in all, profiteroles are deservedly rated among the best desserts in France worth trying.

11. Creme Brulee
Creme brulee

Marvelous Creme Brulee is an ideal conclusion to any meal. Being one of the favorite desserts of the French, Creme Brulee is cooked from sweet custard and topped with a caramel layer. This creamy treat is usually served in a small dish and can be decorated with mint, sugar powder, and berries. Trying Creme Brulee is, indeed, a truly French experience, so be sure, only one dip of your spoon into this mouthwatering custard and there's no way back!

12. Champagne
Champagne

The first drink that is tightly associated with France is the famous Champagne. Originated from the northwestern French region, Champagne, this sparkling wine has become extremely popular in many countries around the globe. Bubbly Champagne is a perfect companion to some light appetizers and an inherent part of various celebrations. The most popular France Champagne types vary from such premium labels like Moët & Chandon and Louis Roederer to more customary Veuve Clicquot and AR Lenoble.

13. French Wines
French Wines

It's no surprise that France is one of the leading wine-makers in Europe, boasting long-lasting traditions that result in excellent high-quality wines. Quite an ambitious claim, isn't it? But France can truly satisfy any of your tastes. Its most praised winemaking regions include Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Provence. As to not feel completely overwhelmed getting a wine card in a restaurant, pay attention to the following: red wine lovers can't go wrong with Chateau Latour and Pinot Noir, while best white types are Alsace Riesling and Vallee du Rhone.