10 Classic French Dishes Everyone should Try
The roots of French cooking run deep. The foundations of the country's culinary empire were laid as early as the mid-1600s when chef François Pierre La Varenne penned his hugely influential "Le Cuisinier François" recipe book, emphasizing regional and seasonal ingredients, highlighting complementary flavors, and beginning to document its terms and techniques.
This list of classic French dishes would be incomplete without the inclusion of something from the country's extensive repertoire of patisserie. Though not as refined or architectural as some treats seen in the windows of French sweet shops, the buttery, simmering tarte Tatin, essentially an upside-down caramelized apple tart, is famous around the world for its rich flavor and unique history.
French onion soup
The element that really sets this soup apart from other, less indulgent onion-based options is the layer of cheese that tops the steaming broth. That comes from baking the soup in a broiler to melt the cheese and produce what the French call au gratin.
Aptly named after the French term souffler, meaning "to puff up," the experience of eating a chocolate soufflé or one of its savory counterparts is a bit like biting into a cloud. The rich yet lightweight dessert has been gracing French tables since the 18th century
Not every French dish has a whole day devoted to it, but then again, the crepe isn't just any French dish. As France's biggest-hitting entry to the global pancake catalog, crepes have a uniquely versatile quality.
Every bite of a crème brûlée is an exercise in opposites. The sweet vanilla custard flavor contrasted with the almost bitter flavor of the bruléed topping; the crunch of the caramelized sugar against the smooth, creamy texture of the custard underneath; the gentle water bath used to bake the custard compared with the dramatic blowtorch flame used to melt the sugar -- in this dish opposites definitely attract.
Creamy eggs, smoky bacon, flaky pastry crust the quiche Lorraine is the quintessential French brunch item. But what has become a staple item at any decent French bistro or boulangerie had a rather tumultuous start.
Among so many heavy hitters featuring beef and poultry in the French culinary tradition, there is still one famous entrée suitable for vegetarians: ratatouille. From the French word touille, meaning "to toss," ratatouille originated in the southern Provence region but quickly gained popularity throughout France for its use of fresh summer vegetables.
The jambon-beurre is exactly what it claims to be: jambon, or ham, layered on a coating of beurre -- butter -- between two slices of bread, nothing more and nothing less. The simplicity of this sandwich forces its maker to use only the best ingredients because every element is as important as the last.
Beautiful, sweet and small enough to eat more than is probably advisable, profiteroles come in any assortment of flavors. Filled with vanilla custard, cream or even ice cream, these little cream puffs can be topped with chocolate sauce, fruit or just served plain.
Perhaps the heartiest of hearty French dishes is the cassoulet. A bean-centric ragout that originated in the southern town of Castelnaudary, the cassoulet can have different ingredients, depending on the region
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