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France: The foodie's haven

india Updated: Oct 28, 2011 01:38 IST
Rupali Dean

Foodies can’t help but marvel at the most sensitive palates, diversity and abundance of food in France. That said, chefs in France chefs are hailed so much that even streets are named after them. The cuisine certainly belongs to its chefs who are constantly improving upon the past resulting in professionalism par excellence.

French pastry

My first trip to Paris a few years ago, had left me gawking at every pastry window. Jeanne Souchard, Ernest Laduree’s wife and daughter of a famous hotel-keeper in Rouen, had the idea to mix styles. She opened a café and cake shop called Laduree — one of the first and finest Parisian tea rooms. The menu runs from traditional croissants, pretzels, sandwiches, salads, and short crust pastries to the best macaroons in town. At Dalloyau too, the pastry chefs make pastries that look like jewels. Macaroons are a specialty here with flavours such as velvet-black currant, liquorice, raspberry, lemon, morello cherries, to name a few.

CheeseThe specialities

Foie Gras aka French for ‘fatty liver’ is a rich and buttery gourmet delicacy made from the liver of a duck or goose. For the French, it is an intricate part of the historical and cultural heritage. Pate with Melba toast accompanied with Solera sweet wine from the Champagne region makes a winning combination. You cannot talk of French food and not mention the cheese, the most popular being the delicate and salty Camembert that tastes best with the Baguette (France’s best bread). My favourite cheese is the reach creamy and flavourful Boursin.

Wine galore

One of the best cuisine in France occurs in some of the finest wine regions. In Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Provence, Touraine, the wine is as common as water in cooking, and is cheaper. Interestingly, last year Atout France published a survey that concluded that being accommodated at and sharing meals with wine growers top wine-tourists priorities after tasting wine, visiting wine cellars, museums and exploration of landscapes.

French cuisine facts

Exploring France involves all your gastronomic senses.

When it comes to food, France is not stuck in its old methods, but focused on modernity.

A new generation of chefs are making their own passionate, original and flavoursome cuisine.

Bistronomie is the latest concept.

Know-how and tips are passed down from mothers to daughters through the generations, maintaining the tradition of "eating well" with the family!


Did you know?

France is the first country to be honoured by UNESCO for its national food and cuisine. In order to honour this living heritage of French gastronomy, "Fete de la Gastronomie", a food festival has been created, which will take place on the first day of Autumn each year across France.