Cookbook:Cuisine of France

Cookbook | Ingredients | Cuisines | European cuisines

French cuisine is characterised by its extreme diversity. Despite France's history of political and cultural centralization around its capital Paris, each region has its own distinctive specialities: cuisine from North-West France uses butter and cream; Provençal cuisine (from the southeast) favours olive oil and herbs; and eastern French recipes are reminiscent of German cuisine, including sausages, beer and sauerkraut. Wine and cheese are an integral part of French cuisine, both as ingredients and accompaniments.

Related Categories edit

The following related category may be of interest.



French cuisine today edit

French cuisine can broadly be divided into three categories:

  • Cuisine bourgeoise, which includes all the classic French dishes which are not (or no longer) specifically regional, and which have been adapted over the years to suit the taste of the affluent classes. At the 'top end' of this category is what is known as haute cuisine, a highly complex and refined approach to food preparation and kitchen management which developed from court cuisine.
  • Cuisine du terroir, which covers regional specialties with a strong focus on quality local produce and peasant tradition.
  • Cuisine nouvelle or "nouvelle cuisine", which developed in the 1970s as a reaction to traditional cuisine, under the influence of chefs such as Michel Guérard. This type of cooking is characterized by shorter cooking times, much lighter sauces and dressings, and smaller portions presented in a refined, decorative manner. Its modern, inventive approach sometimes includes techniques and combinations from abroad (especially Asia) and has had a profound influence on cooking styles all over the world.

As of 2004, there is a distinct focus on cuisine du terroir in France, with a return to traditional rustic cooking and the flavours of local farm produce. The fusion cuisine popular in the English-speaking world is not widespread in France, though some restaurants in the capital have a fusion theme, and many modern French chefs are influenced by a variety of international cooking styles.

Vegetarianism (végétarisme) is not widespread in France, and few restaurants cater for vegetarians. Veganism (végétalisme) is hardly known or represented at all.

For French people, cooking is an immensely important part of their culture and a way of life.

Famous French dishes edit

Desserts edit

Specialities by region/city edit

Regions of France

Alsace edit

Map (1.)

Alps edit

Map (22.)
  • Raclette (melted cheese served with potatoes, ham and often dried beef)
  • Fondue Savoyarde (fondue made with cheese and white wine into which cubes of bread are dipped)
  • Tartiflette (a Savoyard gratin with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, cream and pork)

Aquitaine edit

Map (2.)

Crème Brûlée

Auvergne edit

Map (3.)
  • Tripoux (tripe 'parcels' in a savoury sauce)
  • Truffade (potatoes sautéed with garlic and young "tomme" cheese)
  • Aligot (mashed potatoes blended with young "tomme" cheese)

Basque country edit


Brittany edit

Map (6.)

Burgundy edit

Map (5.)

Lorraine edit

Map (15.)

Provence edit

Map (21.)

PAPETON D’AUBERGINES - (Eggplant Mousse) - Why “papeton”, which means “pope” in the Provençal dialect? Here is the historical explanation: this recipe was, in fact, created in the fourteenth century by the French papal chef in Avignon. It was his response to the Italian pope’s criticism of the French cuisine. One of the surprising consequences of the holy “war” between the two popes is this spectacular vegetable dish: a delicate and unique way to serve eggplant - light and delicious. ("A Culinary Adventure in Provence" The Spirit and the Heart of the Cuisine of the Sun by Chef Philippe Gion. Amazon paperback edition 2016, Kindle Edition 2015)

Nîmes edit

Map (13.)
  • Brandade de morue de Nîmes - A dish of puréed salt cod, olive oil, milk or cream and garlic, served on toast as an appetizer or with potatoes as a main dish.

Normandy edit

Map: Lower Normandy (4.)
Upper Normandy (11.)

Southwest edit

Map (2, 13, 16.)
  • Cassoulet (a dish made with beans, sausages and preserved duck or goose)
  • Foie Gras (the liver of an overfed duck or goose)

See also:

Additional French recipes edit