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french breadThese notes were made during a few weeks' trip to France. These are just our food experiences and you may have a very different experience depending on your budget, where you travel and where you eat.

Notes from July 2005

It is amazing the amount of French cuisine that is infiltrated into Australian eating. Consomme, boullion, aparetif, hors-d'oeuvre, entree, ragout, crepes, aioli, bearnaise, julliene, bisque, bechamel, hollandaise, fondue, crem caramel, gateau, souffle, bon appetit ... the list goes on. Eating commonly involved large cooked meals for both lunch and dinner (although we were spoiled staying with friends, this may not always be the case for the working population). Paris crepe makerThe streets are lined with cafes and restaurants with people sipping coffee. Restaurants usually have meals of the day “menu de jour” which includes either an entree and main, or main and dessert. Also coffee and a pastry come at a special price. Fruit stalls are very common. Snails were witnessed on the menu but never tried them, and I never saw frogs legs anywhere, although I don’t know the French name for them.

This dish has to be the most commonly eaten in all of France. They are served sweet or savory. Sweet combinations like sugar and lemon, chocolate (really Nutella), chocolate and banana. Savory combinations with cheese, tomato, ham and egg.

French MealQuiche
Another French staple, with a pastry base, with egg, cream and other fillings like ham/bacon and onion(Lorraine), and spinach (Florentine).

Everybody eats baguettes, all the time! Usually filled with salad and meat or cheese. There are loads of great bakeries, called boulangerie, with wonderful products all over France. Banette is a little baguette, and a restaurant is a big baguette. Baguettes are eaten with every meal. Panini are toasted baguettes.

rack of garlicCroissants
France has the best croissants! Of course. They are light and fluffy, sometimes filled with chocolate. There is also a range of pastries on offer.

Cheese is plentiful, with the biggest assortment of types you could imagine.

Cured meats are also very common

Pate is very different from at home. It is not a smooth paste of liver, but coarse meat and liver, which is stringy and held in a jelly-like mold. Frais Grois is fattened geese liver, which is more of a fine paste.

french cheeseTerrine
Like a meatloaf but more jellied like the pates, occasionally having a pastry crust. Served from the dish in slices.

Rich fish stew, a specialty of Marseilles. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try this dish as we were only passing through.

Stuffed vegetables
Aubergine, tomatoes and peppers, usually with cheese.

Salad is very common on all menus. One of the most famous is Nicoise Salad, made of lettuce, tomato, tuna, egg, anchovies, potato and olives. See Nicoise Recipe. Also seen commonly was Seafood Salad and cous cous, which was noticed more in the south of France.

Nicoise Salad from FrancePizza
Pizza is common and is usually served uncut, unless you ask.

We found donuts, sugared with white cheese in the center, and an aniseed-flavored pretzel-like snack.

Breakfast cereal commonly contains chocolate.

Wine is a special produce of France which they are proud of. Majority of wines are red, and Rose is also available. Wine is very inexpensive, plus the cheap ones still taste good.

Corsica Region

Us in Corsica enjoying a home cooked mealCorsicans are very proud of their food and typical products, which include cured meats (charcuterie), cheeses, wine, beer, pate. The cuisine is influenced by Italian eating due to its proximity to Sardinia. Chestnuts are grown here and made into an array of products including beer, ice cream, cake and an interesting sweet spread that goes on bread or in crepes. Wild boar is a specialty of the area, I ate it cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with pasta on the side, very tender! Goat is also eaten here.

Some of the home-cooked meals in Corsica we had included:

See also:


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