What to eat when in France – 17 Must Eats
1. Chocolatine or Pain au chocolat
It’s a regional debate, whether it’s pain au chocolat or chocolatine. They call it chocolatine in the south-west of France and basically pain au chocolat in the rest.
But don’t you ever dare to call it chocolate croissant! Because croissant comes from crescent and the pain au chocolat is not in the shape of a half-moon. Calling the pain au chocolat, chocolate croissant grinds the gears of most french people. Except for those living in the part that is close to Germany. And since I’m German I allow myself to add the recommendation to try ‘regular’ croissant as well while you’re at it.
Fancy almond sponge cakes in shell form. I think that’s all I want to say about it.
4. Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée is a rich custard dessert with a caramelized layer on top.
Has anyone of you seen Emily in Paris? I just can’t see Crème brûlée anymore without thinking about the scene with the sad man crushing the caramelized layer for a little bit of happiness.
The mille-feuille (‘thousand sheets’) is traditionally made up of three layers of puff pastry alternating with two layers of either chocolate or vanilla cream. Delicious treat but difficult to eat!
Made with choux dough Similar to cream puffs but filled with cream instead of whipped cream and usually (chocolate) glazed. Reminds me of profiteroles. Which are filled with whipped cream on the other hand but also a french specialty. Btw Wikipedia says that profiteroles are just another name for cream puffs, but I only know them with a chocolate ganache. Mysterious
Macarons are two layers of meringue usually filled with ganache, buttercream, or jam.
Fun fact in Germany we call meringue ‘Baiser’ which can mean something completely different in French…
A little Tip: they sell it in supermarkets such as Carrefour, cheaper than specialty stores and still very good. Also, a very nice gift to bring from your trip especially if the person you want to bring a gift to does not drink wine.
9. Coq au Vin
Another winey specialty is the Coq au vin. The name tells it all it’s chicken braised with wine. There are different variations from different regions based on the used wine. For example the vin jaune (Jura) and the coq au Riesling (Alsace).
11. Soupe à l'oignon
French onion soup. It seems that it is or at least was also pretty popular in the US.
Thinking of delicious onion dishes, try also the Tarte flambee / Flammkuchen if you get the chance. I won’t go into the discussion whether it’s a french or german dish. But it’s really good.
It’s basically a savory French tart with various fillings. The most famous one is probably the Quiche Lorraine. Or should I say the modern version of it with mature cheese and bacon. Other popular variations are Quiches filled with cheese, mushrooms, spinach, or tomatoes.
“File:Galette complète in Annecy, France – 20130714.jpg” by Jacklee. is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
13. Galettes bretonnes
The main difference between Galettes and Crêpes is that Galettes are usually made with buckwheat and Crêapes with wheat. Galettes are a regional dish from the Brittany region of France but became popular all over France.
Especially for the versions typically filled with ham, cheese, and eggs.
I also recommend trying Crêpes in all variations (sweet, savory) and other regional dishes if you get the chance. Such as raclette and cheese fondue (Savoie), Bouillabaisse(Provence) Salade niçoise (Nice).
14. French Cheese
Have a relaxing picnic with french cheese, baguette, and some vine.
Some unusual dishes you might have never heard of but want to try.
17. Escargots à la Bourguignonne
Snails served in garlic butter. I’ve never tried it and honestly probably never will. Consistencies in food play a big role for me.
I heard someone refer to it as mouth-feel. And I can very much relate to that.
But I also heard that garlic snails are very delicious, let me know if you tried them and if you liked them.
What are your favorite French dishes, snacks? Let me know in the comments below!
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