Discover France through 13 French foods typical of their respective regions.
France’s exceptional gastronomic heritage makes it impossible to highlight the entire country in one single article. So, to illustrate the richness and variety of French cuisine, we chose 13 emblematic dishes or pastries, one specialty of each region….here’s a look.
The irresistible Ficelle Picarde is a crêpe gratin stuffed with cream, ham and mushrooms. Its relatively recent origins date back to the 1950s when a chef, Marcel Lefèvre, created this recipe for the VIP attendees at an exhibition fair in Amiens.
Ah Normandy, the birthplace of Impressionism with its spectacular landscapes. Les Tripes à la mode de Caen is an emblematic local dish attributed to a 14th-century monk, Sidoine Benoît. The tripe is simmered in cider and calvados, two typical Normand alcohol concoctions.
Le macaron lisse: everyone loves this little-refined jewel. The greatest Parisian pastry chefs such as Pierre Hermé and Ladurée have contributed to the reputation of this pleasurable delight.
4. Grand Est
La Choucroute: Sauerkraut, another typical French dish, is delicious but perhaps should be avoided on a first date. This dish representative of Alsace was created in China during the construction of the Great Wall, and the Huns later brought it to Alsace.
Crêpes are immediately associated with Brittany as well as family Sundays when children would entertain themselves by trying to flip them over without dropping them. Savor them with a generous serving of cider.
6. Pays de la Loire
Fouace Nantaise is a star-shaped brioche bread extremely popular in the Pays de la Loire region. It’s made from September to November during the harvest period only.
Similarly to many great culinary successes, Tatin Tart is believed to have originated by mistake. The Tatin sisters knocked over an apple pie but served it anyway. To enjoy it the proper way, a tatin tart must be served plain without whipped cream or ice cream.
Boeuf Bourguignon is a beef stew cooked in wine that’s considered nobler than its beer-cooked Flemish cousin, Carbonade. A typical festive meal in Burgundy, Boeuf Bourguignon–like many simmered dishes–tastes even better when reheated.
Les Cuisses de canard et d’oie confites are the crown jewels of Southwestern French cuisine. The not-so-glamorous cooking and storage method (in duck or goose fat) gives the meat an irresistible melting texture.
10. Auvergne Rhône Alpes
A must after a great day of skiing, the Fondue Savoyarde is a delicious filling delight that keeps you warm. Particularly inviting and rich, it is made with three types of cheese: l’abondance, le beaufort and l’emmental.
11. Midi-Pyrénées Languedoc-Roussillon
The finest of the festive dishes, Foie Gras is classified as part of France’s cultural and gastronomic heritage. Pan-fried, raw with a hint of fleur de sel or half-cooked with a touch of onion confit, foie gras is an indisputable hallmark of French gastronomy.
12. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Bouillabaisse is undoubtedly the most famous dish of Marseille, rumored to have been served since the city was founded, as well as of the Côte d’Azur. Best savored seaside under the sun with crispy croutons and rouille, Bouillabaisse tastes like the holidays in a bowl.
This tour of France ends in Corsica with Fiadone. This lemon-flavored cheesecake is the most popular dessert of Corsica. Prepared with brocciu, the Isle of Beauty’s signature cheese, Fiadone is an easy-to-make treat.