Famous French Dishes

(Ms. Caitlin Cambra)
Since France is the location of so many culinary schools, it
makes sense that French cuisine has had an effect on global
culinary culture.
French food is so important to the culture that, once a year,
all the French schools participate in La Semaine de Gout, a
week during which students are taught about classic French
dishes and regional specialties. Chefs come to the classes and
teach children how to taste, smell and, yes, cook.
Though the recipe for traditional
croissants doesn’t involve a lot of active
work (about 1 hour if you know what
you’re doing), the recipe can take about
14 hours from start to finish.
There are multiple stories as to the
croissant’s origins but the most
believable story is that an Austrian
artillery officer founded a Viennese
Bakery in Paris in approximately 1839.
This bakery, which served Viennese
specialties including the kipfel, or
kipferl, and the Vienna loaf, quickly
became popular and inspired French
bakers. Throughout time, the kipfel was
developed into what it is known now
as the croissant.
Almost every country has its own version of
the crepe, but it was in France's Brittany
region where the tools and techniques were
created and perfected, elevating the crepe to
an art form.
One evening , the Prince of Wales requested a
crepe for dessert. Henri Charpentier raced to
the kitchen and prepared a crepe with an
orange sauce flambé. He named the Suzette
in honor of the beautiful young lady who
accompanied the Prince. The rest is
history...the Crepe Suzette became the most
celebrated French dessert.
Crêpes are one of the best known French
dishes and had been introduced into many
other countries, including Japan where they
are eaten as a dessert with ice cream and
Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, quiche actually
originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under
German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The
word‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake.
Quiche Lorraine is made with bacon and cheese, usually swiss, emmental,
or gruyère.
Some true Lorraines hold firm to a few ideas when it comes to their
hallmark dish. While many reputable cookbooks and local brasseries call to
replace half, and sometimes all, of the cream with milk, many true quiche
defenders cry heresy at this attack on the quiche's richness. And to lay it on
even thicker, many Lorraines specify that the cream should be stiff creme
fraiche, not liquid cream.
Confit de canard is one of
the dishes that emerged as
a result of the discovery of
a new way to preserve
It is duck cooked in its own
fat, usually served hot.
Strictly speaking it’s a
specialty of the Gascony
common in other parts of
The origin of the coq au vin is
unknown. There are two popular myths
as to its source involving Napoleon and
Coq au Vin was traditionally made with
a rooster but as most people in the
modern world do not have access to
whole roosters, it is primarily made
with a chicken instead.
What is known is that the recipe is
very old (at least 400 years) but did
not become popular until the early
1900s. Since then it has become one of
the best known French recipes, both
within and outside of France.
The word Ratatouille actually comes
from the french term "touiller," which
means to toss food.
Ratatouille originated in the area around
present day Nice. It was originally a
meal made by poor farmer's (in essence
it started out life as a peasant dish), and
was prepared in the summer with fresh
summer vegetables. Served either hot or
cold, the full name of the dish
is ratatouille niçoise.
The original and simplest form of
Ratatouille used only courgettes
(zucchini), tomatoes, green and red
peppers (bell peppers), onions, and
garlic. Eggplant is also added to this list.
Boeuf Bourguignon is thought to have originated
as a peasant dish with the wine used to
tenderize cheap cuts of beef.
The recipe that most people still follow to make
an authentic boeuf bourguignon was first
codified by Auguste Escoffier. That recipe,
however, has undergone subtle changes, owing
to changes in cooking equipment, and available
food supplies. Mastering the Art of French
Cooking describes the dish as "certainly one of
the most delicious beef dishes concocted by
The word soufflé is the past
participle of
the French verb souffler whi
ch means "to blow up" or
more loosely "puff up"—an
apt description of what
happens to this combination
of custard and egg whites.
It is far easier to make a
soufflé sink in the middle
than I’d thought (it’s
certainly not a myth,
anyway). Though, the
smaller the soufflé, the less
gentle one must be.
The origins
of chocolate mousse are
relatively unknown. After being
introduced to chocolate by the
Spanish, French chefs have been
cooking with chocolate since the
early 17th century. Mousse,
which means "foam", originated
in France in the 18th century. It
was only a matter of time until
cooking with chocolate and
making dishes with foamy
textures came together for
"mousse au chocolat. "
Chocolate mousse is far easier to
make than I think most people
believe, if you find the right
It is unclear whether crème
brûlée’s origins are French,
English, or Spanish. Though,
evidence suggests it is most likely
Crème Brûlée is French for "Burnt
Cream". If fact, neither the cream
itself nor the sugar on top are
"burnt", although both are
Crème Brûlée is actually fairly
easy to prepare. The only tricky
thing is to judge when it is cooked
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