Apart from its monuments and historical places, France is also known for its cuisine, which is an exotic blend of spices, cheese and wine. Every region in France is popular for a long list of foods that are enjoyed by the locals as well as tourists. The ingredients and dishes are different in every region. For example, the food in the northern region of France will be different from the south.
Being diverse, the birth of modern French cuisine can be attributed to the Middle Ages. It has evolved in a widespread way over time. The main contribution to this wide range of foods is the different geographies and climates, which facilitate the production of different types of ingredients. Italian cuisine has also been a great influence on the French culinary arts, especially during the 15th and 16th centuries. This was the period when a Florentine princess Catherine De Medicis (married to King Henry II of France ) brought her Italian chefs who introduced a new range of ingredients and dishes.
The French Revolution was an important turning point in the French food industry. This was the period where chefs began experimenting with new ingredients and came up with equally enticing dishes. Sauces were introduced in the cuisine by Marie-Antoine Carême, who named his sauces mother or base sauces.
Haute Cuisine, also referred to as High Cuisine, was developed between the 17th and 18th century by a chef named La Varenne. Modest and less extravagant recipes were experimented during this era. Modernization took place in the late 19th and early 20th century. This change can be credited to Georges Auguste Escoffier, who developed a brigade system in kitchens, where different chefs were assigned for different tasks.
Interesting Facts about French Cuisine
Experimenting with French food is a sure delight and you can hon your culinary skills. French cuisine is an excellent blend of the right amount of spices, that lend the food its flavor and aroma. Cooked with precise care, French food has high gastronomic value in the food industry. Here are some facts that will help you have a closer look at this world famous cuisine.
The Classical French Cuisine includes some of the classy regional dishes that are prepared using cream sauces. A sub category of this is Haute cuisine. It is the more expensive variant and is served in French restaurants across the globe. Cuisine Nouvelle includes lighter recipes without the use of heavy cream sauces, and seasonal dishes are made using local ingredients. The third type, Cuisine du Terroir, is made according to the local tradition using only the local ingredients.
The traditional meal normally includes food like crepes, couscous (a type of pasta), duck, pates, saucisson (dried sausage) and terrines. Apart from this, the staple food mainly consists of different varieties of cheeses, canned vegetables, baguette (French stick bread), pasta (with carbonara sauce), rice, ham and steak haché.
Along with the appetizer a drink known as aperitif is served to guests. It is a kind of a cocktail which is served as an accompaniment for appetizers and usually includes gimlets, Manhattans and martinis. This is considered to be a stylish way of treating the guests.