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Thread: French cuisine

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    French cuisine



    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good remarks about French cuisine on television and discussions but didn't have the opportunity to enjoy delicious and famous French dishes yet. I’m still in London but I’m expecting to visit the wonderful city of light, “Paris” next month, that’s why I’ve been looking for great ideas or opinions about French cuisine. What would you recommend me as best French dishes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie02 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good remarks about French cuisine on television and discussions but didn't have the opportunity to enjoy delicious and famous French dishes yet. I’m still in London but I’m expecting to visit the wonderful city of light, “Paris” next month, that’s why I’ve been looking for great ideas or opinions about French cuisine. What would you recommend me as best French dishes?
    French food is incredibly good. I would say that they have some of, if not the best food in the world. Such as:

    Profiteroles: Chocolate-covered cream puffs, delicious
    Cream puffs: Puff pastry puffs filled with cream
    Brie: A delicious, creamy cheese. I personally recommend a brand called Fromage D'Affinois, I would say that is the best one.
    Bouillabaisse: A delicious soup with many different kinds of seafood, very delicious.
    Baguette: A long, crusty loaf of bread, good with Brie, Camembert, Bouillabaisse, and more.
    Croissant: A flaky, crescent-shaped roll with many layers very buttery and delicious
    Pain au chocolat: Basically a croissant, with chunks of chocolate.
    Crêpes: Delicious, thin, pancake-like things that can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings, such as Nutella, jam, and more. They are usually rolled.
    Omelet: A delicious egg dish often made with cheese, and sometimes meat or herbs.
    Quiche: A delicious savoury pie, made with eggs and cheese and meat and/or vegetables.
    Pain de Campagne: A delicious, huge, crusty loaf of bread.
    Fromagé Frais: Kind of between yogurt and cottage cheese, I have heard it is very food.
    Napoleon: A delicious dessert with layers of puff pastry of phyllo dough, with pastry cream in-between them. It often has chocolate on top.

    And much, more more!

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    I like french cuisine too, almost everything....liver in cranberry sauce.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie02 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good remarks about French cuisine on television and discussions but didn't have the opportunity to enjoy delicious and famous French dishes yet. I’m still in London but I’m expecting to visit the wonderful city of light, “Paris” next month, that’s why I’ve been looking for great ideas or opinions about French cuisine. What would you recommend me as best French dishes?
    I didn't see this post before, and you will have already been to Paris and gone by now. But if you go back, I would say the best way to appreciate French cuisine is to go to a three or four star restaurant and see what's on their menu that day. I would say that a four star restaurant is generally a better choice than a five star restaurant because a five star restaurant will probably be overpriced, and the staff may start coasting a bit once they have that coveted five star status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    I didn't see this post before, and you will have already been to Paris and gone by now. But if you go back, I would say the best way to appreciate French cuisine is to go to a three or four star restaurant and see what's on their menu that day. I would say that a four star restaurant is generally a better choice than a five star restaurant because a five star restaurant will probably be overpriced, and the staff may start coasting a bit once they have that coveted five star status.
    French restaurants have maximum three stars. French hotels have maximum four stars. There is no such thing as a five-star hotel or restaurant in France.

    The Michelin Red Guide attributes the stars to restaurants, not the state. These can potentially change every year, although restaurants rarely lose stars. One French chef committed suicide after his three-star restaurant lost one Michelin star.

    Here is my guide to starred restaurants in Paris.
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    I didn't see this post before, and you will have already been to Paris and gone by now. But if you go back, I would say the best way to appreciate French cuisine is to go to a three or four star restaurant and see what's on their menu that day. I would say that a four star restaurant is generally a better choice than a five star restaurant because a five star restaurant will probably be overpriced, and the staff may start coasting a bit once they have that coveted five star status.
    A stuffy, self-important atmosphere is guaranteed to put me off my food no matter it's technical excellence. Then, I'm not a nouvelle or fusion type person at all, so I don't have to feel badly about not being able to go to some Michelin three star restaurants. That's not to say that eating at some of these world famous restaurants can't be a transporting experience for people who love good food. I've treasured each and every such experience.

    However, most of the time, I'm perfectly happy with good bistro food, and I like ones that have a particular regional flavor as well.

    Some of my favorites to add to Coolboy's list:
    Cassoulet-slow cooked beans and meats, usually including confit de canard and sausage
    Boeuf Bourguignon-the way all beef stew should be made
    Confit de canard

    (Yes, I'm a carnivore )

    Also:
    Brandade-cod pureed and seasoned, mixed with milk and potatoes and baked in a casserole
    Moules frites-Fried mussels with fried potatoes

    My only complaint about French restaurants of any kind is that there's usually a surfeit of organ meat dishes for my liking, but again, that's just personal taste.

    As for French cheeses, oh goodness, one could rhapsodize for an hour: Reblochon, Gruyere, Chabichou, Roquefort...unfortunately, cheeses no longer love me the way that I will always love them! Is there anything sadder than unrequited love?

    Sort of what happened to Meg Ryan in French Kiss, both with the man and with the cheese...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    French restaurants have maximum three stars. French hotels have maximum four stars. There is no such thing as a five-star hotel or restaurant in France.

    The Michelin Red Guide attributes the stars to restaurants, not the state. These can potentially change every year, although restaurants rarely lose stars. One French chef committed suicide after his three-star restaurant lost one Michelin star.

    Here is my guide to starred restaurants in Paris.
    I guess my memory failed me. Michelin does indeed use a three star system for restaurants, whereas in North America a five star system is used. But I stand by the gist of my comment - one often has a better dining experience at a somewhat lower rated restaurant that's still struggling to become one of the top rated restaurants.

    I don't know if Paul Bocus's restaurant is still there, but my experience was that the food was very good, it was very expensive and one was very aware of being in what one might call a restaurant for tourists. Of course that's not a Parisian restaurant, but it was at one time perhaps the most famous restaurant in France. However, I suspected that the locals probably knew of better restaurants that were much less costly.
    Last edited by Aberdeen; 10-06-14 at 20:11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    A stuffy, self-important atmosphere is guaranteed to put me off my food no matter it's technical excellence. Then, I'm not a nouvelle or fusion type person at all, so I don't have to feel badly about not being able to go to some Michelin three star restaurants. That's not to say that eating at some of these world famous restaurants can't be a transporting experience for people who love good food. I've treasured each and every such experience.

    However, most of the time, I'm perfectly happy with good bistro food, and I like ones that have a particular regional flavor as well.

    Some of my favorites to add to Coolboy's list:
    Cassoulet-slow cooked beans and meats, usually including confit de canard and sausage
    Boeuf Bourguignon-the way all beef stew should be made
    Confit de canard

    (Yes, I'm a carnivore )

    Also:
    Brandade-cod pureed and seasoned, mixed with milk and potatoes and baked in a casserole
    Moules frites-Fried mussels with fried potatoes

    My only complaint about French restaurants of any kind is that there's usually a surfeit of organ meat dishes for my liking, but again, that's just personal taste.

    As for French cheeses, oh goodness, one could rhapsodize for an hour: Reblochon, Gruyere, Chabichou, Roquefort...unfortunately, cheeses no longer love me the way that I will always love them! Is there anything sadder than unrequited love?

    Sort of what happened to Meg Ryan in French Kiss, both with the man and with the cheese...
    There are few things better than a good beef bourguignon. But it's true that over time some foods become no longer as welcoming as they once were. Peppers now hate me. However, if I couldn't eat cheese anymore, I would consider that to be a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

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    Petit Suissé- A soft cheese, similar to cream cheese or Greek yogurt. Often flavoured with different fruits or chocolate.
    Boudin- I have never had it, but it's a blood sausage. If you like that kind of stuff, you may like that.
    Speculoos- Delicious cookies made with caramelised sugar, cinnamon and different spices. It is also available in spread form. (Biscoff Spread.) The spread is amazing, so delicious.
    Eclairs- Like a profiterole, but it is longer and in a torpedo-shape. Puff pastry filled with pastry cream with chocolate on top.
    Chocolate- France has some great chocolate.
    Yogurt- France has a vast selection of different yogurts. From organic yogurt, to chocolate yogurt, to strawberry yogurt, to even wheat-flavoured yogurt. (Yes, wheat flavour,)
    Pralines- Candied hazelnuts. In the US, they are usually made from pecans. In France they are made from hazelnuts.
    Hazelnuts- One of, if not the best nuts. They are so delicious, and France has many foods where Hazelnuts lend their flavour.

    France also has some great hypermarkets like Carrefour, and Auchan. France also has a lot of organic food, and many organic food stores. In addition, GMOs are banned in France.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    A stuffy, self-important atmosphere is guaranteed to put me off my food no matter it's technical excellence. Then, I'm not a nouvelle or fusion type person at all, so I don't have to feel badly about not being able to go to some Michelin three star restaurants. That's not to say that eating at some of these world famous restaurants can't be a transporting experience for people who love good food. I've treasured each and every such experience.

    However, most of the time, I'm perfectly happy with good bistro food, and I like ones that have a particular regional flavor as well.

    Some of my favorites to add to Coolboy's list:
    Cassoulet-slow cooked beans and meats, usually including confit de canard and sausage
    Boeuf Bourguignon-the way all beef stew should be made
    Confit de canard

    (Yes, I'm a carnivore )

    Also:
    Brandade-cod pureed and seasoned, mixed with milk and potatoes and baked in a casserole
    Moules frites-Fried mussels with fried potatoes

    My only complaint about French restaurants of any kind is that there's usually a surfeit of organ meat dishes for my liking, but again, that's just personal taste.

    As for French cheeses, oh goodness, one could rhapsodize for an hour: Reblochon, Gruyere, Chabichou, Roquefort...unfortunately, cheeses no longer love me the way that I will always love them! Is there anything sadder than unrequited love?

    Sort of what happened to Meg Ryan in French Kiss, both with the man and with the cheese...
    France has so many great cheeses. They also have so many greats breads, pastries, and other dairy products. I wouldn't eat any duck foods, as I don't eat duck. But Bouef Bourguignon sounds good. Moules frites sounds good too. Frites are delicious!

    I never saw that movie, but what happened to Meg Ryan anyway? She was so big in the '90's, and she hasn't been in a movie for around ten years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboygcp View Post
    France has so many great cheeses. They also have so many greats breads, pastries, and other dairy products. I wouldn't eat any duck foods, as I don't eat duck. But Bouef Bourguignon sounds good. Moules frites sounds good too. Frites are delicious!

    I never saw that movie, but what happened to Meg Ryan anyway? She was so big in the '90's, and she hasn't been in a movie for around ten years.

    I think it would be classified as a "chick flick" here, but I enjoyed it, even with Kevin Kline's terrible put on French accent; I think they're both good at comedy.,

    As for Meg Ryan, I'm afraid she got too old to play the slightly ditsy American romantic comedy roles that were her specialty, and there aren't very many roles in American cinema for older women, unless they're playing a mother or grandmother part. C'est la vie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I think it would be classified as a "chick flick" here, but I enjoyed it, even with Kevin Kline's terrible put on French accent; I think they're both good at comedy.,

    As for Meg Ryan, I'm afraid she got too old to play the slightly ditsy American romantic comedy roles that were her specialty, and there aren't very many roles in American cinema for older women, unless they're playing a mother or grandmother part. C'est la vie.
    There are some good chick flicks that I've seen, Love Actually, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I'm part Greek, I just had to see it.), Bridget Jones movies, Hugh Grant movies, Sleepless In Seattle, You've Got Mail, etc.

    I saw Meg Ryan's last film once. It was from 2003, and it was an action movie. It really sucked. I was disappointed, as she was a good actress in other films, but action films were a different genré than her usual films.

    Did you hear that they are going to make a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboygcp View Post
    There are some good chick flicks that I've seen, Love Actually, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (I'm part Greek, I just had to see it.), Bridget Jones movies, Hugh Grant movies, Sleepless In Seattle, You've Got Mail, etc.

    I saw Meg Ryan's last film once. It was from 2003, and it was an action movie. It really sucked. I was disappointed, as she was a good actress in other films, but action films were a different genré than her usual films.

    Did you hear that they are going to make a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
    I haven't heard that, but I'll certainly go see it if they do...I loved that movie...those characters. "WHAT?! He doesn't eat meat?...It's o.k., I'll make lamb!"
    Just for you...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAvxebd7UTM

    If you're part Greek, you should make a thread about Greek food in general or the regional Greek cooking with which you're familiar, if they're very different. Or, you could add to the thread I started on regional European cooking.

    There's quite a large Greek-American community near me, from the Peloponnese mostly, but some Cypriots too. (I thought it wiser not to tell them that anthrofora types don't think they're Greek!) So, we have some quite good Greek restaurants. The women still do a lot of home cooking too. One neighbor has a summer party where all the aunts come over to help and she does a Greek extravaganza, with everything home made. She even spit roasts the lamb...very authentic. There are lots of things I really like.

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    The actress Nia Vardalos is from Winnipeg. John Corbett didn't want to go to the small screen with her (talking TV series). But his career didn't advance either. The saying goes "strike when hot" may have applied. Wonder if he is related to Jim Corbett that wrote the book about the "Man-eaters from Kumaon" in India. There is another famous Jim Corbett in boxing. Errol Flynn played the boxer.

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    Ratatouille, my favorite :)

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    I love Pâté de Foie Gras.

    Sancerre is one of my favorite types of wine.

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    Not my favorite cuisine, the French, although I love their cheeses and breads and some of the pastries. On the other hand the patisseries in Salonika can compare favorably with any in France. I worked in some high class, high priced restaurants in the US so I sampled some of their cuisine. It was the in cuisine in the 70s and 80s to be replaced with cuisines of the Far East and Fusion cuisine.

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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    Not my favorite cuisine, the French, although I love their cheeses and breads and some of the pastries. On the other hand the patisseries in Salonika can compare favorably with any in France. I worked in some high class, high priced restaurants in the US so I sampled some of their cuisine. It was the in cuisine in the 70s and 80s to be replaced with cuisines of the Far East and Fusion cuisine.
    I'm not much for haute cuisine, whether it's French, Italian or Spanish, but I like French "home" cooking, the kind you get at old fashioned bistros, very much.

    When I was in my twenties, before my children were born, I worked my way through not only Julia Child's but Patricia Wells. I didn't have the wit to write a book about it that could be made into a movie. :)

    Cassoulet:


    Coq au Vin


    Bouillabaisse:


    Moules frites...a restaurant near me makes this...delish...



    Potato gratins


    Chicken with mustard/cream sauce:



    I could go on and on, but I won't. :)

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm not much for haute cuisine, whether it's French, Italian or Spanish, but I like French "home" cooking, the kind you get at old fashioned bistros, very much.

    When I was in my twenties, before my children were born, I worked my way through not only Julia Child's but Patricia Wells. I didn't have the wit to write a book about it that could be made into a movie. :)
    After the Italian one, the French cuisine is probably my favorite among the European ones. Then there are some very interesting regional differences in France.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    After the Italian one, the French cuisine is probably my favorite among the European ones. Then there are some very interesting regional differences in France.
    Mine too. I eat Provencal cooking the most as it's so close to me, but while in Paris I found this bistro highlighting the food of the Auvergne, and I really liked that too.

    Lyon, of course, is a paradise for gluttons.

    Really, I can't ever remember getting a really bad meal in France, but of course I do my homework beforehand, usually.

    The only thing I don't order is the organ meats which are on every menu. Other than that, I like everything.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Mine too. I eat Provencal cooking the most as it's so close to me, but while in Paris I found this bistro highlighting the food of the Auvergne, and I really liked that too.

    Lyon, of course, is a paradise for gluttons.

    Really, I can't ever remember getting a really bad meal in France, but of course I do my homework beforehand, usually.

    The only thing I don't order is the organ meats which are on every menu. Other than that, I like everything.
    Some more oldies but goodies. :)

    Real French onion soup....



    Coquille St. Jacques (scallops)...



    Tartiflette: potatoes, bacon, and melted cheese. Is there anything not to like???


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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    French cuisine is indeed very diverse, in the North West and North East we cook more with butter or lard, in the South East it's olive oil, in the South West duck fat. All regions have their signature dishes. Even organ meats can be delicious when prepared properly - like tripes la mode de Caen. The secret is to let the tripes simmer veerrry slowly, for hours, on the stove, with carrots, onions, spices etc. so that they get really mellow, and coated. My grandmother knew how to do that kind of very traditional, family cooking - which is the best one. And which has nothing to do with posh 'haute cuisine'.

    I love both Italian and French cuisines. I'd never say "this one or that one is the best", they're just different (except for Provenal cuisine, which is very Italian-like). I don't like this competition trend I've observed occasionally on social networks between the Italian and the French. "We're the best, Italian cuisine is only pasta." "No, we are the best in the world… almost nobody likes French cuisine, it's overrated". But then, it's often like that between our 2 nations. The Italians call the French their cugini d'Oltralpe, yet (or therefore) we always argue about who has the best cuisine, the best art, the best fashion designers, the best Historical monuments, the best footballers etc. But we still are fond of each other

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by TardisBlue View Post
    French cuisine is indeed very diverse, in the North West and North East we cook more with butter or lard, in the South East it's olive oil, in the South West duck fat. All regions have their signature dishes. Even organ meats can be delicious when prepared properly - like tripes � la mode de Caen. The secret is to let the tripes simmer veerrry slowly, for hours, on the stove, with carrots, onions, spices etc. so that they get really mellow, and coated. My grandmother knew how to do that kind of very traditional, family cooking - which is the best one. And which has nothing to do with posh 'haute cuisine'.

    I love both Italian and French cuisines. I'd never say "this one or that one is the best", they're just different (except for Proven�al cuisine, which is very Italian-like). I don't like this competition trend I've observed occasionally on social networks between the Italian and the French. "We're the best, Italian cuisine is only pasta." "No, we are the best in the world… almost nobody likes French cuisine, it's overrated". But then, it's often like that between our 2 nations. The Italians call the French their cugini d'Oltralpe, yet (or therefore) we always argue about who has the best cuisine, the best art, the best fashion designers, the best Historical monuments, the best footballers etc. But we still are fond of each other
    The aggressive minority often posts the majority of the comments no matter the topic. Can you imagine that almost every Maria Callas clip on youtube has closed the comment section? The internet has its negatives, and that's one of them.

    I would exempt tripe from my dislike of organ meats. I do like it if it's made well. My mother made a delicious version. I can't get my children to eat it though. I try every time we're in Florence, as it's a street food there, but no luck.



    My mother's version looked like this:


    I think for some of them it's the texture, more than anything else, that I don't like. I do make chicken livers with onions and white wine for my husband, who got used to them because my mother made them, but while I'll soak up the juice with bread the liver itself doesn't thrill me.



    Every country has recipes for organ meats, I'm sure. Who in the past would throw away perfectly good protein?

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    For what it is worth, most of the top French chefs in NYC are from the SW, Gascony and the Basque Country. And Duck in its various parts & guises is absolutely key.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I don't know the family history of all the French chefs in New York, but the top three currently which come to my mind are Jean George Vongerichten-Alsace, Daniel Boulud-Lyon, and Eric Ripert-trained in Perpignan certainly, but born in Antibe, although I don't know if his family originated there.

    Yes, duck is always on the menu, except, of course, at an all fish restaurant like Le Bernardin.

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