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French cuisine

French Regional Cuisine Components and dishes are different by region and some local dishes have gained national popularity. Modern French cuisine is a method of cooking originating from France, that has developed from centuries of social and political change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a courtyard chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest formula collections of France. In the 17th century, La Varenne and the notable chef of Napoleon and other dignitaries, Marie-Antoine Carême, moved toward less spices and more open-minded usage of herbs and creamy ingredients, signaling the beginning of contemporary cuisine. Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, playing different roles regionally and nationally, with many variations and appellation laws.

French Regional Cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine; however, left out much of the regional culinary character to be found in the regions of France. Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to acquaint people with the rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of the French countryside starting in the 20th century. Gascon cuisine has also had great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country.


breakfast is often a quick meal consisting of slices of French bread with jelly or jam, croissants or pain au chocolat along with coffee or tea. Children often drink hot chocolate in bowls along with their breakfasts. Breakfast of some kind is always served in cafés opening early in the day.


lunch was once a two hour mid-day meal, but it has recently seen a trend towards the one hour lunch break. In some smaller towns, the two hour lunch may still be customary. Sunday lunches are often longer and are taken with the family. Restaurants normally open for lunch at noon and close at 2:30 pm. Many restaurants close on Saturday and Monday during lunch.

In large cities, a majority of working people and students eat their lunch at a corporate or school cafeteria, which normally serve complete meals as described above; it is therefore not usual for students to bring their own lunch food. It is common for white-collar workers to be given lunch vouchers as part of their employee benefits. These can be used in most restaurants, supermarkets and traiteurs; however, workers having lunch in this way typically do not eat all three dishes of a traditional lunch due to price and time considerations. In smaller cities and towns, some working people leave their workplaces to return home for lunch, generating four rush hours during the day. Finally, an alternative also popular, especially among blue-collar workers, is to lunch on a sandwich, possibly followed with a dessert; both dishes can be found ready-made at bakeries and supermarkets for budget prices.


Dinner often consists of three courses,introductory course,, main course, and a cheese course or dessert, sometimes with a salad offered before the cheese or dessert. Yogurt may replace the cheese course, while a normal everyday dessert would be fresh fruit. The meal is often accompanied by bread, wine and mineral water. Wine consumption has been dropping recently amongst young people. Fruit juice consumption has risen from 25.6% in 1996 to 31.6% in 2002. Main meat courses are often served with vegetables, along with rice or pasta. Restaurants often open at 7:30pm for dinner, and stop taking orders between the hours of 10:00pm and 11:00 pm. Many restaurants close for dinner on Sundays. Some restaurants open on Sundays, such as pizzerias.

Foods and ingredients

French regional cuisines use locally grown vegetables, such as potato, haricot verts ,carrot,leek, turnip,eggplant,zucchini, and shallot.

French regional cuisines use locally grown fungi, such as truffle, mushroom, chanterelle chanterelle,en huître,mushrooms.

Common fruits include oranges, tomatoes, tangerines, peaches, apricots, apples, pears, plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrant, blackberries, grapes, grapefruit, and blackcurrants.

Varieties of meat consumed include chicken, squab, turkey, duck, goose, ,beef,veal, pork, lamb, mutton, rabbit, quail, horse, frog, snails. Commonly consumed fish and seafood include cod, canned sardines, fresh sardines, canned tuna, fresh tuna, salmon, trout, mussels, herring, oysters, shrimp and calamari.

Eggs are fine quality and often eaten as:

  • omelettes
  • hard-boiled with mayonnaise
  • scrambled plain
  • scrambled haute cuisine preparation
  • œuf à la coque

Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, can be purchased either from supermarkets or specialty shops. Street markets are held on certain days in most localities; some towns have a more permanent covered market enclosing food shops, especially meat and fish retailers. These have better shelter than the periodic street markets.

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