French Boeuf Bourguignon

French Cuisine and Traditional French Dishes

Last updated on December 5th, 2018

Odd classic French dishes: snails, frog legs, goose liver pâté

We, the French, may have more culinary common points with the Chinese, than we think: we eat pretty much anything, in particular things that foreigners may consider off-putting.

Escargots de Bourgogne (Burgundy snails) are pretty common in supermarkets and restaurants. What do they taste like? Chewy, like rubber. Escargots are drowned in a rich butter, parsley and garlic sauce. If you’ve had garlic bread before, you get the idea.

Cervelle de mouton (mutton brains)? They start feeding it to you in primary school and most of us never develop the taste.

Tripes, langue de bœuf (beef tongue), pied de porc (pig’s trotter) have fairly sizeable following, not just in the countryside, but also among Parisians.

When was the last time we had cuisses de grenouille (frog’s legs)? Not that common, and not a particularly sought after dish, despite the myth.

There are about half a dozen boucherie chevaline still standing in Paris. Again, cheval (horsemeat) has not been a favourite for a couple of generations.

What about foie gras (goose liver)? Now, we’d have foie gras everyday if it weren’t for the price and the cholesterol. It cannot be summarily dismissed as “just” liver pâté. If you’ve never had it before, here’s your chance to eat what the locals eat. Foie gras comes in can, but can also be purchased from delicacy shops. Higher end restaurants and cuisine du Sud Ouest (southwest), where foie gras originates, will likely offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy a typical French delicacy.

Aside from these odd French dishes, you’re safer sticking to classic French cuisine and the plats du terroir (regional dishes) that we list on our pages.


French Nouvelle Cuisine

“New Cuisine” is really not that nouvelle, as the term was coined in the early 1970s by famed French food critiques Mssrs Gault and Millau. Spearheaded by a generation of young chefs bored with classic heavy cholesterol laden French dishes, nouvelle cuisine made used of exotic spices, new kitchen equipment (microwave and Tefal pans…), and served smaller but exquisitely tasty portions. Paul Baucuse, the Troisgros brothers, Alain Sanderens have since retired but new generations of nouvelle cuisine chefs and groupies have taken the concept further.


Hors d’oeuvre

Escargots de Bourgogne – Burgundy snails

Foie gras – Goose liver

Huitres – Oysters (raw)

Quiche lorraine – Lorraine Quiche

Moules marinières – Steamed mussels in white wine sauce

Soupe à l’onion – Onion soup

Soupe de poisson avec la rouille – Fish soup with rust sauce


Traditional French main dishes (plat principal)

Boudin – Blood sausage

Bœuf bourguigon – Burgundy beef stew

Carré de porc – Roast pork loin

Cassoulet – Beans and sausage stew

Coq au vin – Rooster braised in red wine

Daube de bœuf – Beef and wine stew

Gigot d’agneau – Roast leg of lamb

Pot au feu – Beef stew


Dessert (Dessert)

Crème brulée – Caramelised custard

Charlotte – Sponge cake

Profiterolles au chocolat – Puff pastries served with melted chocolate and ice-cream

Tarte tatin – Caramelised fruit tart

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