SPANIARDS, ITALIANS, AND GREEKS cook with a precept: "Are you hungry? - Eat this." People in those countries only have 1 cuisine. The French people enjoy four of them. Since the days of the Renaissance, French people created recipes refined in taste and loaded with nutrients. As centuries went by, their recipes were perfected.
This article is dedicated to visitors to France who possess a more refined taste.
France is the largest country in the European Union blessed with weather and soils that give life to fine produce. Although fine produce is not exclusive of France, French people use theirs wisely along with centuries-old cooking traditions and healthy habits which further enhance their recipes. Yes, French people became not obsessed but passionate about food. To the extent that it is very common that businesses close around noon and re-open three or four hours later. To French people, it is mandatory to dedicate time to eat, and to eat in a Peaceful & Quite environment with family members; or with dear people.
When visiting France, one notices that French folks are deeply convinced that locally-grown ingredients yield tastier foods loaded with nutrients as opposed to foods in cans.
Northern coastal regions favor ocean fish. It's cooked more often and in more varied ways than inland areas. Burgundy ~in the center of France~ is wine-country. They use creamier sauces in red meat dishes which yields rich meals - [Burgundians excelled raising cattle and enjoyed economic prosperity for centuries]. Mountain regions' success is the 950 recorded cheeses of which 246 are uniquely French. In the south and Mediterranean coast, however, French foods are cooked with less red meat but more Olive Oil, vegetables, fruits, Herbs de Provence, and sea fish as opposed to ocean fish.
The French main cuisines to know when visiting France.
» haute cuisine - It is the classical French food. It is tasteful, sophisticated, and delightfully presented. There is an emphasis on uniformity and elegant presentation. Color is taken into consideration. The cooking of this French cuisine, the grandiose taste, the presentation, and the finest ingredients make Haute Cuisine costly by comparison with the other cusines; but worth it !
» cuisine bourgeoise - Traditionally, all French cuisines and their meals used to be regional. However, they were so tasteful that they are no longer regional. It was adapted to suit the taste of an affluent class. The Haute Cuisine above is immediately next at the top of Cuisine Bourgeoise.
» cuisine du terroir - This cuisine carries one French term that describes the unique flavor imparted to food ~or even drinks~ by a French region's specific climate, soil, and a growing condition.
» cuisine nouvelle - This is the new kid in the block born in the 1970s to counter-act Haute Cuisine and Cuisine Bourgeoise. Foods are less elaborated and faster to prepare. It shares with all cuisines emphasis on local, super fresh, and seasonal ingredients.
something vital ! - wine & cheese
French people have a true relationship with wine. They make it part of everyday meals, and in a healthy way. Wine is neither expensive nor it is reserved for special occasions. Cheese is special as well, and expected to be served as a course in itself. It is usually served after their main meal and along with slices of baguette, but before dessert. As expected from the French, wine must match their main meal AND cheese.
Well-informed travelers visiting France know why to acquire knowledge of French cuisine. They will better enjoy meals this magnificent European country and its people have to offer.
Bon Voyage to the land of Pierre Renoir,
Louis Pasteur, and Gustave Eiffel !
About Author Mr. George Josserme
French origins of this author allows him to pass on to visitors what he considers essential to learn before arriving, and to denote knowledge once there.