Sophisticated and rich blend of flavors, French cuisine is generally served in four courses starting with hors d’œuvre or entrée, plat principal, fromage, and ending on dessert. Most of the dishes are flavorful and use specific culinary techniques to execute incredible taste.
For many people, French cuisines begins with cheese and bread for starter staples. French baguette is crispy and firm with fluffy crumb that melts when paired with soft French cheeses.
Most French dishes contain butter, herbs, and sauces based from meat juices to create a rich and smooth flavor. As a result, French food pairings require a bit more attention to nail all the right combos.
What to eat with French food? French food has simplicity that is known for prestigious culinary techniques in the world. Common French foods are bread, pastries, cheese, soup and potage, magnet de canard, desserts, salads, and seafood.
Typical French meals are steak frites, chicken confit, French onion soup, bouillabaisse, salmon en papillote, quiche Lorraine, croque monsieur, and boeuf bourguignon.
From escargot to tartare, there are a number of traditional French foods to pair with wine. Depending on the ingredients, the wine choice may vary.
Goat cheese platters pair with Sauvignon Blanc, brie cheese with champagne, and olive tapenade with rosé.
There are hundreds of delicious pairings from burgundy and brie to chardonnay and camembert, but there’s more than just a charcuterie board to French cuisine. This article answers the commonly asked questions about what to pair with French food.
What goes well with French food?
Sure, the French have incredible pastries, but they also have pretty delicious side dishes. Onion soup is a classic in French cuisine that can be paired with bread and sautéed mushrooms is also a hearty side dish.
Pan-fried or boiled green beans are the perfect side dish for chicken, pork or fish dishes. They are best served with sliced almonds to add a crunch.
From slow cooked to sautéed, there are numerous ways to prepare French cuisine, here are ingredient ideas to use in French cuisine:
- Vegetables: onion, mushrooms, potatoes, green beans, leeks, tomatoes, lettuce
- Fruits: kiwi, strawberry, apple, lemon, pear, pomegranates, raspberries, pomelos, oranges
- Nuts: hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pistachio, pralines
- Cheese: gruyere, goat cheese, blue cheese, sharp cheddar, brie
- Condiments: fig jam, mustard, dijon mustard, butter
- Cured meat: ham, sausage, pâté, terrine, mousse, rillettes, boudin, saucisson, jambon
- Herbs: tarragon, chives, chervil, parsley, thyme, lavender, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, bay leaf
- Meat: beef, chicken, duck, goose, pork, mutton, lamb
- Bread: baguette, croissant, bretzel d’Alsace, pain au son
What are typical French foods?
The numerous monument visits don’t just sum up French heritage. It also includes the different languages and culinary delicacies.
But what are some of the typical foods in France? Well, here is a guide to popular French foods.
- Soupe à l’oignon: French onion soup with beef stock and croutons with melted cheese on top.
- Coq au vin: chicken braised with wine, mushroom, salty pork or bacon, mushroom, onions, garlic.
- Cassoulet: white bean stew with meat including pork, duck, sausage, goose, or mutton.
- Boeuf bourguignon: stew made from braised beef in red wine, beef broth, and seasoned vegetables including pearl onions and mushrooms.
- Chocolate soufflé: crispy chocolate crust with creamy chocolate inside.
- Flamiche: similar to quiche, puff pastry crust with cheese and vegetables.
- Confit de canard: marinated in salt, garlic, and thyme duck and slow cooked. Served with potatoes and garlic on the side.
- Ratatouille: layered casserole dish of vegetables that makes a great side dish, appetizer, or main course. Served with red wine and fresh bread.
What does a French meal end with?
As a digestif or dessert hints at the end of any French dinner, guests are served strong beverages in small dozes at this stage. The most popular strong alcoholic beverages served after a French meal include whisky, cognac, or brandy.
The cultural norm of serving digestif after dinner is slowly fading away owing to the health concerns and the dangers of drunk driving. However, these drinks are still offered during special occasions and holiday dinners.
To end the meal with a sweet note, French desserts are served such as chocolate profiterole, mousse, or apple tart paired with a small demitasse coffee to complement the sweets.
What flavor goes well with French food?
Nutmeg is the go-to to add nuttiness and fragrance to any French sauce and dessert.
Furthermore, tarragon is added to seafood and poultry because the licorice-flavored herb gives a delicious touch to the dish. Additionally, be sure to infuse vinegar and mustard to make it extra sweet and tangy.
Herbs de Provence is a classic spice blend in French cuisine that is mainly a combination of thyme, lavender, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram. This combo is majorly used for stews, fish, soup, meat, or fowl.
In addition, garlic and parsley are a must-have in French cooking. They can be added raw or cooked, and are perfect with mashed potatoes and black pepper.
Here are classic flavor combinations that go well with French food:
- white wine + french bread + brandy + butter + olive oil + bay leaf
- chicken leg + duck fat + cannelloni beans + salt pork
- beef brisket + red wine + pearl onions + bacon + tomato paste
- escargots + black pepper + butter + white wine + tarragon
- granny smith + salted butter + brown sugar + puff pastry
- olive oil + olives + garlic + flour + thyme + sea salt
Eat with French Cuisine: Conclusion
Without a doubt, the most iconic thing about France is its fine dining cuisine. Foods come in various flavors, and there are plenty of dishes to serve in courses.
French baguette and cheese is great starter to excite your tastebuds for a culinary experience.
From steak frites to French onion soup, there are various dish to enjoy with a glass of wine. With lighter sauce and spice of the dish, go with white wine, while tomato sauce based with rich meat flavors are more enjoyable with red wines.
French meal consists of braised chicken, slow cooked beef bean stew, quiche filled with cheese and vegetables, marinated and herbed duck with side of garlic and potatoes, layers of veggies like in ratatouille, and finish the dinner with chocolate soufflé, mousse, or tarts.
Other than sweets, French serve digestif or small alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, cognac, or brandy for celebratory occasions.
Known for high end exquisite dining, French food requires classic flavor combinations with simplistic ingredients. Use this guide for suggestions and French cuisine must-haves to try as a starter.