This the project which I has prepared for the project which I think covers most of the common basic thinks which are related to the French cuisine. It has also covered the history of the French cuisine and it will be providing a short brief on the Historical France chef’s who had given their best to provide the world a best foods. This is the collection of mine from internet, newspaper, magazines, and books. While reading this I think that you will probably understand the basic platform of the French cuisine. French cuisine is a word which has been used from centuries. It has given the world different taste in the form of its different unique varieties of foods. French cuisine is considered as the world best cuisine due its uniqueness. From Veg to Non veg he has win the game due to its multi talented skill of cooking foods. It has been undertaken because of the efforts given by the skilled chef’s of the France. Banqueting system of eaten foods are came from their pocket as the aristocracy families in France prefers to do so. French cuisine is the longest cuisine in eating also as it contains so many dishes from starters to main coarse to desserts. This project contains all the things which I has described here in short. I want to thanks the Faculty who had given me such an interesting and challenging task of preparing my works. Thanking You, Shakir Chataiwala.
French has been developed from centuries. The national cuisine started from the middle age due to the increase of skilled chefs and various social and political movements. Over the years the style of French Cuisine have been given different names and have been developed by many Master Chef’s. The national cuisine developed primarily in the city of Paris with the chef’s of French royalty, but eventually it spread throughout the country and also well known all around world. Because of increase in skilled chef’s new invention and technique of preparing food has been developed and the foods were also been made taking into consideration the dilatory requirement of the people and hence French Cuisine was considered as the best cuisine around the world.
In French Medieval Cuisine, banquets were common among the Aristocracy. Multiple courses would be prepared, but served in style called service en confusion or all at once.
Foods were eaten by Hands, meat being sliced into large pieces held between thumb and fingers.
The sauces were highly seasoned and thick in which heavily flavored mustard was used.
The ingredient of the times were according to the seasons and many items were preserved with salt, spices, honey and other preservatives.
Visual display was prized. They use many ingredients to decor the dishes and try to make it attractive for eating that dish.
For example: They use juices of SPINACH and GREEN part of LEEKS. YELLOW came from saffron or egg yolk, RED color came from SUNFLOWER.
The most well known French Chef of middle age was “Taillevent”. Taillevent worked in numerous royal kitchen during the 14th century. His first position was as a kitchen boy in 1326. He was chef to Philip Vl, then Dauphin who was the son of John ll. The Dauphin became king Charles V of France in 1364, with Taillevent as a chief cook. His career spends 66years, and upon his death he was buried in grand style between his two wives. His Tombstone represents him in armor, holding a shield with three cooking pots, marmites on it.
During ancient time Paris was the main central hub of cultural and economic activity, and the most highly skilled culinary craftsmen were to be found there. Market in Paris such as “LES HALLES” was very important for the distribution of food. This market gave French produce its characteristic identity which was known as “GUILD SYSTEM” which developed in the middle age.
There were two basic groups of guilds:
1) First group were those who supplied Raw Materials, Butchers (kasaai), Fishmongers (Fish seller), Grain Merchants, Gardeners.
2) Second group were those who supplied prepared foods, Bakers, Pastry cooks, Sauce makers, Poulterers and Caterers.
There were also guilds that offered both Raw materials and prepared foods such as “CHARCUTIERS” (for e.g. Pork Butchers, Saw Bones) and “ROTTISSEURS” (for e.g. Roast meat). They used to supply both cooked meat pies as well as Raw meat and Poultry.
17th Century – Early 18th Century
Haute cuisine was established during 17th century with a chef named “La Varenne”. He was the author of the book “Le Cuisinier Francois” and thus he is credited with publishing the first true French Cook Book.
His book include the preparation of “Roux” (a mixture of wheat flour, fat and clarified butter ) using pork fat.
His recepies changed the style of cookery known in the Middle Age. He introduced a new techniques aimed at creating somewhat lighter dishes and more modest presentation of Pies as individual Pastries.
La Varrene also published a book on pastry in 1667 entitled “Le Parfait Confitvrier”.
Some important refinement were introduce such as a glass of wine added to Fish Stock during 17th century.
Late 18th Century – 19th Century
After the Revolution a new rule was introduced that any chef can produce and sell any culinary items he wished.
The chef of this period was Marie-Antoine Crème was born in 1784, five years before the French Revolution. He was called “King of Chef’s.”
He spent his younger years in working at Patisserie (Baked product such as cakes, tart, breads etc). Crème has refined the French Cuisine.
He focused on basis of style of making Sauces and he was the person who named the sauces as the “Mother Sauces”. Such as Espagnole, Veloute and Béchamel.
Crème had over one hundred sauces in his working data collection.
Late 19th century – early 20th century
In this period “George Auguste Escoffier” recognized to the modernization of haute cuisine and organizing what should be the national cuisine of France. “Cesar Ritz” was the first hotel he worked, but much of his influenced came when worked to the management of the kitchen in “Carlton”. He created a system of “Parties” which is called “Brigade System”, which separated kitchen into five separate departments. These five station includes :
(1) “Garde Manger” that prepared cold dishes such as Salads, Appetizers, Hors-d-euver etc.
(2) “Entremettier” prepared Starches and Vegetable item foods.
(3) “Rotisseur” prepared roasts, grilled and fried dishes.
(4) “Saucier” prepared sauces and soups.
(5) “Patissier” prepared all pastry and desserts items.
Escoffier’s largest contribution was the publication of “Le Guide Culinaire” in 1903, which established the fundamental of French Cookery.
Firstly “Le Guide Culinaire” emphasize the use of heavy sauces and leaned toward lighter “Fumets” (can be said as Stock), which are the essence of flavor taken from meats, fishes and vegetables.
The second source of recipe conclude the use of common ingredient instead of Expensive ingredients.
The third source of recipe was Escoffier himself, who invented many dishes, such as “Peche Melba” (it’s a kind of dessert) and “Crepes Suzette” (it’s a kind of dessert).”
Mid 20th Century – Late 20th Century
1960’s brought innovative thought to the French Cuisine due to the contribution of Portuguese immigrants. Many new dishes were introduced as well as new techniques.
This period was marked due to the appearance of “Nouvelle Cuisine”, which was came up by two author named “Henri Gault” and “Christain Millau”. This type of cuisine has certain consideration which are as follows :
The first characteristic was a rejection of excessive complication in cooking.
Second, the cooking times for most fish, seafood, game birds, veal, green vegetables and pâtés was greatly reduced in an attempt to preserve the natural flavors.
The third characteristic was that the cuisine was made with the freshest possible ingredients.
Fourth, large menus were abandoned in favor of shorter menus.
Fifth, strong marinades for meat and game ceased to be used.
Sixth, they stopped using heavy sauces such as espagnole and béchamel
Seventh, they used regional dishes for inspiration instead of haute cuisine dishes.
Eighth, new techniques were embraced and modern equipment was often used.
Ninth, the chefs paid close attention to the dietary needs of their guests through their dishes.
Tenth and finally, the chefs were extremely inventive and created new combinations and pairings.
French regional cuisine is characterized by its extreme diversity and style. Traditionally, each region of France has its own distinctive cuisine.
1) Paris and Île-de-France
Paris and lle-de-France are the central regions where almost anything from the country is available as everything starts and end here. Over 9000 restaurant exist in Paris and almost every cuisine can be had here. High quality Michelin Guide restaurant were reproduce quickly here.
2) Champagne, Lorraine, and Alsace
Game and Ham are popular in Champagne.
Beside this the special sparkling wine simply known as Champagne were also from this region.
Fine Fruit preserves are known from Lorraine as well as “Quiche” are also found here.
Alsace is heavily influenced by the German food culture. The wines and Beers made in the area are similar to the style of Germany in it.
3) Nord – Pas-de-Calais, Picardy, Normandy, Brittany
The coastline supplies many Crustaceans, Sea Bass, Monk Fish and Herring. Normandy has top quality seafood such as Scallops and Sole.
Brittany has a large supply of Lobster, Crayfish and Mussels. Buckwheat are also grown here on large scale.
Nord grows ample amounts of Wheat, Sugar Beat and Chicory. Cauliflower and Artichokes considered some of the best in the country.
4) Loire Valley and Central France
High quality fruits come from the Loire Valley and Central France which includes Cherries grown from the liqueur “Guignolet.” Strawberry and Melon are also produce of High quality here.
Fish cuisine are served here with Beurre Blanc sauces as well as high quality goat cheese.
Vinegar is the specialty ingredients used here.
High quality Mushrooms are also used as a young vegetable.
5) Burgundy and Franche-Comté
Burgundy are known for its “Wines”.
Pike, Perch, Crab, Snails, Charolais beef, Red currant, Black currant, Honey cake, Chaource and Epoisses cheese are all specialities of local cuisine for both Burgundy and Franche-comte.
Crème de Cassis is a popular liquor made from the Black currants.
Dijon mustard is also a specialty of Burgundy cuisine.
Fruits and Young vegetables are popular in the cuisine from the Rhone Valley.
Lyon supply high quality Sausages, while Alpes region supply their specialty cheeses like Beaufort, Abondance, Reblochon, Tomme and Vacherin.
Liquor name “Chartreuse” is produced here which is named after Chartreuse mountains in this region.
7) Bordeaux, Périgord, Gascony, and Basque country
Bordeaux is known for its Wine, as some areas offering specialty Grapes for its Wine.
Gascony and Perigord areas cuisine includes high quality Pates, Terrines, Confits and Magrets. This is one of the regions who are famous for the Foies Gras (it’s a liver of duck or goose).
Armagnac (a type of brandy) is also from this region, as are high quality Prunes (dried plum) from Agen.
8) Toulouse, Quercy, and Aveyron
This areas in France has high quality Poultry and offers high quality Hams and Dry Sausages (it is usually made from ground meat mixed with salt, herbs, spices).
White corn and Haricot Bean are grown heavily in these areas which are useful in making dishes like Cassoulet.
These areas produce high quality “Black Wine” as well as high quality “Truffles” and “Mushrooms.”
Here the volcanic soil creates flinty cheeses and lentils.
9) Provence and Cote d’Azur
Provence and Cote d’Azur region is rich in quality Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs.
The region also produces a large amount of olive and creates superb Olive Oil.
Thirteen desserts in Provence are the traditional Christmas desserts.
Honey is the prized ingredient in this region.
Truffles are commonly seen in Provence during winter.
Cheeses are produced here in which “Brocciu” is most popular.
Clementines (orange variety), Lemons, Nectarines and Fig are grown here.
Corsica offers a variety of wines and liqueurs including Cap Corse, Patrimonio, Rappu and many more.
Specialty by Seasons
In summer, Salads and Fruits dishes are popular because they are refreshing and produce is inexpensive and abundant.
At the end of summer, Mushrooms are grown plentiful and appear throughout the France.
The hunting season, starts from September and end in February. During this time all the Game animals are eaten in a large quantity.
When winter turns to Spring, Shellfish and Oysters are served at a large quantity.
Common Breads of France
is “a long thin loaf of “French bread” that is commonly made from basic lean dough. It is distinguish by its length and crisp crust.
Pain Poilâne is most famous for a round, two-kilogram sourdough country bread. This bread is often referred to as whole wheat but in fact is not the flour used is mostly so-called grey flour.
Common Savory Dishes
Steak Frites meaning steak fries, is a very common and popular dish served in Brasseries (a place where a particular item are served and prepared). The steak is an Entrecote, Pan fried rare in a pan reduction sauce.
Blanquette de veau is a combination of one stew piece of veal and Mire pox (mixture of celery, onion, carrot) and bloster the broth with flour, butter, cream, and egg yolk.
Coq au vin is a French braise of chicken cooked with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. While the wine is typically “Burgundy” many regions of France have variants of coq au vin using the local wine, such as “coq au vin jaune” (Jura), “coq au Riesling” (Alsace), “coq au Champagne”, and so on.
Pot-au-feu (“pot on the fire”) is a French beef stew. It is made from low-cost cuts of beef, Morteau sausage, carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, and onions, bouquet garni, salt, black pepper and cloves.
Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, pork, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin (couennes) and white haricot beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, “the cassole”, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides. Cassoulet is also sold in France as a commercial product in cans and can be found in supermarkets and grocery stores across the country.
Boudin Blanc is a white sausage made of pork without the blood. Pork liver and heart meat are typically included. It is a delicate dish as Milk is used in French version. It is Sautéed (fry briefly over high heat) and grilled.
Common Desserts and Pastries
Mousse ae chocolat is a form of creamy dessert typically made from egg and cream. Coco is also used to add a flavor of chocolate in it.
Mille-feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry (pâté feuilletée), alternating with two layers of pastry cream (crème pâtissière), but sometimes whipped cream, or jam are substituted. The top is usually glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white (icing) and brown (chocolate) strips, and combed. Alternatively the top pastry layer may be dusted with confectioner’s sugar, cocoa, or pulverized nuts.
Crème brûlée is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served cold.
Madeleine are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste.
Tarte Tat in is an upside-down tart in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. In history it was made by mistake of being tart overcooked.
Éclair is a pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. Once cool, the pastry then is filled with a coffee- or chocolate-flavored pastry cream (crème pâtissière), custard, whipped cream, or chibouks cream and iced with fondant icing. Other fillings include pistachio- and rum-flavored custard, fruit-flavored fillings, or chestnut purée.
Profiterole is a choux pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream. The puffs may be decorative or left plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Quiche is a savory, open-faced pie of vegetables, cheese, or meat in custard, baked in a pastry crust.
Some Regional Dishes
Potée Lorraine is composed of pork, carrots, turnips, leeks and a whole cabbage previously blanched. These are barely covered with water or stock and simmered for three hours. Half an hour before it is removed from the heat, a large sausage is added. Plain boiled potatoes are often served as an accompaniment.
Chou croute garnie is a famous Alsacian recipe for preparing sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage) with sausages and other salted meats and charcuterie, and often potatoes.
Baeckeoffe is a mix of sliced potatoes, sliced onions, cubed lamb, beef and pork which have been marinated overnight in “Alsatian white wine” and “juniper berries” and slow cooked in a sealed ceramic casserole dish. Leeks, thyme, parsley, garlic, carrots and marjoram are other commonly added ingredients for flavor and color.
Gugelhupf is a big cake, derived from the Groninger Poffert, and has a distinctive ring shape or the shape of a torus. It is usually eaten with coffee, at coffee breaks. Gugelhupf consists of a soft yeast dough which contains raisins, almonds and Kirschwasser cherry brandy. Some also contain candied fruits and nuts. Some regional varieties are also filled, often with a layer of sweetened ground poppy seeds.
Tarte flambée is an Alsatian dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thin in the shape of a rectangle (traditionally) or circle, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons. It is one of the most famous gastronomical specialties of the region.
Rum baba or baba au rhum is a small yeast cake saturated in liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. It also includes eggs, milk, and butter.
Andouillette is a coarse-grained tripe sausage made with pork (or occasionally, veal), chitterlings, pepper, wine, onions, and seasonings. It is produced both as a mild sausage in French cuisine and as a spicier.
Potjevleesch is a traditionally made in a ceramic dish – from three or four different types of meat and held together either with gelatin or natural fats coming from the meats used. The meat along with sliced onions, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves is covered in water or water and vinegar and then cooked.
Waterzooi’s original form is made of fish though today chicken waterzooi (kippenwaterzooi) is more common. The stew is made of the fish or chicken, vegetables including carrots, leeks and potatoes, herbs, eggs, cream and butter.
Rillettes is a preparation of meat. Originally made with pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. They are normally used as spread on bread or toast and served at room temperature.
Crêpe is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour (crêpes de Froment) or buckwheat flour (galettes). In Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with “cider” (type of drink).
Beef bourguignon is a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine, traditionally “red Burgundy”, and beef broth (stock made from beef), generally flavored with garlic, onions and a bouquet garni, with pearl onions and mushrooms added towards the end of cooking.
Escargot is typically the snails which are purged, killed, removed from their shells, and cooked usually with garlic butter or chicken stock or wine and then placed back into the shells together with the butter and sauce for serving, often on a plate with several shell-sized depressions. Additional ingredients may be added such as garlic, thyme, parsley and pine nuts.
Raclette is both a type of cheese and a Swiss and French dish based on heating the cheese and scraping (“racler”) off the melted part.
Gougère is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese. There are many variants. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler, but there are many variants using other cheeses or other ingredients.
Tartiflette is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, cream, and lardons (small cube of pork fat). It is also commonly found with onions. A popular variation of this dish is to substitute the lardons with smoked salmon.
Quenelle is mixture of creamed fish, chicken, or meat, sometimes combined with breadcrumbs, with a light egg binding. It is usually poached (process of gently simmering food in liquid, generally milk, stock or wine).
Aligot is a dish traditionally made in Aveyron (region of France). Aligot is made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, cream, crushed garlic, and the melted cheese. The dish is ready when it develops a smooth, elastic texture.
Brandade is an emulsion of “salt cod” and “olive oil” eaten in winter with bread or potatoes. French it is sometimes called “Brandade de Morue”.
Bouillabaisse is a seafood soup made with various kinds of cooked fish and shellfish and vegetables, flavored with a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic, orange peel, basil, bay leaf, fennel and saffron. There are at least three kinds of fish in a traditional bouillabaisse, typically “scorpion fish” ,“sea robin” and “European conger.”
Ratatouille’s full name is “ratatouille niçoise”. Tomatoes are a key ingredient, with garlic, onions, courgettes (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), poivron (bell peppers), carrot, marjoram and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like “herbs’ de Provence.”
Niçoise salad is a mixed salad consisting of various vegetables topped with “tuna” and “anchovy”. It is a specialty of the “Côte d’Azur” and named for the city of “Nice”. Ripe tomato wedges, wedges of hard-boiled eggs, are topped with canned “tuna” (tinned in oil), and “Niçoise Cailletier olives”. The salad is served with “” (is a mixture of olive oil and vinegar). vinaigrette
Quince cheese is a sweet, thick, quince jelly or quince candy. Quince cheese is prepared with quince fruits. The fruit is cooked with sugar, and turns red after a long cooking time and becomes a relatively firm, quince tart, dense enough to hold its shape. The taste is sweet but slightly astringent (bitter).
Pissaladière it can be considered a type of white pizza, as no tomatoes are used. Dough is usually a bread dough thicker than that of the classic Italian pizza, and the traditional topping consist of “sautéed” (fried quickly in a little fat) onions, olives, garlic and anchovies (is a species of fish). No cheese is used in France in it.
Eggs eaten in France
Omelet is a dish made from beaten eggs quickly cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan, sometimes folded around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, meat.
Hard boiled eggs with Mayonnaise is prepared by boiling eggs and served it with Mayonnaise (type of sauce) made up of oil, egg yolk, vinegar or lemon juices.
Scrambled eggs is a dish made from beaten whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken). Beaten eggs are put into a hot pot or pan (usually greased) and stirred frequently, forming curds as they coagulate.
Common Ingredients used in French Cuisine
Herbs and Spices
COMMON Meat consumes
COMMON Sea food consumes
So from above information we can observe the French cuisine and their basic taste and their nature in food. It can be said that they are very extravagant food maker which differs them from other national cuisine. French cuisine has a wide varieties of techniques and style in making foods differently and more tastefully. The dishes are having wide variety because of their ability to use almost everything to their food item. French cuisine are having a large varieties of option from leafy vegetables to meat. Their interest were also seen on making sauce of each food item to make the item more tasteful and attractive. Presentation is also focused due to the emergence of the nouvelle cuisine and has been accepted all around the world. So, after all the discussion we can conclude that the French cuisine has proved to be the top category cuisine to the world by their style and talent of making foods.