Most people associate the word French with food. The French have always taken pride in their fine food and culinary reputation, and their people are taught to have a deep appreciation for their sophisticated way of cooking. Both food and alcohol play huge roles in French society. In France, the food a person eats and the way he eats it often reflects the region of birth, French heritage, social status, and health. The fertile soil and good climatic conditions in France provide vegetables, fresh fruits, grains, herbs, and meat nearly all year round allows them to prepare such good food. The soil also allows them to grow grapes, which are used to produce some of the world’s finest wines.
Those who have been lucky enough to discover the amazing country of France through eating can tell of the intangible heritage of their food. From a light breakfast to a large leisurely lunch, then a four-course dinner, it is pretty safe to say that the French have outdone many different cuisines from all around the world. The French only have three meals a day with no snacking in between.
When most people who have been to France are asked what they miss most about the place, their first response is French cheese. Cheese is a crucial part of the French meal, served between the main course and dessert. France is home to over 500 different types of cheeses, with each region of the country having its specialties. For example, in Burgundy, you are likely to eat Epoisses and Chaource, while in Normandy, you can expect to see a lot of Pont-L’Eveque and Camembert. Other famous French cheeses include Chantal, Munster, Brie, and Beaufort.
Part of the fun had with French cheeses is collaborating them with their breads. They range from dark nut-filled breads to crispy round loaves of white bread. The delicious crispy French baguette is one of the most frequently eaten French breads. To the French people, it is not only just bread but also an iconic symbol of France. It is eaten for breakfast and is also a common accompaniment during dinner. Another iconic French bread is the croissant, normally taken for breakfast with coffee.
Desserts are another particular specialty of France. Walking around in any major city in France, it is impossible not to notice the glittering jewel-like array of desserts on display in bakery and pastry shop windows. The world has the French people to thank for great delights like chocolate éclairs (or pistachio, vanilla, or coffee), tart tatin, chocolate mousse (Mousse au chocolat), Baba Rhum, and cherry flan cake (Clafoutis aux Cerises). These special delights are sure to leave your taste buds yearning for more.
Apart from just great food, France is renowned for being home to prestigious winemaking regions and producing some of the world’s best wines. Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux are easily recognized by most from the sense of clout the names carry. The French wine practices have been adopted all around the world for the high quality and many varieties of wines that they produce.
When visiting or living your life in a new place, it is important to sink in and take in as much as you can about it. France is wonderful because its people are pretty much obsessed with food, and that is fun for anyone to discover. I can think of no better way to indulge in French culture and all her fine people.