French Food: Where it all began...

. . . ah, yes. French food. Curious are you? Be prepared. . .

It is of the most noble endeavors to learn of its methods and distant origins, to delve into the very heart and heritage of all things epicurean. It is as if to peel back the layers of time, slowly revealing sinuous fibers of legacy left by men of renown, to discover dense bone and marrow that constitute a rigid and unyielding tradition of culinary mastery.

Yes, it is no light task to take centuries of french cuisine history and famed french recipes and sum it all up in a single web site! But I'll try. ;D

eiffel tower As I somewhat verbosely mentioned above, french cuisine has been around for a long time. In fact, it is where the transition from simply preparing nourishing meals to the art and mastery of cooking originated.

It all began with Antoine Carême, who was considered "King of Chefs", or you could say the first celebrity chef.

He lived in the late 1700's through the 1800's and was the founder of the rich, elaborate and ornate french food called "Haute Cuisine", which means when translated "High Cooking" or "Grand Cuisine".

From there, his methods and styles were continued on later by french chef Auguste Escoffier.

"Bouillabaisse is only good because cooked by the French, who, if they cared to try, could produce an excellent and nutritious substitute out of cigar stumps and empty matchboxes." - Norman Douglas

Updating, simplifying and edifying all that was currently known to be Haute cuisine, Escoffier solidified his role as a near legendary figure among chefs and gourmets.

His works to this day, including the highly revered Le Guide Culinaire, have become a focal point of reference for any searching out the ways of french cuisine, or just learning the culinary basics.

Now that you've gotten a little snippet of history, lets move on to some french food!

There is an abundance of very classic french food dishes that stand out in our minds when considering french cuisine. Some of my favorite savory dishes are:

  • Coq au vin
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Escargots
  • Cassoulet
  • Salade Niçoise
  • Ratatouille
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Foie gras

Also there are many sweet favorites, like:

  • Crème Brûlée
  • Tarte Tatin
  • Madeleine
  • Crêpes
  • Éclairs
  • Profiteroles
  • Mousse au chocolat

Lastly, I'm currently working on a list of ingredients that are common in french cuisine. This might help you with some of the terms, and also ideas on how one might substitute one hard to find ingredient for another commonly found nearest you. For instance, Haricot Vers are a delicate little green bean, but in a pinch, standard 'french' cut green beans would do. Hope it helps. :D

Return from French Food to Free Cooking Classes Home