7 Top French Chefs of All Times

French cuisine is among the most interesting cuisines in the world today. It is one of the oldest and most stylish cuisine out there. And this is partly due to the wonderfully brilliant and amazing French chefs that have made innovations and breakthroughs in the French culinary world. Now here are the seven top French chefs that have had huge contiributions in the history of French cuisine.

7. Bernard Loiseau

Bernard Loiseau was born on January 13, 1951. He first got interested in the culinary arts when he was a teenager. At that time, he was an apprentice of the famous Troigros brothers in Roane at their equally famous restaurant La Maison Troigros for about three years. He was among the biggest supporters of the simpler and more delicate dishes of Nouvelle Cuisine, and his restaurant La Côte d’Or was among the most sought after dining places in France. In fact, he was such an icon of the said style that many believe he inspired the character “Auguste Gusteau” in the highly popular animated movie “Ratatouille”. Sadly though, he committed suicide on February 24, 2003 due to depression caused by his restaurant being downgraded in the Gault Millau guide and being threatened with the removal of one star in the Michelin guide.

6. Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon was born on April 7, 1945 in Poitiers, France. He is considered to be among the best and most influential chefs in the world today. In fact, he has been given the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award in 1976 and declared by Gault Millau as the Chef of the Century. As with most famous chefs, he has a chain of popular restaurants, most of which have been awarded Michelin stars, and has also published several cookbooks. His restaurants can be found in major cities around the world. Moreover, he is the mentor of the equally awesome chefs Gordon Ramsay, Eric Ripert, and Michael Caines.

5. Paul Bocuse

Paul Bocuse was born on February 11, 1926. Bocuse is among the proponents of Nouvelle Cuisine and has made significant contributions to French cuisine throughout his career. He was the inventor of the famous truffle soup and has founded the internationally famed Bocuse d’Or, a world chef championship that happens every two years in Lyon, France. According to TIME Magazine, Bocuse is the “grumpy pope of French cuisine” due to the many significant culinary heritage and innovations he has contributed to the world of French cuisine. There are even rumors that he may be about to receive the “Chef of the Millennium” award this year from the culinary Institute of America.

4. Georges Auguste Escoffier

Georges Auguste Escoffier was born on October 28, 1846. Escoffier is among the most notable names in the history of French cuisine. He has been credited by some as one of the founders of modern French cuisine because he was the first to simplify the traditional way of cooking in France. He published many famous cookbooks and invented the delectable dessert we call “peach melba”, which he made in honor of Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Of all his achievements in French cuisine, perhaps the most significant one was his collaboration with the famous Cesar Ritz of Hotel Ritz. He ran the restaurants in several Hotel Ritz and established quite a name in Haute Cuisine as a result. In fact, has been dubbed the “Emperor of Chefs” by Kaiser Wilhelm II for his culinary genius. And in 1920 he was given the National Order of the Legion of Honour, among the highest accolades awarded in France, for his influence and accomplishments in the culinary arts.

3. Marie-Antoine Carême

Marie-Antoine Carême was born on June 8, 1784, which was around the time of the infamous French revolution. He was dubbed the “chef of kings” because his services were most often requested by French society’s elites, even including Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also called the “king of chefs” because he was considered to be the biggest influence of Haute Cuisine in the history of France. He started out as a kitchen helper in a restaurant and then as an apprentice to the pastry chef. It was as a pastry chef apprentice that he started experimenting with elaborate food presentations that made him quite popular among France’s high society. By the time he was in his twenties, he was cooking for a French diplomat and a couple of foreign kings. In his lifetime, Carême modernized and organized the kitchen, wrote several cookbooks with hundreds of recipes, designed the standard chef’s hat, invented new sauces and categorized them, and wrote tutorials on his elaborate pastry sculpture

s. For Carême, presentation is as important as the food that’s being served.

2. François Massialot

François Massialot was among the first popular French chefs in French cuisine history. He was thought to be born sometime in the year 1660 in Limoges, a city in west-central France. He was the chef of several members of the French nobility including Marquis de Louvois, Philippe 1, and Philippe II. Massialot was quite proud of the fact that he cooked for French nobles and even considered himself as some sort of royalty in the world of French cuisine. His most influential contribution to French cuisine are his cookbooks, which were translated into English in 1702 and had been used by other professional chefs until the 1900s. It was also in his cookbooks that crême brulée and meringue recipes first appeared in print.

1. Guillaume Tirel

Guillaume Tirel, more popularly known as Taillevent, was born in the year 1310 in a place called Pont-Audemer, which is somewhere in northern France. Tirel was the chef of the royal French court from the reign of Philip VI until Charles VI. His biggest contribution to French cuisine was the cookbook Charles V commissioned him to compile. It had all the recipes of the food he served in court during his years as head chef. The cookbook was entitled Le Viandier and was, according to experts, the first cookbook in the history of French cuisine. Another influence attributed to Tirel was the consumption of red wines produced in Burgundy and the south of France. By the time of his death he was cooking for Charles VI under the title Head of the Royal Kitchens.

Do you recognize any of the chefs mentioned in this list? Are you a fan of any of them? Well, fan or not, you cannot deny the great influence these men have contributed on the great art of French cooking. It is mostly due to them that French cuisine has become the exquisite tradition that it is today.

 

7 Most Popular French Desserts

I love desserts. Who doesn’t? For the French, it is as important as the rest of the meal. In fact, for many people, it is the most anticipated part of dinner. Now here are the seven most popular French desserts you can try for those French dinner parties you might be planning with your fellow Francophile friends.

1. Tarte de Pommes a la Normande (French Apple Tart)

Recipe: allrecipes.com
This delicious tart is perfect for an after dinner with friends. I can just imagine me baking this for my girlfriends; that is, if I ever get my hands on an oven that works. Haha. But yes, I know a couple of gals who would love this tart, especially because of the almonds. It would even make a perfect treat over coffee or tea.

2. Charlotte Russe au chocolat (Chocolate Charlotte)

Recipe: allrecipes.com
If you know lady fingers, then you know this cake could only be delicious. Obviously I love lady fingers. And more than that, this cake also has chocolate! Yummy! And the recipe doesn’t really require a lot of work. But even if it did, if the end product is as delicious as this, who cares about the hard work. Right?

3. Éclair

Recipe: allrecipes.com
This one is actually one of my personal favorites, which may not really be saying much since I have a sweet tooth and I love almost all sweet things. Still, who could resist eclairs? I, and a lot of my friends, certainly can’t! Plus, if you put them all in a row, they would make a lovely presentation. Perfect for those after-dinner parties.

4. Madeleines

Recipe: allrecipes.com
As I’ve mentioned before, in another post, this mini cake owes part of its popularity to Marcel Proust’s book. But if you ask me, I think it owes a bit of its fame also to its scrumptious deliciousness. If you think I’m just exaggerating, then you have never tasted these sweet confections before, which means you are missing out on a pretty sweet gastronomic adventure.

5. Dessert Crepes

Recipe: allrecipes.com
I just love how these thin pseudo pancakes are so versatile. They can be paired with almost anything. And they are even more delicious when paired with fresh fruits and a dollop of whipped cream. Now, if you want a healthier treat, you could dispense with the cream and just have the fruits as filling. Fruits are, after all, full of fiber and vitamins. Either way, it sounds so yummy, doesn’t it? In fact, just thinking about them is making me hungry.

6. Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Recipe: foodnetwork.com
There has been some debate as to where ganache was really invented, in France or Switzerland. If you ask me, it doesn’t matter where it really came from. What matters is that it’s one of the most delicious things in the world. And you can put it as a filling or glaze to almost any pastry! Amazing, right? And the cupcake recipe here is so easy it’s adorable. More than that, I’m a big fan of coffee, chocolate, butter, and cream. So getting all of these tasty flavors in one yummy treat is, for me, pure indulgence. Just amazingly delicious!

7. French Meringues

Recipe: allrecipes.com
Now this one is an old favorite of mine. I’ve been eating these things even before I could read or write! I’m serious. These confections are very easy to prepare and they just melt in your mouth like dollops of snowflakes, only sweeter. And you could make them in different colors, too. You just add some drops of natural food coloring into the mix. But if you ask me, I prefer the white ones. I don’t know why but they look more delicious to me than the colored ones.

Do you love desserts as much as I do? Well then, try out some of these recipes and treat yourself to any of these sweet confections today.

 

7 Easy to Make French Appetizers

An appetizer, according to encarta dictionary, is a small dish of food served at the beginning of a meal to stimulate the appetite; hence the name. In French cuisine, every part of dinner is essential. But if you ask my opinion, I think appetizers might be the most important part, since they sort of prep people for the rest of the meal. Now here are seven easy-to-make French appetizers.

1. Tranches au Fromage (Cheese Toast)

Recipe: epicurious.com
Who doesn’t love toast?! It’s one of the yummiest and easiest foods that you can prepare. And this recipe has cheese and mustard, which are both equally delicious. Plus, this recipe requires only a few minutes to prepare, which makes it doubly amazing. Oh yeah, in case you’re wondering, black bread is another term for rye bread. So yes, the ingredients are easy to find, the instructions are easy to follow, and the end product is pretty delicious. More cheese toast, anyone?

2. Tarte au Fromage (Cheese Tart)

Recipe: frenchfood.about.com
This is another deliciously excellent cheese appetizer. It might take a bit longer than most to prepare, but you wouldn’t regret making it. And yes, it is very easy to prepare. There are no complicated processes or cooking techniques needed. You just need to set the dough for a couple of hours. But other than that, it’s a breeze to prepare.

3. Seafood Fondue

Recipe: cdkitchen.com
I’ve always found fondue recipes cute and fun. And this recipe let’s you see that fondue is not just fun to eat, it is also fun to prepare. Seriously, the whole thing is reminiscent of when you were a little girl playing chef with your little pots, pans, and stove. Who said preparing appetizers has to be all business, right?

 

7 Tips on Buying French Cheese

French cheese have grown quite popular these days. Some use it as an ingredient of a favorite dish, others put it in their favorite bread, while others still eat it as it is along with a glass of red wine. However, there are some people who just find it hard to choose that perfect round of Camembert or Brie; or know where to get it. Well, I am no expert but here are seven tips that might help you get that favorite French cheese you want to buy on your next trip to the market.

1. Know what’s in season

As I might have mentioned before, among the most important aspects of French cuisine is the ready availability of ingredients. It is the same with cheeses. Experts say that some cheeses are best during particular seasons. For instance, Camembert is best during spring while Beaufort is tastiest in autumn. Remember, dishes in French cuisine are often seasonal; the same thing goes for French cheeses.

2. Buy from specialist shops

As with most things, it is best to get them from the experts. More often than not, specialist cheese shops or fromageries get their cheeses only from the best cheese makers. They very rarely get their products from factories that mass produce cheese. In fact, most specialist cheese shops actually only buy from small farms that make one particular kind of gourmet cheese. This means that specialist cheese shops would most likely have the best, or near that level of quality, brands of each type of French cheese. However, there is a downside to this. Most products from specialist shops are more expensive than those sold in supermarkets. So you have to decide which one’s more important to you, quality or affordability.

8 Most Popular Types of French Bread

As I’ve mentioned before, wine is an important part of French cuisine. Now, bread is just as important, maybe even more so. Traditionally in France, bread is consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is so essential for meals that people would hazard heavy rain, strong winds, or even flood just to visit the local boulangerie for some baguettes. But baguettes are not the only kind of bread you can find in France. Now here are eight types of French bread that have become popular around the world today.

1. Baguette

Now, who doesn’t know this world famous bread? Despite its popularity, the baguette is considered one of the simple breads because traditionally it is made of only flour, salt, yeast, and water. It is also often baked and consumed in the same day because it does not have preservatives and would go stale the next day. The baguette is closely linked to French cuisine. It is even synonymous with the term “French bread” in some countries. And it can be used to accompany almost any French dish or any kind of French cheese. Yes, it may be a simple bread but it is one of the most versatile ones out there.

2. Pain de Campagne

Pain de campagne literally means “country bread” in French. Typically, it is a large round or rectangular bread made with natural leavening, salt, water, and a mixture of white, rye, and/or whole wheat flour. It tastes a tad like the common sourdough, but less sour. This bread could be as heavy as four to twelve pounds and has a thick crust, which makes it last longer than the baguette.

3. Ficelle

Ficelle means “string” in French. It is a typical French bread and actually has the same ingredients as the baguette. The only difference between the two breads is that the baguette usually measures up to two inches in diameter while the ficelle is thinner, usually one inch in diameter. Most of the time the two have the same length but some boulangeries bake ficelles much shorter than baguettes. It is advisable to consume ficelle fresh from the oven as its crust dries up faster than the baguette because it’s much smaller in diameter.

4. Bâtard

Bâtard is made with the same dough as the baguette. Just like ficelle, its name has more to do with its shape rather than its ingredients or the process with which it is baked. You see, the word bâtard in French means “bastard”. In fact, it is called the “bastard baguette” by some. It is called that because it is considered an inferior version of a baguette. Compared to the baguette, bâtard is bigger in diameter but shorter in length. Now, the bâtard may be inferior for some strict traditionalists but some people actually prefer this to the baguette since it has a bigger diameter, which makes it perfect for those lovely turkey sandwiches.

5. Pain de mie

This type of French bread is not usually found fresh in boulangeries. It is because pain de mie is a loaf of sliced white bread, similar to the white cream breads in the U.S. Its name literally means “the interior of bread”, which suggests the absence of a hard shell or crust. It is made with flour, milk, yeast, salt, butter, and sugar. It is sweeter than most French breads and is often bought already packed. It is the most popular bread for sandwiches and can be great for making toasts.

6. Fougasse

Fougasse is a flat rectangular bread that is quite similar to the Italian bread focaccia. It is believed to have been developed centuries ago to test the temperature of stone ovens. In France, it is most often associated with the Provence region where it is believed to be a speciality. The main ingredients of fougasse are flour, milk, yeast, water, olive oil, and various herbs. Sometimes bakers include other things inside the dough such as cheese, meat, or fruits. This is done by folding the dough over the fillings. Then, the dough is shaped into a tree, a leaf, or a wheat stalk before it is put in the oven. Kind of cute, isn’t it?

7. Croissant

Now, who hasn’t heard this delicious sweet bread? Anyone who has visited a cafe knows this one. Why? Well, because croissants are the perfect bread to munch over a yummy cup of cappuccino or mocha latte, that’s why. Actually, a croissant is considered a pastry-bread hybrid. Its dough is made with yeast, milk, flour, salt, sugar, butter, water, and egg. And of course, a croissant would not be complete without its filling. Like in fougasse, fillings can be varied. The most common are chocolate, almonds, cheese, ham, and raisins. In France, though, it is often baked with almond fillings or none at all.

8. Brioche

Brioche is another sweet French bread that is fast becoming popular today. Like croissant, its dough is made with flour, milk, yeast, salt, butter, eggs, and some sugar. It is often baked in these fluted round flared tin molds and is haped by making two dough balls, with one dough smaller than the other. The smaller dough ball is placed on top of the bigger dough ball before it is glazed with egg and sprinkled with a bit of sugar. Sometimes it is baked with fruit filling or topped with pate or other meats. Absolutely delicious!

Is your favorite bread in the list? If it isn’t, what is your favorite French bread? How do you eat them? Favorite or not, French breads are some of the most delicious baked goods in the world and anyone who loves to eat should really try them.

Top 10 French White Wines

France is popular for its rich cuisine and its cuisine wouldn’t be complete without its complementary wines. Now here are top ten French white wines for those out there who prefer fish, seafood, or fowl over red meat dishes.

1. Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut NV

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $32.99
Champagne is one of the most popular drinks you will most often find in parties. Now this one has rich tones of peach stones, orange blossoms, and lemon zest with a hint of almonds. This lively wine would complement pescetarian dishes really well.

2. Le Meurger Bourgogne Chardonnay 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $18.99
Burgundy is a place that’s famous not only for its Pinot noir grapes but also for its Chardonnay. So knowing that this bottle came from there could only mean good things for anyone who gets their hands on this. This wine has hints of cinnamon, honey, butter, and nuts. It would complement risotto and pasta dishes.

3. Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.99
This wine was made from Riesling grapes and has subtles traces of sweet melon, peach, and honeysuckle. It is a popular vintage because it is just lively and sweet enough for an entire dinner. It would complement a variety of chicken dishes quite well.

4. Domaine de Bellivière Jasnières les Rosiers 2004

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $29.99
This bottle was made from Chenin Blanc grapes, a not so popular variety. It has hints of tropical fruits such as pineapples or guava but has obvious traces of other flavors such as honey, marzipan, peach, and quince jelly. It would complement grilled or spicy fish, or other seafood dishes.

5. Château Le Grand Verdus Ct-6 Bordeaux Blanc Aoc 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $23.63
This white wine from the Bordeaux region has rich traces of reserved fruits and could be excellent for cooking. It also tastes a bit lush and a tad sweet on the tongue. It would go well with creamy pasta and rice dishes.

6. Paul Blanck Gewürztraminer Alsace Altenbourg 2000

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.00
This bottle of of white wine was made with Gewürztraminer grapes from the Alsace region of France. It has traces of very ripe fruits and could have hints of lychees. It also has roses, passion fruit, and other sweet floral aromas. It would complement any fowl dishes particularly ones with turkey or chicken meat.

7. Château Puysserguier, Saint Chinian White, 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $19.74
This bottle is a blend of Grencache Blanc, Maranne, and Vermentino grapes. It has subtle hints of honey and spice , and acacia flowers. This wine would complement vegetable or pasta dishes quite well.

8. Picpoul de Pinet, Fougeray de Beauclair 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $8.93
This wine from the Burgundy region of France was made with Picpoul (or Piquepoul) blanc grapes. It has subtle traces of nuts, cinammon, dry herbs and spice, and even ripe orchard fruits. It goes well with fish and shellfish dishes.

9. Cote Tariquet Vin de Pays des CĂ´tes de Gascogne 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $7.99
This table wine is a blend of a variety of Chardonnay grapes from Armagnac region of France. It is filled with the taste of rich tropical fruits and is a good complementary wine for vegetable or rice dishes.

10. Domaine Josmeyer Mise du Printemps Pinot Blanc Alsace 2008

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $4.99
This bottle is full of rich white fruits and beautiful grape and peardrop aromas. It would complement seafood dishes, particularly shrimp, or a plate of spicy tomato salad.

So, are you convinced yet that white wine could be as great for dinner as the red? You should try whipping your favorite fish or chicken dishes today, pick up a bottle of white wine to go with it, and be surprised by how good the combo is. Bon appetit!

8 Interesting Facts on French Cuisine

French cuisine has been gaining fans for centuries now. And there’s really no puzzle about it. French food is amazingly rich, both in flavor and tradition. And they can be really stylish as well, especially if you go to one of those fancy French restaurants. So for all those French cuisine aficionados out there, here are 8 interesting facts on this wonderfully popular cuisine.

1. Dinner has four parts

French cuisine is noted for its painstakingly careful preparations and dinners could often be a whole evening affair. In fact, a typical dinner in France consists of four parts; a) appetizer, b) main course, c) cheeses and bread, and d) dessert. Sometimes, an alcoholic drink called a digestive is even offered after dessert. Amazing, right? But then, if you were forced to have dinner with annoying relatives, it could be quite an excruciating ordeal. Haha.

2. Lunches last at least two hours

For the French people, food should be consumed with as much care as they were prepared. In fact, lunch breaks are no less than two-hour midday breaks for people in the cities. Yes, most offices in France give employees two hours every day for lunches. And if you work in a small town, you could be even luckier because breaks there could be more than two hours. Lucky employees! I mean, who wouldn’t want to have two-hour lunch breaks?

3. Wines are as important as meals

During main meals, the French typically puts two glasses for each plate. Why? Well, one is for water, the other is for wine. Yes, they would more often than not have wine with their food. And yes, that story about children in France being allowed to drink wine with meals might very well be true. You see, the French believe that wine is an integral part of meals. But of course, they make sure they serve wine that would complement the meal. I believe the old rule of “white wine for seafood and poultry, red wine for red meat” applies, most of the time.

4. Aperitif is served with appetizers

When I first heard about this, I thought it could just be any drink that you serve to guests while they wait for the appetizers, such as soda or juice. I know! I could be such an ignoramus sometimes. But actually, aperitif is an alcoholic drink, usually a cocktail. And it is served along with, not before, the appetizers. Cocktails that could serve as great aperitifs are martinis, gimlets, and manhattans.

5. Truffles are fungi, not chocolate confections

In France, when you mention truffle, people wouldn’t be thinking about a flavorful chocolate ball. They would be thinking of an aromatic fungus that would be perfect for an omelette. You read that right! Truffles are fungi. They are found mostly in Western Europe and they are collected in the wild by sicking pigs, or dogs, on them. I’m not joking. Pigs and dogs are used to find these fungi because they’re the only animals that could smell and find them, as these are usually buried underground.

6. Dishes are often regional

I have read somewhere that one of the reasons French cuisine has excellent dishes is because most French chefs use only fresh ingredients. This means that their recipes have ingredients that are readily available at local markets. For instance, towns near the sea would most likely serve seafood dishes. On the other hand, places in the south of France would often use fruits and vegetables in their recipes because, due to their mild climate, those are the ingredients they have in abundance.

7. There are three types of French cuisine

Apparently, French cuisine is a category with its own subcategories. Stylish, right? Now, the three types of French cuisine are; a) Classical French Cuisine – mainly regional dishes; rich and filling dishes, usually uses cream-based sauces, a-1) Haute cuisine – the more expensive and classier type of Classical French cuisine, most often served in French restaurants outside France, b) Cuisine Nouvelle – simpler and lighter recipes, portions are smaller, heavy cream sauces are avoided, mainly seasonal dishes using local ingredients, c) Cuisine du terroir – mainly regional specialities, strictly uses local ingredients, and food traditions are the main focus when cooking.

8. Italian influences

According to experts, and I’m not sure if this has really been confirmed by meticulous fact checkers, French cuisine is believed to have started right around the time Henry II married the Italian royal consort Catherine de Medici. It is said that Catherine was very fond of parties and festivities. And when she came to France to marry the king, she brought with her an entourage of the finest chefs and pastry makers from Italy at that time to help her organize all the lavish feasts she wanted to hold.

Well, do you know of any other interesting factoids about French cuisine? If you do, don’t hesitate to share. You can never know too much about something as delectably rich and intriguing as French cuisine.

 

8 Classic French Foods

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by anything from France. The country just sounds so beautiful and stylish with its lovely people, romantic language, grand historic buildings, and high fashion. And of course, let us not forget about the food! Some aficionados say that there’s just something about French cuisine that’s so delectable that it gets you hooked. In fact, many people from around the world have come to love French foods, whether they be main courses or desserts. Now, here are eight classic French foods that have grown quite popular today.

1. Baguette

This is one of the most popular breads to go with just about anything. It is a long thin bread that is made with some basic dough. You can slice it, put a dab of butter, sprinkle some garlic on it, stick it in the oven for a few minutes, and you get garlic bread. Or you can put ham, tomatoes, and lettuce in between and you get a sub sandwich. Or you can just slice it and eat it as it is.

2. Foie gras

This food is made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. This can be served on its own or as an accompaniment to a main dish, such as a steak. Now, this is one of the most controversial eatables in the world today. This is mainly because of the force-feeding of ducks and geese in foie gras farms. Apparently, you cannot have foie gras unless it comes from an overly fattened duck or goose. As a result, animal rights activists have condemned France’s continued consumption of this food, and in some countries, it is illegal to sell or buy it. But the tradition of foie gras consumption in France still continues today. In fact, foie gras consumption is considered a protected tradition in French law. Curious, isn’t it?

3. Steak frites

This dish is actually just a large steak with a hefty serving of fries. The steak is cooked with butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Some serve it with mustard or mayonnaise. A few years ago, a friend tried this at one of our local restaurants and he was surprised that he got fries with his steak. He thought it was a bit odd. But I love fries and so I was glad to take the fries from his plate.

4. Escargot

It is a dish of cooked snails and is often served as an appetizer. Yes, you read that right. They use snails. Usually, it is prepared by taking the meat out of their shells, and cooking them with butter, garlic, and some other herbs. This is one of those dishes I wish I did not know. But a lot of people actually love this dish. On top of that, escargot is considered quite nutritious because it is high in protein but low in fat.

5. Ratatouille

This particular dish has grown very popular partly because of that Pixar film about a mouse in Paris who loves to cook. And no, this does not include any rodents in its ingredients. That’s a disgusting thought! If you’ve seen the movie, you would know that this dish is actually composed of various vegetables, which are stewed in a pot and added with herbs and spices, usually oregano. I have read somewhere though that the traditional version just has three main ingredients in it; tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant.

6. Crêpe

This food basically looks and smells like pancake, only thinner. And it is also like the baguette. You can pair this with almost anything. This is usually prepared by putting something in the middle of a rolled up sheet, sort of a filling. You can use meat, vegetables, or fruits as filling. I usually eat them with mangoes and ice cream. It’s unimaginably delicious!

 

7 Easiest Recipes from French Cuisine

One of the common misconceptions about French cuisine is that it has expensive and uncommon ingredients and that it involves really complicated preparation and cooking procedures. Well, that might be true for some dishes but most experts say that French home cooking is not actually riddled with complicated recipes. Now, here are the seven easiest French cuisine recipes.

1. Vichyssoise (Potato Leek Soup)

Recipe: delish.com
This is quite a popular French soup. It takes just about an hour to prepare and the ingredients are quite easy to find, too. It is usually served cold. I know that sounds a bit unusual but it is delicious. It could be because I just love potatoes and butter but trust me, it really is.

2. Aubergines frits (Fried Eggplant)

Recipe: easy-french-food.com
One of my favorite vegetables is the eggplant. And to find a very easy, albeit a little messy, recipe for it is a rare gem. The recipe only has a few ingredients and it’s unbelievably easy to follow! Whoever said French cuisine is complicated have surely never tried this recipe before.

3. Canapes

Recipe: easy-french-food.com
Now who doesn’t know these pretty little things? These things are one of the most popular hors d’oeuvres people serve in parties. This recipe has everything you might need to know to prepare lovely and delicious canapes. It has a list of classic combinations and tips on how to make your canapes the talk of the party. All right, that might be a tad exaggerated. But still, this recipe rocks! And it’s quite easy to follow, too.

 

Top 10 French Red Wines

Wine is a very essential part of French dinners. And who could blame the French? Dishes do taste way better with the right glass of wine, don’t they? Now, I bet you’ve heard that when it comes to red meat, red wine is best. So here are the top ten French red wines for all those delicious red meat dishes you’re contemplating to serve.

10. Mouton Cadet, Bordeaux Rouge 2007

Product link: france44store.com
Price: $9.99
This red wine is full of a variety of fruit flavors including cherry, blackberry, red currant, and plum. It also has traces of several spices that makes this table red an excellent complement for main dishes with red meats such lamb, veal, and even duck.

9. Bouchard Aine, Bourgogne Pinot noir 2008

Product Link: snooth.com
Price: $10.97
A bottle of Pinot noir is among my favorites and this one is a lovely bottle with a cherry red tinge. It’s a rich fruity plump wine with a hint of wood and has a mix aroma of cherry, mint, and lime. It would complement roasted red meats such as prime ribs or roast beef, fowl such as turkey, or mild cheeses.

8. Château Peynaud 2006, Bordeaux Superieur

Product link: bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk
Price: $12.43 (£7.72)
Bordeux wines are quite popular around the world. And this one was bottled by one of the old vintners in the Aquitaine region of France so no doubt this one would be quite good. Now, this bottle is a dark red claret with hints of plum, black currant, and berries. This would complement any red meat dishes, fowl, or strong cheeses.

7. Château Mont-Redon, Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge 2005

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $13.90
This red wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault or Mourvedre grapes. It is a bold, rich, and fruity wine that would complement roasted or grilled red meat dishes quite well.

6. Château Barreyres, Haut-Médoc 2005

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $15.84
This rich dark red has poignant traces of ripe berries, specially dark cherries, cranberry, and black currant. Moreover, wine connoisseurs only have good things to say about this vintage (a.k.a. wine production year), so this bottle could only be good. It would go well with roasted meat and potatoes.

5. Château Paul Mas Clos des Mûres Coteaux du Languedoc 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $16.02
This full-bodied wine is a dark red with hints of blackberry, cherries, spices, and some roasted coffee. It also has traces of vanilla in it. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre grapes. This table red would complement lamb dishes, grilled red meat, or soft cheeses.

4. Irouleguy Rouge Domaine Ilarria 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $20.71
It is a dark red that is a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. And it has hints of black raspberries and spicebox. It is made with organic ingredients and experts says it is good for your health. It is best served with spicy dishes with lots of pepper, or barbecued lamb.

3. Moulin-a-Vent, Domaine Richard Rottiers 2007

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $25.99
This bottle of dark red is made from a variety of Gamay grapes. It has hints of dark red fruits, particularly blueberries. It has traces of a fruity aroma with hints of violet. It would be great with country hams or grilled red meat dishes.

2. Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006

Product link: snooth.com
Price: $24.99
This is another, albeit more expensive, Pinot noir. It is made with Pinot noir grapes. It is a smooth dark red wine that has hints of spices and fruits, particularly ripe red berries. It is best served with grilled fish, vegetables, or simple salads.

1. Cotes du Rhone, Reserve Chartreuse de Bonpas, Louis Bernard 2007

Product link: wine-searcher.com
Price: $25.26
This dark ruby red wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes. It has hints of ripe berries, cherries, and spice. It would complement almost any red meat main dishes, and it can even be perfect as an aperitif (an alcoholic drink that is served with appetizers).

So, have you made up your mind what wine to get for you dinner party, yet? Well if you haven’t yet, I’m sure people at your local wine shops would be glad to help you choose the perfect wine for your menu. After all, you don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to pick the perfect bottle. You just need to know someone who does.