France by Food

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France is well known for its love of good food and wine. And getting the cheapest flights to the country is easy. Everybody knows about the more unusual foods the French eat – snails and frog’s legs – but those are not necessarily the best things about French cuisine. What about the more standard regional delicacies? Here is a loose by-region guide to French food (which does nonetheless include the snails) to help you discover more about how to eat your way around the country.

North-west France

Alsace is on the border with Germany and its food is similar to the German food and beer of its neighbour. You’ve probably sampled a Quiche Lorraine even if you’ve never set foot in the region of Lorraine itself.  It is known for its sumptuous fruit as well as the preserves made from them.

North-east

You will find lots of seafood on the North-east coast. Scallops, monkfish, sole herring, seabass are among the fish here and in Britanny, lobster, crayfish and mussels are popular. Britanny also has many apple dishes due to the numerous orchards of apple trees, as well as cider that recently a large French beer company brought over to the UK. It is not clear whether or not they actually use the apples grown in the region.

Central France

An abundance of fruit grows in central France including cherries, melons and strawberries. The cherry liqueur Guignolet is made from the cherries.  Lamb, veal and game are eaten here, as they are in the interior of many European countries. Some people from the UK (particularly those from the British countryside) will feel right at home enjoying the food here. The area of Limosin also enjoys, beef and lamb. It produces great mushrooms too.

Burgundy

The region from where the colour gets its name. Burgundy is situated in France and Switzerland. It is well known for its wine. Fish from the river as well as meats and snails are eaten here. Chaource and Epoisses cheeses are produced in the area. Burgundy is also where Dijon is situated, and thus where Dijon mustard comes from.

South-west

Bordeaux is well known for its wine, which many French people the country over will recommend you take a bottle of back with you if you can (which is possible if you’re not travelling home by plane). Wonderful truffles can be found in the Cahors region and foie gras, the pate made with the liver of a fattened duck, is produced in Gascony.

South-east

Provence has lots of lovely lemons and oranges as well as vegetables and herbs. In Lyon and Savoy you will find delectable sausages. Dombes, which was originally part of Burgundy, is where frogs legs have been eaten for hundreds of years. It is only in the past couple of centuries that the rest of the country has enjoyed the delicacy. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number consumed every year, not all the frogs are locally sourced or even French anymore, and there is some debate over the sustainability of the cuisine.

John Hutchinson has enjoyed travelling since he was a young boy when his parents first took him to visit family overseas. Since leaving home, John has tracked down family all over the world and regularly jets off to faraway lands to see distant relatives.