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France: 15 Foods to Try During Your Trip to France

For all of the lists I have created on Meat on Her Bones, I have tried to do a decent job of whittling it down to around 12 must-try foods tops. In France? Impossible. Narrowing it down to just 15 makes me feel like I have left out 20+ dishes.

So, I've selected 15 of my favorite foods to eat every time I visit France, knowing that others will have plenty more to add.

I feel fortunate to have spent a lot of time wandering around this country, and have found that every corner is just as gorgeous as the last, with an extraordinary amount to offer- especially in the way of regional foods. Below you’ll find some of my favorite dishes and treats from a variety of French regions...

1. Wine

Had to be at the top of my list!

Worldwide, French wines are considered the golden standard. Even Frances used wine barrels are resold at an extremely high rate. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to multiple wine regions in France to explore the different variations around the country, and none have left me disappointed. If I were you, I’d grab at least one local glass a day from each region of France you choose to visit.

2. Escargot

A little more controversial to those outside of the area, but always known as a unique and delicious course to try when visiting France.

What is escargot? Well, snails. Often served in delicious parsley and garlic butter.

Those who love them, really love them. It is actually one of my mothers favorite dishes. When in Rome, right?

3. Baguette

Flash back to my college years, traveling around France with my very limited funds. During this time, even my low cost meals excelled. Why? Because of the fresh bread baked on every corner. If you want something light to eat, I highly recommend grabbing a baguette for a couple euros with some cheese to spread on top. Trust me, you’ll be in heaven. Even if you have all the money to spend in the world, I will always recommend a baguette with a spread of cheeses.

4. Local French Cheese

Speaking of cheese, there’s nothing better than a French brie. Every time I visit France, I make sure to indulge in as much charcuterie as possible. And why limit yourself to Brie? - their other varieties are also considered some of the best in the world: camembert, bleu, munster, boursin. If you have a morning, I recommend stopping by a market and grabbing a wide variety of local cheeses to taste-test.

5. Croissants

A fresh French croissant cannot be beaten!

What is a croissant? It’s created by folding buttery dough over and over, for an airy inside and flakey outside with a light crunch.

Some are chocolate filled, some are perfect for spreading local jams on, all are delicious. Affordable and heavenly, it is the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.

6. Crepes

Crepes are another delicacy, and excellent mid-afternoon snack while touring around the country. In Paris, I love exploring streets and alleys until we need to rest our feet, eventually stopping for an afternoon chocolate crepe.

What is a crepe? A crepe is a very thin, pancake-like wrap, often filled with a savory or sweet interior. Savory crepes are filled with cheese, meats, eggs, and sweet often holds chocolate, fruits, and creams. Delicious.

7. Steak Frites

My personal favorite.

If I see steak frites on the menu, I feel an obligation to order it. Steak frites is exactly what is sounds like: a beautifully cooked, red steak paired with crispy fries. It is the perfect combo, especially with the amazing béarnaise butter that comes on top. Definitely eat a bite with both fries and steak together, the combo is elite.

8. Duck Confit

What is duck confit? It is often a whole duck (no portion being spared) that is prepared by being submerged in duck fat and cooked over a longer period of time. Because of this cooking method, it can be preserved for longer; "Confit" meaning preserved in French. Duck cooked in fat? Sign me up.

9. French Onion Soup

Perfect for the cooler months, fresh onion soup is a great first course to your meal.

What is french onion soup? A broth based onion soup, topped with a thick layer of cheese, just waiting for you to break through!

10. Fresh Seafood

With a lot France hitting the coast, you’ll find some amazing seafood around the country. An Oyster & champagne meal is an elegant and excellent choice on the southern coast. Salmon en papillote (made with a technique of wrapping the fish in paper before cooking, to lock in flavors) is also considered a must-try. Wherever you find yourself, try some local filets and enjoy the fresh experience of eating fish that was caught that day!

11. Quiche Lorraine

What is quiche lorraine? A pie-like egg dish made with a variety of meats, custard, and more recently cheese inside, with a flakey, crust base.

12. Croque Monsieur or Madame

Simpler than it sounds, croque monsieur and madames are the perfect cafe meal when visiting France.

What is croque monsieur? A croque monsieur is simply bread baked with ham and melted cheese. Add an egg on top, and you have a delicious croque madame!

13. Boeuf Bourguignon

I polled some friends, and was informed that this one needs to be on the list - another fan favorite and excellent for the cooler seasons.

What is boeuf bourguignon? Also called beef burgundy, it is a beef and veggie stew cooked in red wine until it's tender and flavorful. Vegetables traditionally include onion and carrot.

14. Canales

What are canales? A soft pastry, often filled with custard, and baked with a delicious caramelized exterior.

A famous local story is that this dense, sweet dessert, was made because of the large amounts of egg yolks they had in the area. Why? Well, egg whites are often traditionally used in the wine making process to break down the enzymes and release more flavor. Can you imagine how may eggs had to be used to create any dent in those huge grape vats? Well, a lot. So what to do with all the extra unused egg yokes? Make delicious, sweet canales, of course.

15. Macarons

Last but not least, macarons. Although it can be difficult to make the perfect macaron, the French have it down to a science.

What are macarons? Coming in a variety of flavors, macarons are two meringue-like confections sandwiched together with sweet creamy, filling.


What is your favorite French food? Let me know!


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