Do not miss out on the Top 20 French Specialities you have to taste in France!
How well do you know the French cuisine? Have you tasted some or a lot of French specialities? I decided that I will create and share a list of Top 20 French Meals you have to eat in France. Make yourself a checklist and cross off the things you have already tasted and mark the French meals that are still waiting for you to discover. Because it would be a shame that living your life you are missing on the best world cuisine which has been found in France…So here you are:
Top 20 French Meals you have to eat in France:
- Quenelles. These are the speciality from my beloved Lyon, the capital of the French gastronomy, therefore it is obligatory to taste this meal if you have a chance. They are somewhat similar to dumplings and made with creamed fish (pike), butter, breadcrumbs, and lobster sauce. It’s rich but light at the same time. They are usually served with rice and they are very easy to eat, they melt in your mounts.
- Bœuf Bourguignon. This is a traditional hearty French beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef stock, generally flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni. The stew is garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon. Many French prepare it very often and there are many recipes to make it. You can try yourself.
- Ratatouille. This is one of the only French stews that’s made without meat. This French Provençal vegetable stewed comes from Nice. The dish is full of delicious Mediterranean vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant. Very tasty!
- Cassoulet. This is a typical French comfort dish of white beans stewed slowly with meat, typically pork or duck but also sausages, goose, mutton or whatever else the chef has around. The name of the dish comes from the pot (cassole) it’s traditionally baked in, which is typically shaped like an inverted cone to give a crust shape. This is a rich, hearty meal perfect for colder months.
- Bouillabaisse. This is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. The dish is logically made of various fish, shellfish, tomatoes, aromatics from the South of France, mustard, and egg yolks. You eat it with bread and potatoes. The recipe varies from chef to chef, but they all agree that it is amazing no matter how it’s made. You can imagine it as the fish chowder, and the best ones are made with fresh fish straight from the Mediterranean.
- Coq au vin. One of the most popular French specialities made of chicken braised in red wine with vegetables, garlic, lardons and more red wine. A red Burgundy wine is typically used, although French regional variations exist using local wines, for example coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), coq au pourpre or coq au violet (Beaujolais nouveau) and coq au Champagne (Champagne). A really obligatory meal to taste in France and it’s tasty!
- Blanquette de veau. This is a classic and a favorite among the French, consists of delicate veal, butter, and carrots cooked in a cream sauce. In this ragout, neither the veal nor the butter is browned in the cooking process thanks to the fact that they are cooked en blanquette giving this dish a unique taste. Again, you can follow the recipes to make and taste.
- Confit de canard is a tasty French dish of duck, considered as one of the finest French dishes. To prepare a confit, the meat is rubbed with salt, garlic, then covered and refrigerated for up to 36 hours. Prior to cooking, the spices are rinsed from the meat. The meat is placed in a cooking dish deep enough to contain the meat and the rendered fat, and placed in an oven at a low temperature. The meat is slowly poached at least until cooked, or until meltingly tender, generally four to ten hours. The meat and fat are then removed from the oven and left to cool. A classic recipe is to fry or grill the legs in a bit of the fat until they are well-browned and crisp, and use more of the fat to roast some potatoes and garlic as an accompaniment. Another accompaniment is red cabbage slow-braised with apples and red wine.
- A croque monsieur. This is a quite simple fried or baked ham and cheese sandwich which is worldwide known and I bet you have already prepared it and eaten it yourself. But you cannot forget this dish originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack, is their speciality and the fact on how they prepare it (usually frying or grilling rather than using the standard toasters to grill and adding white sauce) provides them with the different taste. In France, there is also a croque madame which is a variant of the dish topped with a fried egg.
- Crêpes. Whether savoury or sweet, a crêpe is perfect for breakfast, lunch or even just a quick snack on the go. The classic french crêpe will have a butter and sugar within it, but nowadays the list of toppings have been extended. In each French city, there are many crêperies and many of these places will prepare your crêpe right in front of you, putting on them whatever you might like.. A bit more sophisticated variation of the typical crepes are the Breton Buckwheat Pancakes This magnificent dish is gluten-free and although it doesn’t quite look like a pancake, it tastes even better than one. It can be eaten at breakfast or dinner, usually served with a salad and filled with ham or eggs.
- Steak Tartare. This dish is essentially uncooked beef, that is ground up and blended with other ingredients. It is usually served with onions, capers, pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, often presented to the diner separately, to be added to taste. It is often served with a raw egg yolk, and often on rye bread. It may seem unappetizing or unhealthy to eat this but you won’t be disappointed by its sweet taste and the elegance of the dish.
- Frog Legs. They are one of the better-known delicacies of French and Chinese cuisine. The frog legs are not scary or disgusting meal at all. They are actually very easy to eat, they have a taste very similar to chicken and their texture can be compared to that of a chicken wing. The best ones are coated in flour and fried. They melt in your mounts.
- Quiche Lorraine. This dish is relatively easy to find as most food menus have this as an option. It is perfect for lunch and dinner. It can be eaten warm or cold. It is also pretty easy to prepare. I love making it and I always encourage my sister to try. It consists of heavy cream, eggs, and bacon all rolled into a wonderful pie. There are many types of French quiches if you are not the bacon fan. The beauty of the quiche is that there is base (eggs, ceam, cheese) and then you can add anything you have in the fridge: chicken or salmon or tuna and vegetable. But do not forget the Quiche Lorraine is the classic that needs to be tasted.
- Tartiflette. This French speciality comes from the Savoy region and have been developed in the 1980s. It is made from potatoes, bacon, onions and reblochon, a Savoyard cheese. There is a variation called “croziflette” where potatoes are switched with crozets, small buckwheat pastas. This is very tasty as well. You buy this little pasta and can create so many meals out of it. Check here for inspirations.
- Raclette. This is one of the star dishes of winter. It allows you to warm up and have a good evening with family or friends after a day of skiing or work. This recipe was invented by Swiss shepherds in the 19th century in the canton of Valais. It is extremely easy to prepare however you need to have a special machine a raclette which most of the French houses have. The melted cheese is served with potatoes, cornichon, different types of ham etc.
- Cheese Souffle. This luxurious dish is made of flour, eggs, and cheese whipped into a delicate cloud for you to taste. Because cheese contains some natural salt flavor, the best to serve with cheese souffle is by having a crunching salad that has apples or pears. Some people serve it with crusty French bread, homemade chutneys, a fresh cucumber, and courgette pickle. Enjoy!
- Moules frites. The mussels and fries are a very popular dish in Belgium and in the north of France. The typical dish consists of mussels cooked and served with french fries. The mussel portion is usually one kilogram per person; it is often served to each guest in the cooking vessel.
- Gratin Dauphinois. This is a French typical dish made of sliced potatoes baked in milk or cream. The meal comes from the Dauphiné region in south-eastern France. They’re quite creamy and filling, so make sure you leave enough room for your actual meal.
- Tarte flambee. Flammkuchen is a speciality of Alsace. It is a type of crispy, thin-crust pizza which is usually topped with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions, and lardons. I call it a pizza which will surprise you nicely with the taste.
- Onion soup. This is a soup based on meat stock and onions, and often served gratinéed with croutons and cheese on top of a large piece of bread. This is a typical french speciality known worldwide. I tasted it in London when I was in the ‘typical’ french restaurant serving french specialities. But in France, I am surprised, it is not the most popular meal among the French. However, I do recommend tasting it.
So what is your score? How many French meals have you already eaten? How many you cannot wait to taste? Do you think that there is missing any other French meal that we should recommend eating? Thank you for sharing!