French cuisine is usually summarized as baguettes and croissants. Definitely have those while you are there! Thanks to Julia Childs, French cuisine has been brought into the light for simple, carefully crafted dishes. It's still hard to describe. If you plan on traveling to France, here are some of the dishes you must try at least once! If you are interested in a food, tour, I highly recommend the one we took through Urban Adventures. It was a tour of the Marais district, an area that would be difficult to visit and understand without a guide. It isn't a tourist area, so the history and small group made this tour one of the highlights of our trip. We of course got to try some food and wine, this is a tasting tour after all! It was extremely affordable compared to other tours and our guide was fantastic.
Tiny bits of seafood covered in butter and garlic sauce? What's not to love. Especially in France where most cafes take pride in getting fresh escargot every day. Ask before you order to be sure! Also ask your waiter to show you how to use the adorable tools to actually eat them if you don't know (like us!).
Pain du Chocolat
Ok you have to get one of these at least once, preferably one every day while you are in France. This crusty little pastry has a slender bar of dark chocolate in the middle! It's melted into the flaky layers and is absolute perfection. The whole pastry is buttery and delicate. They have these in the States at bakeries but as you could predict, the French version is better.
A grilled cheese sandwich is good. A hot ham and cheese is better. A hot ham and cheese with a fried egg on it? I've died and gone to Heaven! There are a few variations you can find of these but the classic is my favorite.
These are all the rage in the US now, so I'm sure you've had one. But go to Pierre Herme to get a really innovative one. Their are three locations sprinkled around Paris. Voted best macaroon maker for many years in a row, you will find interesting flavors you can't find anyone else. Like Jardin Andalou: Olive Oil with Mandarin Oranges and Red Berries!
A Cheese Course
Try this at least once! This is my favorite French tradition. This course traditional comes after the main course either as dessert or a course just before dessert. If I could have cheese for dessert every day I would. Forget the chocolate! They usually come with three different cheeses. One is fermented and tangy like blue cheese, one is a hard cheese like swiss, and one is a soft cheese like brie. Dinner usually comes with a basket of bread so you will have something to put these delicious cheeses on!
This appetizer is similar to deviled eggs in the South. It's sliced hardboiled eggs with minimal seasoning and a mayonnaise like sauce on top. I say "mayonnaise like" because this isn't Miracle Whip. This is the real homemade stuff and let me tell you, as much as I dislike mayonnaise, this dish was good! Share with a friend, it's very rich by itself.
I couldn't create this list without crepes right?! Crepes are everywhere and fairly inexpensive. We got chocolate sauce with crepes and they came covered in a thin, dark chocolate sauce, delicious! If you don't have a sweet tooth, this will be hard to finish. We shared the strawberry (fraise in French) crepe that is pictured among three people and still didn't finish it! The jam is very very sweet. But the crepe is delicate and delicious! Try to get one with a view of a street guitarist and some wine like we did :)