General Info on France • Paris is France’s largest city. • Roman Catholic is the main religion. • Manufacturing is the leading industry. • The climate of France is moderate. • 2 secrets to French cooking • Top quality ingredients. Buy fresh everyday. • Cooks are patient—makes difference between good food and excellent food.
Intro to French Cuisine • The most famous cuisine of the world. • French Children learn at a early age to appreciate food. • French cuisine was codified in the 20thcentury by Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine (elaborate preparations, fancy garnishes, and rich sauces). • Good food and wine are important parts of daily life. • Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine. • Wine is a major part because grapes are grown throughout much of the southern part of the country. • France is famous for it’s cheeses. It is always served during the meal.
French Cuisine • They use different types of spices and herbs to give the proper flavor and texture. • This cuisine is influence by Portuguese and African countries. • The use to eat mostly fish, seafood, game birds, veal, and green vegetables. • Chef Paul Bocuse is known as the father of French cuisine.
French Cuisine • Eat 3 meals a day • Breakfast-very light (ex. Hot milk and coffee with crusty bread with butter and jam) • Traditional “midday” meal-biggest meal of day. • Traditional evening meal-light
3 main classes of French cooking • Haute Cuisine-characterized by elaborate preparations, fancy garnishes, and rice sauces. • Chefs use lavish use of creams, eggs, and butter. • What you see in restaurants and hotels. • Provincial Cuisine • Practiced by most families. • Locally grown food enhanced by simple cooking methods. • Nouvelle Cuisine • Emphasis on lightness and natural taste of food. • Flavor, texture, and presentation are important. • Idea is to preserve nutrients and natural tastes of food.
Sauces • French use a variety of sauces in everyday meals. • Roux-mixture of butter and flour. Forms a base of all white sauces. • Béchamel-when add milk to roux it becomes a béchamel…the classic white sauce. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of it’s appearance and is probably used most frequently in al types of dishes. • Veloute-when you add chicken, veal, or fish to a roux it becomes a Veloute. • Demi-glace-(aka brown sauce), traditionally made of a rich meat sauce. A nicely browned roux.
Sauces • Hollandaise-this sauce is made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. Hollandaise is made with butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice. • Vinaigrettes-made by combining wine vinegar, oil, and seasonings. Often used as dressing on green salad or marinade for vegetables.
Popular Spices in French Cuisine • Herbs are just as important in French cooking as sauces. • Fine Herbs-mixture of fresh chives, parsley, and tarragon. • Basil-is a popular herb mix with tomatoes and other fresh vegetables in French cuisine. • Thyme-belongs to the mint family. This is a refreshing herb that is strongly scented. • Rosemary-has a bright, refreshing flavor that complements poultry and vegetable recipes. • French Tarragon-An Anise-scented herb, is especially popular in French seafood dishes and it pairs nicely with mustard. • Marjoram, saffron, oregano, fennel, bay leaves, and savory are also very popular spices.
Meal Preparations • French meals aren’t complete with hors de oeuvres- small dishes designed to stimulate the appetite. • Baked Goods • Soup comes next • Consommés-meat stock base; rich; clear; hot or cold. • Puree soups-made from meat, poultry, fish or vegetable. Cooked in a liquid and then pureed. • Cream soups-Use a béchamel as a base; meat, fish, vegetables, or poultry is added. • Veloute- meat, fish, poultry, or vegetables added with egg yolks, butter, and cream.
Meal Preparation • Main Meal- • Seafood (frog legs, crabs, scallops, and mussels) and poultry (goose, chicken, duck) main basis. • Eat less red meat than the US • Sometimes broil steaks and serve with a sauce. • Lamp is popular is spring. • Organ meats are a delicacies.
Meal Preparation • French Vegetables and Green Salad • Vegetables are very important to the meal. • Serve 2 or more vegetables with main dish. Cook until crisp. • Cheese and Fresh fruit served always after salad and before dessert. • Serve bread at every meal. • On table throughout meal during all courses. • Baguettes are most popular. • Dessert is always served.
French Regions • Normandy-tender veal, rich cream and butter, apples. • Brittany-Asparagus, artichokes, and cauliflower are popular. Known for crepes. • Provence-Known for fresh vegetables. • French Alps-Vineyards and wines they produce. Snails. • Alsae-Lorraine-stews with white beans, goose/chicken, pork, bacon, and herbs. Also known for Quiche.