French Cuisine is a heavenly amalgamation of culture, tradition, sophistication and, perhaps above all, a love for food. The French look beyond the ingredients and techniques that go into creating a rich blend of flavors. It has to also be considered as a way of life. French cooking is sophisticated and requires patience and practice to master every aspect of it. French cuisine has been incredibly influential, particularly in the realm of western cuisine. In November 2010, French gastronomy was designated as having "intangible cultural heritage".
Here are some of the most popular and celebrated delicacies from France.
5. Foie Gras
Foie Gras is made from the liver of the duck or goose which has been fattened specifically for preparation of this delicacy. The fattening process is called gavage. Ducks account for over 90% of the foie gras production as its taste is described as more “rustic” than goose. Foie gras is smooth and supple while remaining firm to touch with a uniform colour throughout. French law describes it as "part of the cultural and gastronomic heritage" of France.
Bisque is a particularly seasoned soup made from the crustaceans which comprise of lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. It is thickened with rice and has become so popular that any thick, smooth and creamy soup is now informally albeit incorrectly called bisque. Bisque gets its flavors from roasted shells. The aroma and flavor of bisque is often what sets some restaurants apart from the rest. An important technical aspect of preparing bisque is to not wash any utensils or dishes used while preparation to preserve and maximize the flavor.
An éclair is a long pastry made from a special kind of light pastry dough called choux. Although choux is a common ingredient in the preparation of many pastries, what sets éclairs apart is simplicity and richness. It is filled with cream or custard and dipped in fondant icing or ganache. Frozen éclairs follow the same form but are filled with ice cream instead.
Macarons are a delightful explosion of flavorful meringue cookies. Two meringue cookies are sandwiched together with some kind of filling ranging from jams, butter, caramel or buttercream frosting. The macaron is a staple of French cuisine and has a smooth and crisp shell with a chewy and moist interior which melts in the mouth. They are made with egg whites and sugar which lends the chewy texture without drying out and becoming too crispy. The macaron is one of the most popular French exports to the rest of the world and has iconic status in some countries like Korea, America and Japan.
A baguette is a classic long and thin loaf of French bread. Even though it existed beforehand, the term baguette only became part of popular culture from 1920 onwards. The baguette is made of very simple ingredients namely flour, water, salt and yeast. They are usually eaten as sandwiches cut in half and also for breakfast. A thicker baguette is called "pain" whereas a thinner version is called "ficelle". Like most breads, they are best when fresh and stale rapidly as time passes.