To make a long story short, there is not ONE French cuisine. We would be better off speaking about French gastronomy, which includes all of the French cuisines. Each one comes from a different region, with both it’s differences as well as common characteristics.
If you ask a chef what French gastronomy is, he will often answer:
“The art of making a complex meal with simple ingredients”
Indeed, few French recipes include a lot of ingredients and even fewer have unknown or atypical ones. French chefs want to make a dish that fills the stomach and excites the taste buds. In brief, meals that you enjoy with pleasure while also satisfying the appetite.
Let’s speak about French cuisines with examples per region (North to South):
- In the North, the Carbonnade is the king of meals. A stew of local veggies, with a nice piece of beef and cooked in beer.
- In Britain (West), Crepes of course! Sweet or salty, using a wheat or buckwheat flour base, often made with Nutella or ham.
- In Lorrain (East), Quiche Lorraine, a salty tart covered of migaine (mixture of eggs and crème fraiche) and bacon.
- In Provence (South-East), the Bouillabaisse: a fish soup served with garlic croutons and potatoes.
- In the South-West: the Cassoulet, a white bean based copious meal with meats (duck and pork).
Those are some typical French courses: all very different from each other, using simple ingredients for a delicious result every time!