Introduction to the national cuisine of France
European cooking classes are a fantastic way to learn about the the national cuisine of France. French food is world renowned, and though some of it may be difficult to cook, most dishes simply require some practice. For those just beginning to dabble in the kitchen, half the battle is simply learning the basics. This means gaining an understanding of ingredients, measurements, French cooking techniques and various cooking apparatuses. A great place to start is with some of the most common national dishes of France.
A bisque is a strongly seasoned, creamy soup classically based on the broth of crustaceans such as lobster and crab. The shells are used to create the broth and meat from the crustaceans is often added near the end of the soup’s cooking time. Modern bisques are sometimes thickened with a roux.
Foie gras can be hard to get a hold of in the United States, as in some areas it is banned entirely. Foie gras is made from the liver of ducks or geese. The process of making foie gras relies on overfeeding the bird with fatty foods, causing the liver to expand well beyond its normal size. Many people are opposed to the production of foie gras citing cruelty to animals, but nonetheless it is a traditional staple of French cuisine.
Escargot is usually served as an appetizer. The dish is composed of snails cooked in garlic butter or wine. Similar to shellfish, escargot is high in protein and low in fat content.
This hearty dish is simply a French beef stew. Pot-au-feu is not all that difficult to prepare, but the process can be rather time consuming. It is one of the most common and renowned dishes in France, because pot-au-feu is relatively affordable and can be made by anyone. This classic mix of meat, vegetables and spices is a great place to start when learning to make French cuisine.
A crepe is a very thin pancake usually folded over and loaded with a sweet or savory filling. Crepes are primarily made with two kinds of wheat: Sweet crepes are often made with wheat flour, while savory crepes are usually made with buckwheat.
This pedestrian dish is a basic mix of vegetables and spices, delicious both for its simplicity and versatility. Ratatouille can be served in numerous ways: as a side, main dish or stuffing.