What is traditional French cuisine

French cuisine: eat like God in France

There is more to French cuisine than just croissants and baguettes. (Photo by: samot / Depositphotos)

Typical French food

There are a lot of dishes and foods that we Germans consider typically French:

Ratatouille - the classic par excellence

This is an excellent vegetable stew. It can be eaten cold or warm, depending on personal preference.

Classic ratatouille ingredients are:

  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • garlic
  • Peppers

These ingredients are cut into pieces, then fried and then braised at the end. You should never do without olive oil, pepper and salt when preparing this dish, because the taste would not be the same.

Bouillabaisse - fish and soup in one

This delicacy is also one of the classics of Marseilles. It is prepared using local fish, vegetables and seafood.

However, this dish should not be confused with a stew, as the seafood and fish are served separately from the broth. Seven different types of fish are used to create a unique taste.

Pot-au-feu - a special kind of stew

Pot-au-feu means "pot on the fire" and describes a stew made from beef and vegetables.

The whole thing is divided into two courses. First you serve the broth and only later the meat with the vegetables.

As a side dish you can choose between mustard or vinaigrette (sauce made from vinegar, oil and herbs) and gherkins (pickles).

Vichyssoise - especially popular with young and old

The cold vegetable soup called Vichyssoise consists of onions, leeks, cream and potatoes. This special soup is said to have been invented by the French chef Louis Diat from Vichy. However, there is insufficient evidence in this regard. Nevertheless: We like the soup and that is the only important thing.

Boeuf bourguignon - the classic specialty

Boeuf bourguignon is a meat dish and consists of Burgundy wine and beef. Burgundy guarantees the unique quality of its cattle breeding and wine-growing regions. The French mainly prepare this dish at festive celebrations. Nonetheless, boeuf bourguignon can be ordered in restaurants all year round or bought in a can.

Coq au vin - more popular than ever

Everyone has known this dish since the hit movie "Kokowääh" - at least from hearsay. Coq au vin means rooster in wine and describes a poultry dish. With regard to the preparation, it should be noted that the poultry is first marinated in soup vegetables, wine and herbs for 24 to 36 hours. It is then braised twice. For you, this means that if you want to eat coq au vin on Friday, you have to start preparing two days in advance.

Ratatouille is a Provencal vegetable pot and is one of the national dishes in France. (Photo by: vanillaechoes / Depositphotos)

French pastries

French white bread

The typical french white bread, which is shaped like a long stick, is on the table with almost every meal in France, because it is eaten with almost everything.


The baguette is available in France in different types.


croissants are also a French specialty that are also very popular in this country. It is made from Danish pastry. Croissants filled with nougat cream or vanilla cream are not a French invention and therefore not common there.

The French desserts


These popular French dessert specialties are made from choux pastry and are filled with crème pâtissière and coated with chocolate. There are also varieties that are filled with pudding in France. The filling of éclairs with cream, on the other hand, is not a French affair.


Macarons also typically belong to France. They are similar to the Italian amarettini. The small meringue biscuits consist of lots of sugar, egg whites and ground almonds. Sometimes they are even filled additionally.


Croquembouches are a dessert for a special occasion. These small cream puffs are painstakingly handcrafted and filled with a crème pâtissière made of chocolate. Sugar syrup, which is poured on top, provides the additional sugar shock.

Creme brulee

Also the Creme brulee is a typical French dish.

How the Spanish crema catalana the crème brûlée is first made from cream, egg yolk, milk and sugar. The zest of lemons or oranges, ginger, bourbon vanilla or cinnamon, for example, are added as flavor nuances. The trick is that the cream stagnates in the water bath in the oven and thereby becomes firm. When the cream has cooled down again, it is sprinkled with sugar, which is then caramelized using a small gas burner.

What is a french breakfast?

As a rule, pastries such as a croissant and a large cup of milk coffee (café au lait) are served for breakfast in France.

The croissant is consumed either pure with a sweet spread such as jam, honey and butter or filled with chocolate.

A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can also be served.

Lunch in France

A typical lunch in France looks like this:

  • aperitif
  • Starter (les hors-d’œuvres): for example, salad or pate
  • Main course (le plat): meat or fish, vegetables or potatoes, rice or pasta are often served
  • Cheese (le fromage): this is mostly eaten with white bread
  • Dessert
  • Digestif

Recipe recommendations & specialties from France

Macarons are colorful meringues made from almond flour with a layer of cream. (Photo by: sabinoparente / Depositphotos)

The regional cuisines of France

The French cuisine is very diverse as the 16 different regions, in which the kitchen is divided in France, are subject to different climatic zones. The most famous French recipes come from the regions of Burgundy, Provence, Normady and Brittany.

The south of the country

in the South of the country there are, for example, many Spanish and Italian impacts. On the Côte d’Azur, of course, a lot of fresh sea fish and seafood are processed, and ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic and herbs from Provence are used and very popular.

The tapenade (olive paste with capers, anchovies and olive oil) and aioli are known for this region.


in the Alsace Gourmets will encounter a specialty that is also very popular in this country: the Alsatian tarte flambée consists of a wafer-thin yeast dough that is topped with delicious cream and diced bacon.

Another typical Alsatian specialty is the Choucroute garnie. It is an Alsatian sauerkraut platter with sausages and salted meats. Potatoes are also served.

Baeckoeffe is a hearty stew with lamb, beef and pork, vegetables and white wine.

The Fromage de Munster d`Alsace is a strong soft cheese and is often served with tarte flambée or potatoes.

The Gugelhoupf, a yeast cake with or without raisins, is served as dessert.


The Normandy is known for its strong cheeses, such as the Livarot and Camembert, for meat dishes, fresh oysters and sweet desserts, such as the delicious apple pie, which is made from Calvados apples.

The typical French specialties of this region include:

  • Bœuf braisé à la Normande (roast beef marinated with cider and calvados)
  • Escalope de veau à la crème (veal schnitzel in cream sauce)
  • Gigot d’agneau présalé (leg of salt meadow lamb)
  • Boudins noir (blood sausages on apple rings with roasted onions)
  • Tripes à la mode de Caen (tripe in cider and calvados)
  • Marmite dieppoise (this fish stew is especially popular near the coast)
  • Huîtres chaudes au pommeau (hot oysters in a sauce au pommeau)
  • Crêpe Normande (flat pancake with sugar, cream and apple rings - this is flambéed with calvados at the table)
  • Tarte Normande, also known as Tarte aux pommes (apple pie made from thin dough and crème fraîche)


In Burgundy In addition to exclusive wines, you can especially enjoy escargots (Escargots de Bourgogne) and meat and fish dishes with fine wine sauces (Bœuf bourguignon). Dijon mustard also comes from Burgundy.


Typical Breton specialties include crêpes or galettes (pancakes made from buckwheat flour that are heartily filled) with cider. Dishes with lamb and artichokes are also popular, but also with fish and seafood, such as:

  • Moules frites (mussels with french fries)
  • Breton lobster
  • Oysters
  • Coquilles Saint-Jacques (seared or raw scallops)

The desserts include:

  • Sweet filled crepes
  • Far Breton (a type of pancake)
  • Kouign amann (a butter cake made from puff pastry covered with caramel)
  • Gâteau Breton (a sand cake baked with salted butter)


This region is located in the south-west of the country, which is known as the gourmet region of France - expensive and noble black truffles can be found here. The Périgord is also known for its poultry specialties, the confit and foie gras being the most important.

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