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Posted on June 2, 2020

The Classic Culture and Cuisine of France

When it comes to culture, the French don’t just have it — they helped create it. No, really. The word culture derives from a French term that derives from the Latin word colere. This term means to grow, to cultivate, or to nurture, according to Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London. One of the most cultured items in France is its cuisine. From light and airy afternoon treats to heavy, flavorful dishes, France has it all.

Snacks and Sweets – French Cuisine

When it comes to the light and airy side of French cuisine, the most popular sweets include, crème brûlée, macarons, and crepes. While macarons are often associated with France, the cookies actually originated in Italy. However, the French put their own little twist on them, taking two cookies and placing filling in between them, creating the iconic French macarons we know and love today.

If your sweet tooth isn’t aching, there are other less-sugary snacks to choose from, including:

  • Pissaladière: Deriving from the French phrase pèi salat, meaning salted fish, this doughy delight is similar to pizza. It is baked and topped with anchovies, olives, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs.
  • Gougère: These little puffs are filled with classic French cheeses and served either cold or at room temperature.
  • Croissants: The most iconic French snack is a croissant — light, buttery, and delicious bread.

Now, croissants are another snack that the French put a twist on, skyrocketing them to popularity. According to Smithsonian Magazine, croissants are actually a version of the Austrian snack kipfel. The French made it their own by making it with puff pastry, a French invention. 

Hearty Meals

If you need more than just a snack to fill you up, there are plenty of hearty French dishes that will do the job. These dishes are often made with various types of meat, seafood, or vegetables and are always seasoned to the maximum. One of the most iconic is Coq Au Vin, meaning “rooster with wine.” Some other famous dishes are:

  • Bouillabaisse: A fish stew that is seasoned with many herbs and spices and often includes mussels, clams, and white fish, such as cod or haddock.
  • Beef bourguignon: Made popular by the iconic Julia Child, it is a beef stew made with red wine, beef, and many vegetables.
  • Ratatouille: This dish consists of eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and seasonings. 
  • Quiche: A traditional French quiche is a pastry crust filled with ingredients such as meat/seafood, vegetables, cheese, and a savory custard. It can be served cold or hot.

Let Le Manhattan Bistro Inspire You

Just as French cuisine was inspired by the surrounding countries and their dishes, you can also be inspired by the dishes served by Le Manhattan Bistro. Our menu is packed full of traditional French dishes, along with a few spins. Start cooking with some inspiration from the Bistro!