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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

[Must eat foods in France] You must try these ten inexpensive food in France

There are local foods you MUST try wherever you go. It's kind of hard to choose all of them when you travel France.
As a person who lived and traveled France, I have a few things I absolutely have to have when I go to France.

You may, or may not agree with me.
This selection is solely upon my personal preferences.

Let me start with some bread and pastries.

1. Fresh viennoiseries(pastires) and French bread

In France, there is at least one boulangerie(bakery) in a tiny village. It wouldn't be surprising to see multiple boulangeries in a small town. It's all because French people (only) eat fresh bread. They don't mind, or rather are happy to go to the bakeries to buy freshly baked croissants and baguettes.
In Paris, bakeries open at 6:30 a.m.! In smaller towns, most bakeries are in full swing at 7 a.m.

Mr. D and kids love "pain au chocolat."

However, Mr. D evaluates quality of a bakery according to how well the bakery  makes croissants.

My favorite "viennoiserie"(pastry) is pain aux raisins(raisin bread).

 In France, I must have a pain aux raisins a day.

Of course, there are a few dozen French bread and cakes.

I also buy a loaf of baguette or pain de campagne(country bread? Whole wheat sour dough bread) almost everyday.

I feel like having a tartine when I 'm in France.
A tartine is a chunk of baguette, cut in length, on which butter and jam are spread.

Any spcialty bread of a French bakery is trust worthy.
Most of them are artisanal.

If you want a nice dessert to take out from a boulangerie,
I strongly recommend a "flan", a sweet pudding made with butter, milk and flour.
It has a heavenly taste.

2. Baguette Sandwich

I guess this is an unique style sandwich in France.

For French sandwich, the most important ingredient is crispy crusted baguette. Filling is the second important thing.
Instead of mayo and mustard, butter is the number one spread for baguette sandwiches.

The most common and basic sandwich is,
"jambon & fromage", which is ham & cheese.
As French ham and cheese are wonderful, basic sandwich is delicious :)

4. Fromage / Cheese

As Charles de Gaulle famously said, "« Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays où il existe plus de 300 sortes de fromage ? » (In English, it would be "How can anyone govern a nation that has more than 300 different kinds of cheese?), there are so many great cheeses in France.

With so many different kinds of cheese in France, you would scream for joy.

Fromage(cheese) is a regular course of meal in France, after the main dish.
I do not miss a chance to taste a new cheese.

5. Charcuteries

Along with French cheese, French charcuterie(delicatessen) is something extraordinary.

It's hard to choose only a couple when you have hundreds of choices, but that again would be a scream of joy.

6. Shawarma / Falafel

If you like Jewish falafel or middle eastern shawarma,
you will find a good number of food stands or restaurants.

I love both Jewish and Middle Eastern food,
this is a must food for me.

I like shawarma in Canada, too. But, style of shawarma and falafel have their own style in each country, and French falafel/shawarma comes with French fries.

7. French fries

Ironically, French fries were not originated from France.
The name must have been referred to the fact that "French" was introduced when American soldiers arrived in French spoken part of Belgium during World War I, and consequently tasted Belgian fries. They supposedly called them "French."

8. Moules-frites
 Moules-frites is a popular dish consisting of mussels and French fries.
They are very popular and frequently listed in the menu of restaurants in France, and also in Belgium.
I would say you must try a pot of moules-frites, at least once, in France.

9. Fromage blanc - Fromage frais
This is one of my very favorite dairy product in the whole world!
Fromage blanc/fromage frais is a creamy soft cheese that has consistency of greek yogurt. It is, of course, made with milk and cream. Fromage frais can be by itself or with often with fruit or honey. It is often in the menu.
There also are varietes in the supermarket.

This has been my favorite fromage blanc of all time.

It's more liquid than usual fromage blanc. It's so smooth and rich.

Jockey is another fovorite of mine.
It's thicker than Fjord.
I like haing Fjord by itself, and Jockey with fruit.

House brands are not bad either.

 Try fromage frais with fresh fig. It's sooooo good!

10. Ice cream and Sherbet
I've never had such refreshing fruity sorbet anywhere else than in Paris.

There are surprisingly many ice cream places in France,
but you should try the very top three ice cream places ("Glaciers" in French)
One of them is Grom (81 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris),

and another one is Raimo(63 Boulevard de Reuilly  75012 Paris).

In my personal opinion, Grom is better both in price and taste. But, it's only me.
Both are very famous for sorbet/sherbet while Berthillon, best of best, specializes in ice cream. Berthillon is closed in August, which would be unthinkable in North America.

I thought I would stop at ten,
but find out that it is not possible. :(
I'll add five more!

 11. Galettes and Crêpes

 Crêpes are kind of very very thin pancakes.
Crêpes originate from Bretagne(Brittany), a region in the northwest of France.

In Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with cider.

 Crêpes are very very popular in France and it is one of signature foods you should not miss in France.  There two types of crêpes: crêpes sucrées(sweet crêpes) that is made with wheat flour and slightly sweetened; and savoury galettes (crêpes salées) made with buckwheat flour and unsweetened.
My favorite savoury fillings are ham and egg.

This would be a very luxurious dessert crêpe I eat only during vacances! :) 

 12. Café espresso at a French café
If you are a coffee drinker, you should order a café espresso at a café in France and enjoy the street view.
The seats at French cafés are facing street instead of each other.

As I don't drink coffee, I ordered a cup of black tea while Mr. D ordered a café espresso a ! It's also enjoyable.

Kids had sodas here, which they are not allowed to have normally.

Kids' favoite café at a French would be chocolat chaud or hot chocolate.

 13. Macaron (of La Durée)

 A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring.

There is variety of flavours.

As I've made macaron serveral times, I would say it is such a delicate and sophisticated confectionary of which you shouldn't complain about the price. :)

Ladurée is a French pâtisserie founded in Paris in 1862. Its international reputation it has gained is mainly due to its macarons.

 This one in the photo is the original shop opened in 1862.
If you have a chance to see a Ladurée shop, I think you shouldn't pass without dropping in!

 14. Mirabelle(Only in August and September)

Mirabelle is the fruit of plum variety.

With approximately 15 000 tonnes per year, Lorraine region of France provides approximately 80% of world production.
You can't find it easily, especially in North America.

They are known for being sweet and full of flavour. The fruit is primarily used in jams and pies, but it is very good with fromage frais or yogurt! :)

15. Champagne and wine

My favorite drink in the whole world is champagne.
Any kind of sparkling wine is often called champagne in the States,
but please don't!

Champagne is a sparkling wine with a protected French AOC regulations(appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) (French pronunciation: [a.pɛ.la.sjɔ̃ dɔ.ʁi.ʒin kɔ̃.tʁo.le]), which translates as "controlled designation of origin"). Its name comes from the Champagne region of northeast France.

The geographical boundaries, varieties, yields and overall production of champagne are the main characteristics of the appellation.
I can talk about champagne for hours, but I will not now.

While champagne is one of the most expensive wines, the champagne price in France is half the price what it is in Canada.
You should take advantage of being in France.

You should drink wine, too!
You can't have "grand cru" French wine at such a decent price, at least in Canada. :(
As we were having vacations, we had at least a bottle of champagne or wine everyday :)

These are the champagnes we had in France.
We don't collect corks, but we do champagne capsules.
We have more than 300 champagne capsules! :)

These are some, not all though, of foods we love to have in France.
You shouldn't miss them either!

You can see more posts about my trip to France if you click the links below:

1) [Auberge Ravoux] Van Gogh's last residence in Auvers-sur-Oise
2) [Basilique Saint-Denis] French Royal Necropolis - The burial place of the French Kings
3) [2012 Maffliers] Kids grow fast... and we age faster...?
4) [Chateau de Chantilly] Le musée Condé - The generosity of a royal prince
5) [Balade gourmande] Brittany by sail: Unforgettable day on a traditional boat in Cancale

My favorite French food


  1. Wow
    I love this posting so much:)
    It will be great help when I travel to France sometime. There are too many good food you mentioned in your posting!

    Thank you so much for sharing:)

    1. Hi Kitty,
      thanks for your compliments. I am flattered.
      The dilemma in France is that you have only three meals a day while you can have only(?) three meals a day. :(
      Hope you'd have chance to visit France in the near future.
      Have a nice weekend!

  2. You've just made me really hungry.....after seeing that cheese store, I can't calm myself down! I know baguette and butter are like meant to be, but never tried it as a spread for a sandwich-don't know how I'd feel about it. All of the pastries looks amazing.....

    1. Hi Jenncious,
      sorry for my belated reply.
      You never had butter on baguette? You should you definitely give a try. I'm confident that you will love it.
      I know, France is a paradise for pastry lovers. French pastries in France are just delish.

  3. Wow. I am so hungry...... And I know how they taste like and want to go to France right now. I just want to bite une baguette!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      same here. I want to go to France right now! :)
      I'd love to have a loaf of a "real" baguette now. It would make a great breakfast. (In reality, I'm going to have rye bread toast and cereal~ :))
      Have a nice day!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi there,
      sorry for my late reply.
      Your question I remember was if there were any spices/dried herbs/ seasonings that I could only get in France.
      I always buy a jar/container of "Les herbes de provence" in France. (You can get them relatively easily in North America, though.) If you go to Bretagne, I'd recommend cumbava oil from Olivier Roellinger (See my posting: