The French are well known for their love of great cuisine which just adds to the ever-growing list of reasons to visit the Capital. Evidently not only being a place known for its art, architecture or fashion, Paris is very well-known for its scrumptious cuisine that is definitely worth a try whilst you’re in the city, there are some French delicacies in particular that are a ‘MUST TRY’, that you won’t regret in the least.
Escargot, the word for snail in French, is a traditional starter dish that features land snails. Though it may seem extremely different to your conventional meals of steak or chicken, this dish is known to be one of the most delicious French delicacies. Traditionally the snails are removed from their shells, and are placed into a pan to be sautéed in a heart-warming, aromatic mix of parsley and garlic butter Once they are cooked they are placed either back into their shells and put on the plate for decorative purposes, or go "sans vêtements", without clothing, onto the plate. This is all dependent on the chef, and his preferences.
Around the world there are versions of this dish, similar to a pancake or flapjack, the crepe serves the same desire yet is altered slightly. The crepe, like its cousin the American flapjack, is simply constituted of flour, water, sugar etc. The normal ingredients except with crepes they are cooked super thinly! Almost paper thin, the Parisian crepe is an absolute treat without any guilt whatsoever. Traditionally it is topped off with some butter and sugar. It's generally a lot lighter than the ‘normal’ pancake or flapjack, which is perfect of course because then you can eat some more! The best place to buy them would be directly off the street from a vendor, just look out and make sure you are getting a fresh crepe and not one that has been reheated as it's not the same.
The macaron is a real charming French treat that will always keep you coming back for more. It is basically two almond, meringue shells that are stuck together with buttercream or ganache. This yummy little bite size treats come in all different colors and flavors which make this a delicacy you could eat all day! Whilst in Paris these are without a doubt worth a try, just make sure that you buy them from an authentic patisserie to ensure that you experience the real thing and not a pre-packaged knock-off.
*If you are allergic to nuts in which case you should stay away from this treat altogether.
Foie-gras is French delicacy no doubt everyone has heard about at one point or another. It consists of the age-old tradition of fattening a duck or goose up to a certain point, then slaughtering it, taking its fattened juicy liver to be either sold whole or prepared in a mousse, parfait or pate for consumption. There is something gorgeously rich about the meal that appeals to almost all French natives. It can be served by itself but is often accompanied by something else, like a steak.
As a classic French pastry that constitutes part of the French breakfast menu, the croissant is world famous. Getting its name from the shape it is traditionally baked in, the croissant is a buttery, flaky pastry roll that can come with many different fillings dependent on your preference. The smell of a hot croissant and cup of coffee is all one needs to be enticed to try this simple yet delicious pastry. Whilst in Paris, be sure to try a traditional croissant from an authentic patisserie. You’ll never again want toast for breakfast.
As one of the original on-the-move meals, the croquet-monsieur is highly popular amongst those who lead busy lives but enjoy a traditional meal. The croque-monsieur is a fried or baked, boiled ham and cheese sandwich. Originating in French bars and cafés, today it is known as the epitome of a traditional snack in the City. A definite must try!
Ah oui! Le Baguette, the most famous of them all. And before you say you’ve had baguette before, ask yourself, was it from Paris? This being vital of course as no-one takes the art baguette baking as seriously as the French! They even have a competition once a year to encourage people to keep making the wonderful bread. The word baguette literally means wand, aiding in the description of the bread, it is not like a simple loaf of bread but rather a real piece of raw art. Usually quite chewy, yet enjoyable, the bread is exquisitely made and is the most common base or side for a French meal. It is a must try in Paris, if you’ve never had the original version it will be quite a surprise.
8. DUCK CONFIT
Duck confit is a wonderfully scrumptious and tender duck dish that was invented in order to keep fresh duck meat for consumption at a later date. Evidently, we are ever so grateful that there were no freezers in the past or else we would never have been able to experience the exquisite meal duck confit is. The fresh meat is usually cooked in its own fat until it is just about falling off the bone, allowing the meat to be super rich in fat whilst extremely tender. It is usually served with potatoes that have also been sautéed in the duck fat, along with a heavy hand of garlic resulting in the ridiculously rich meal. Unfortunately nowadays it is very uncommon to find a bistro in Paris that cooks the fresh meat from the start, but they are very proud of where they source the duck from and will tell you all about it, it would be advisable to choose a bistro that has a history with great duck confit so that you can be guaranteed a great first experience!
Put this food right on top of your list of things to try in Paris and you can be guaranteed that there will be no disappointment of any sort. Be open to new dishes and just try, you can only gain great things from it whilst being in the Capital of France.