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Typical French Dishes

Blanquette de veau
Blanquette de veau (photo by Oxag - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license)

A veal ragout cooked in a white butter sauce with carrots and onions. Neither the veal nor the butter should be browned while cooking. The dish's white appearance earn it the name blanquette (from blanc, 'white'). The stew is usually served with mushrooms and rice (most common), noodles (in the traditional recipe) or potatoes. Any white meat (fowl, rabbit, pork) can replace veal in the preparation, and occasionally also lamb.

Speciality from northern and eastern France, notably Normandy, Burgundy and Lyonnais.

Bœuf bourguignon
Beef bourguignon (© Catherine Yeulet -

Stew prepared with beef braised in red wine, traditionally red Burgundy, and beef broth, generally flavoured with garlic, onions and a bouquet garni, with pearl onions and mushrooms added towards the end of cooking. It is also known as beef bourguignon, beef Burgundy, and boeuf à la Bourguignonne.

Speciality from Burgundy

Bouillabaisse (© donstock -

A highly seasoned stew made of at least two kinds of fish and often shellfish, usually combined with olive oil, tomatoes, and saffron. The three kinds of fish in a traditional bouillabaisse are the scorpionfish, sea robin, and conger. Seabream, turbot, monkfish, mullet, silver hake are also common, as sare sea urchins, mussels, crabs and octopus. Vegetables such as leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery and potatoes are simmered together with the broth and served with the fish. The broth is traditionally served with a rouille, a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper on grilled slices of bread.

Speciality from Marseille with origins going back to Ancient Greece.

Carbonade flamande
Carbonade flamande (© travellinglight -

A sweet-sour beef and onion stew made with bitter-sour brown beer and seasoned with thyme and bay leaves. Mushrooms or spiced bread can also be added. It is typically accompanied by french fries or boiled potatoes.

Speciality from Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and Belgium).

Cassoulet (© Lilyana Vynogradova -

A casserole of white haricot beans, vegetables, herbs, and meat (typically sausages, pork, lamb) slowly simmered or baked in an earthenware dish for at least two hours. The classic recipe also includes goose or duck confit topped with breadcrumbs.

Speciality from the (historical) Languedoc, notably Toulouse, Castelnaudary and Carcassonne.

Chicon au jambon
Chicons au gratin (© Richard Villalon -

A gratin made of Belgian endives (known as chicon in northern France and Belgium) rolled in slices of ham and dipped in Béchamel sauce. It can be served with mashed potatoes or chips (French fries). The dish is also known as roulades de chicons au jambon, chicons au gratin, or gratin d'endives au jambon. It can also be prepared with leeks instead of endives.

Speciality from Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and Belgium).

Choucroute garnie
Choucroute garnie alsatienne (© Danielle Bonardelle -

Sauerkraut served with sausages and other salted meats and charcuterie, and often potatoes.

Speciality from Alsace.

Coq au vin
Coq au vin rouge (photo by stevendepolo - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

A casserole of chicken pieces braised in wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. The most commmon version is with red Burgundy wine, although many regions of France have variants using the local wine, such as coq au vin jaune (Jura), coq au Riesling (Alsace), coq au pourpre (Beaujolais), coq au Champagne, and so on. The origins of Coq au vin may date back to ancient Gaul.

Speciality from eastern France (Burgundy, Franche-Comté, Alsace, Champagne, Lyonnais and Auvergne).

Daube provençale
Daube provençale (© mimon -

A stew of beef braised in red wine, with vegetables, garlic, herbs, and spices. Many local variants exist within Provence, such as the daube avignonnaise (with lamb or mutton instead of beef, and white wine instead of red wine), daube camarguaise (with Camargue bull meat instead of regular beef), daube comtadine (with black olives instead of carrots), and daube niçoise (with boletus mushrooms, lard, tomatoes, carrots and onions).

Speciality from Provence.

Flamiche (photo by Diádoco - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

A pie made of brioche type dough and stuffed with cooked leek.

Speciality from Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and Belgium).

Fondue savoyarde
Fondue savoyarde (© donstock -

A cheese fondue made with white wine and cheeses from the French Alps, such as Comté, Beaufort, Gruyère or Emmental. It is eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the communal pot of melted cheese.

Speciality from Savoy

Gratin dauphinois
Gratin dauphinois (© robynmac -

A dish consisting of thinly sliced and layered potatoes and cream cooked in a buttered dish rubbed with garlic. It is topped with a browned crust, typically made of breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter.

Speciality from the Dauphiné (Rhône-Alpes).

Hachis Parmentier
Hachis Parmentier (© Richard Villalon -

A oven baked dish of mashed potato combined with diced beef meat and sauce lyonnaise, and served in the potato shells. It was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier (1737-1813), the man who introduced the potato to French cuisine. Hachis Parmentier is the French equivalent of the British cottage or shepherd's pie.

Found all over France.

Pot-au-feu (© FOOD-pictures -

A beef stew boiled with vegetables (carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, and onions), a bouquet garni (bundle of herbs), salt, black pepper and cloves.

Quintessential French family cuisine.

Quiche lorraine (© Svenja98 -

A savory, open-faced pastry crust dish with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat and/or vegetables. The most famous variety is quiche lorraine, which is filled with cheese and smoked bacon (or lardons). The quiche alsacienne is the same with onions.

Speciality from Lorraine and Alsace.

Raclette (© laurent Renault -

A dish consisting of cheese melted either over a fire or on a purpose-built electric appliance (known as a raclonette), then served on boiled potatoes or bread. Traditional raclette has evolved in the second half of the 20th century and is now commonly accompanied by gherkins, mushrooms, pickled onions, cold meats and charcuteries, among others.

Speciality from Franche-Comté and Savoy (and Switzerland)

Salade niçoise
Salade niçoise (© Maceofoto -

A salad that consists primarily of black olives, tomatoes, anchovies, tuna, red peppers, shallots, and artichoke hearts arranged on a bed of lettuce. Other common ingredients include hard-boiled egg, cucumbers, red onions, green beans, fava beans and olive oil. This salad was made famous in America by "the French Chef", Julia Child.

Speciality from Nice and the French Riviera.


A gratin made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. A popular variation of this dish is to substitute the lardons with smoked salmon.

Speciality from Savoy

Vol-au-vent (© Richard Villalon -

A baked puff pastry shell typically filled with a creamy ragout of mushrooms and chicken, or alteratively with game, sweetbreads, or seafood. The bouchée à la reine was invented for Marie Leszczynska, Louis XV's wife, who requested smaller ("bite-size") portions of vol-au-vent.

Speciality from Paris and Lorraine.

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