French cuisine is characterised by its extreme diversity. Despite France's history of political and cultural centralization around its capital Paris, each region has its own distinctive specialities: cuisine from North-West France uses butter and cream; Provençal cuisine (from the southeast) favours olive oil and herbs; and eastern French recipes are reminiscent of German cuisine, including sausages, beer and sauerkraut. Wine and cheese are an integral part of French cuisine, both as ingredients and accompaniments.
The following related category may be of interest.
French cuisine today
French cuisine can broadly be divided into three categories:
Today (2004) there is a distinct focus on cuisine du terroir in France, with a return to traditional rustic cooking and the flavours of local farm produce. The fusion cuisine popular in the English-speaking world is not widespread in France, though some restaurants in the capital have a fusion theme, and many modern French chefs are influenced by a variety of international cooking styles.
Vegetarianism (végétarisme) is not widespread in France, and few restaurants cater for vegetarians. Veganism (végétalisme) is hardly known or represented at all.
For French people, cooking is an immensely important part of their culture and a way of life.
Famous French dishes
Specialities by region/city
PAPETON D’AUBERGINES - (Eggplant Mousse) - Why “papeton”, which means “pope” in the Provencal dialect? Here is the historical explanation: this recipe was, in fact, created in the fourteenth century by the French papal chef in Avignon. It was his response to the Italian pope’s criticism of the French cuisine. One of the surprising consequences of the holy “war” between the two popes is this spectacular vegetable dish: a delicate and unique way to serve eggplant - light and delicious. (Chef Philippe Gion)
Additional French recipes