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Caviar, oysters, cheese, truffles, beef. Great French food comes to Paris from all corners of France and is found in thousands of restaurants, shops, markets and bistros. One of our greatest joys when in Paris is to discover, learn about and eat more of the produce of the country.
Food and wine are importants parts of French culture, and Les Français treat it both seriously and with joy. It's hard for us who come from other countries and other cultures to truly appreciate how much food in woven into the very fabric of French life.
Because of its importance to the country, all of the best food produced in France is subject to stringent regulations to ensure the quality food, its origin and that consumers know exactly what they are buying.
Most of these food standards are embodied in the AOC system, or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (controlled designation of origin). Early examples of controlled designation systems date back to the 15th century. Champagne and Roquefort are two familiar examples.
For a cheese to be labelled "Roquefort", for instance, it must be produced in that designated region of France, made with only certain types of milk, from certain cows, in a certain way and aged in certain caves. And so it goes with many types of food in France.
As you can probably tell, we love the foods of France. So, we'd like to share more fascinating information about the special foods you will encounter when you're in the City of Food.
Bon appetit !
Visit a Paris fromagerie and you'll be astounded by the choice in cheeses from different animals, from different regions and made in a variety of ways.
Come with us and get a chance to (virtually) sample some of the 1000 types of cheese made in France today.
You might know that the French adore crusty bread, but did you know that the baguette was created to make a bread with more crust?
It's simple geometry — the longer a shape is the greater the ratio of surface area to volume. In the case of the baguette, that means more crust!
Marie Antoinette brought the croissant from Austria, but it was the French who made it famous.
Parisian croissants are amazingly light and flakey thanks to a skillful layering of butter and dough, butter and dough, butter and dough.
Do you think Marie should have said, "Let them eat croissants"?
Smoky, silky and delicious, one of the most famous French specialty foods has to be caviar.
We never really ate caviar until we tasted it in Paris. It's been one of our fave food finds in France!
With dwindling supplies of sturgeon in the wild, the French have been growing their own caviar for a hundred years by farming sturgeon in the Dordogne. We'll tell you where to find the best caviar in Paris.
Who are the biggest butter eaters in the world?
The French, of course! And it's no wonder — we think the butter they eat is the best made anywhere in the world. Butter even has two AOCs!
It won't come as much of a surprise to find out that one of the reasons French butter tastes better than ours is because it has an even higher butter fat content. Go figure.
Paris is crazy about oysters, and so are we!
Did you know that 90% of the vast French oyster harvest is consumed in France and about half of the 150,000 metric tonnes annual crop is eaten between Christmas and New Year?
What's more, with modern oyster raising techniques the tasty little molluscs can pretty much be eaten year-round, although we still prefer our September to April oyster feasts.
Diamant noir, black diamond, Texas tea (we're kidding about that one) is the name given to the precious black truffle — the most prized of all French foods.
Come along with us on a visit to a trufficulteur in Provence to learn how truffles are grown and harvested. We've also discovered the best places to get truffles in Paris.
The French are very particular about their meats and so, of course, they strive the have the very best — including hearty French beef, prized Bresse chicken and fresh line-caught fish.
You can learn a lot about these meats and other fresh products by visiting a French market. That's what we did and we learned about the amazing history of these staples of French food.
Ever wondered what famous French foods your'e going to find in a Paris street market or one of the city's covered markets?
The tradition of weekly and daily markets in France goes back perhaps 2000 years, and it's still strong today. It's where we always find the greatest selection and the freshest, best-looking and tastiest products.
Join us as we learn all about French markets, unearth the mysteries of the AOC system and find out what all those mysterious produce signs mean!
Now that we've got your mouth watering it might be time to tell you how to prepare great French meals in your own kitchen.
It's easier than you might think, we do it every night! And we're happy to share our recipes with you.
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