La Cuisine Française
1. Le coq au vin is a stew of chicken, wine and vegetables.
À gauche (on the left) - A jar containing pieces of duck (le canard) sealed underneath the cooled, hardened fat. The duck will keep fresh for several months.Le confit is an ancient form of preservation, developed before the invention of refrigerators.
If le confit is sealed in a can, it can keep for several years.
5. The meat of le confit is often used in a stew called
le cassoulet. This stew is a mixture of meat, sausages and white beans (les haricots blancs).
Often, the top of the stew is covered by a layer of breadcrumbs known as la chapelure.
Le cassoulet is served warm as a main course (un plat principal). It is cooked in an earthenware pot called une cassole. The stew's name cassoulet comes from the name of the pot.
6. La confiture is the word for 'jam' in French. As you can see, the word confit is hidden in the word 'confiture.'
Confit = preserve, and jam (confiture) is a way in which to preserve fruit.
7. Une compote is a dish of gently stewed and sweetened fruit. It can be served warm or cold.
8. Un sorbet is a frozen mixture of fruit juice, fruit and liqueur. It has a similar appearance to ice cream (la glace) but it is much lighter and fruitier because it contains no dairy products such as cream.
9. La mousse au chocolat is a traditional cold dessert. It is a creamy foam mixture of dark chocolate (du chocolat noir), egg yolks (des jaunes d'œuf), sugar (du sucre) and butter (du beurre). Sometimes it will be flavoured with brandy or rum.
It can be served with cold custard. In French, custard is called la sauce anglaise - meaning 'English sauce.'
10. A very expensive delicacy is an underground mushroom called une truffe. In English it is called a truffle.
Une truffe grows naturally beneath a tree at a depth of up to around 15cm in the earth. They grow for several months before being harvested by the truffle hunters known as les trufficulteurs and their truffle-hunting dogs called les chiens truffiers. Sometimes, truffle-hunting pigs (les cochons) are used.
Un chien truffier. Picture by Dr. M. Royon.
Les truffes have a very strong flavour. For that reason, they are sliced or grated and used for adding flavour to other foods. You can also find olive oil that is infused and flavoured with la truffe.
La truffe is one of the most expensive foods you can buy.
You can expect to pay hundreds of euros for just one truffle.
IT IS A VERY EXPENSIVE MUSHROOM!
So, if you wish to buy une truffe, make sure that you have beaucoup d'argent.... lots of money.
Je suis riche!
Je vais acheter une truffe!
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