French food is always elegant and refined. The masterpieces of royal cooks have become a signature in French cooking. The worlds greatest chefs were masters of French cooking or cuisine.
French cuisine is also noted for the diverse food preparation coming from the 26 different French regions. French cooking and techniques have greatly influenced European cuisine. Schools that teach cooking techniques use the standards and recipes of French cooking as the basics for other forms of cooking especially western cuisine.
The approach to food in French cooking reflects the French love of dining, appreciation of fresh ingredients, and ingenuity in the use of available ingredients in the different territories. Each region has a special dish for each season and occasion. The different seasons has also challenged the ingenuity of the French in coming up with varied dishes using basic ingredients that are plentiful.
In summer, salads and fruit dishes give the refreshing and healthful respite from the winters. When summer is gone, mushrooms are plentiful in the countrysides and appear in tasty stews. Venison highlights the well-prepared table during the hunting season that starts from September and runs until February. In spring, French cooking is spiked with oysters. Hence, French cooking is an art and has introduced gustatory delights to the commoners table.
The major tastes and flavors of French cooking were invariably influenced by their proximity to other countries. Alsace, which is near Germany, has sausages, salted pork, raisin cakes, and potatoes as the main ingredient in their robust meals for all occasions. In the Alps region cheese reigns in almost all its provincial dishes. The Artois-Picardy provinces in the northern regions have fish dishes and terrines.
The bouillabaisse a stew of fish, tomatoes and herbs is a favorite starter to any meal and a well-loved dish in the Cote d Azure and Provence areas. Britanny has made use of fruits in seasons in crepes; they also have the tasty flat crusty cakes (galletes) and dumplings. Burgundy made edible snails an exotic dish and the southwest regions gave the world cuisine pate foie gras a dainty dish of liver from forced-fed ducks.
Many French cookbooks make French cooking difficult. However for the time-harassed French food enthusiast, there are now cookbooks that make French cooking easier and fun to prepare. Not to mention the fact that you can impress your friends with food, the names of which they cannot pronounce.
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