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Quick Guide to French Food

Many people know that French food is renowned as one of the world's finest, and a Paris vacation can be a great way to learn what the appeal of French food is all about. Learning a little about the cuisine before you obtain a Paris vacation rental can be a great way to prepare your palate fully for what you are about to experience on a trip to the "City of Lights."

The emergence of French cuisine can be traced back to a chef named La Varenne. This chef wrote a cookbook in the 17th century that is largely seen as providing the foundation for "haute cuisine," the sophisticated French food preparations that can be clearly demarcated from the "peasant" food of the Middle Ages. What we think of as modern French food was largely codified in the work of a chef named Georges Escoffier, who wrote what was the definitive cookbook of France in the first half of the 20th century. More recently, techniques and ingredients from immigrants to France have made their way into French chefs' arsenals.

Since French food can contain a variety of different ingredients and involve many different types of cooking techniques, probably the single element that best ties together French food is its sophistication. In French food culture, careful and consistent preparation of dishes along with high quality ingredients are prized in order to create high-quality meals. Although casual and fast-food dining establishments have conquered the world, probably as a result of globalization, mealtimes are still somewhat of a sacred event in France, to be enjoyed and savored slowly, and with a glass (or two) of high quality wine.

Although it can be difficult to generalize about French cuisine due to regional differences, certain dishes are considered "classic" French meals. You are likely to find "coq au vin," or chicken stewed in wine, throughout France, along with “steak frites,” or steak served with "French" fries. Foie gras (the livers of fattened-up ducks or geese) and chocolate mousse will be found all over the country as well. Of course, there are the infamous snails and frog legs too!

Whatever you order in France, you are likely to experience the magic of the "haute cuisine" that has been a part of French identity for hundreds of years. Paris vacation apartments can be a great option for staying in France while experiencing the country's food culture!