People in France are exquisite in every aspect of their life. This includes in the dishes that they prepare. When you taste authentic French cuisine you can experience something that will set your taste buds alight and help you discover flavours that you never knew existed. The bigger cities are well-known for their upscale restaurants serving some of the finest food you will ever taste.
Meals in France are joyous, long events with families drawn close together for conversation. The typical French meal offers three to four courses which includes cheese before dessert. All meals are accompanied by freshly baked breads and wine. Popular foods in France include chicken in a red wine sauce, known as Coq au vin and sea scallops cooked in butter, or Coquilles Saint-Jacques. The food that is actually on the menu can also be quite diverse and vary according to the region of the country in which you are located.
French cuisine also varies according to the season. In summer, salads and fruit dishes are popular because they are refreshing and the fresh local produce is inexpensive and abundant. Green grocers prefer to sell their fruit and vegetables at lower prices if needed, rather than see them rot in the heat. At the end of summer, mushrooms become plentiful and appear in stews everywhere in France. The hunting season starts in September and runs through February. Wild game of all kinds is eaten, often in very elaborate dishes that celebrate the success of the hunt. Shellfish are at their peak as winter turns to spring, and oysters appear in restaurants in large quantities.
With the advent of deep-freeze and the air-conditioned hypermarché, these seasonal variations are less marked than previously, but they are still observed. Crayfish, for example, have a very short season and it is illegal to harvest them outside of that time period.
When in France, we say Bon Appetit!