Describing French cuisine is a thankless task. Long considered one of the best in the world, it has absorbed the culinary traditions of many nations and has itself become a source of inspiration for followers from different countries. Suffice it to say that the names of a number of French dishes, wines, sauces, as well as the methods of processing and preparing products themselves, have entered many languages of the world and are understandable without translation. France is considered the birthplace of almost half of the most popular dishes and drinks in Europe, and many of its “products” have long become “familiar” in the cuisines of other European nations, turning in some cases into internationally recognized brands (just remember mayonnaise, fricassee, champagne or cognac ).
The general features of local cuisine include quite bold combinations of many products, the widespread use of fresh ingredients in combination with those that have undergone complex heat treatment, an abundance of vegetables and root vegetables, sauces and seasonings. At the same time, the freshness of the product and its quality are given paramount attention, and the appearance and aroma are often much more important than the taste. French chefs have a keen sense of all the features inherent in each specific product and try to convey them in their dishes with minimal distortion. At the same time, the old folk cuisine, often radically different from the widely advertised haut cuisine, has not lost its position at all and is still popular in many regions of the country.
Unlike many European countries, the French love and know how to cook soups. The outstanding culinary critic of the 19th century, Grimaud de Renier, once even remarked, “Soup for dinner is the same as the foundation for a building. That is, it is not just served as the first course, but can also indicate the main idea of the feast, like an overture to an opera.” determines the meaning and theme of the work.” In Grimaud’s time, French soup was a very complex dish, often containing up to a hundred ingredients.
French chefs use all types of meat products: veal, beef, lamb, poultry, game, etc. Moreover, with regard to meat, the number of unspoken rules stipulating the recipe and the process of preparing the original product is simply enormous. Local chefs have a unique system – when to cut a lamb, at what period the quality of veal is best, even the process of storing the original products is strictly specified. And at the same time, not only the meat itself is often served on the table, but also all kinds of offal, also prepared according to special recipes. And there are hundreds of ways to process meat, although the locals themselves place barely cooked meat at the highest level of the “culinary hierarchy.” In general, it is more magic than cooking, and the French are very proud of it.
It is highly recommended to try white Parisian veal “extra”, eggs “cocotte” with tarragon, spicy pork “roulette-sartoi” (the best is made in the north of the country), specially prepared “sweet meat” (goiter and pancreas) “rice-de- vo” and “boucher la reine”, lamb stew with eggplant, tripe with white wine (“la mode de can”) or spicy tomato sauce (“la catalan”), “roti” (roast beef), the famous sandwich with ham and melted croque monchère cheese, stuffed pork belly and roll, sauté (boiled meat fried in oil and served with vegetables), oxtails, ears and other offal stewed in a pot with vegetables, various cold appetizers from beef tongue (“lang de buff”), “blanquette” (veal stew with mushrooms, eggs, onions, sour cream and spices), dozens of types of tender lamb, French omelette, fried pork legs with various side dishes, many types of poultry stuffed or simply fried with various sauces, including the famous “coc-au-vin” (rooster stewed with wine and mushrooms), literally hundreds of types of pate, specially prepared lamb brain “servey”, or ” servelle”, all kinds of “tournedos” (steaks on toast), escalopes, entrecotes and cutlets (but this is usually only meat with a bone) – the list can be endless. Meat is usually served with rice and vegetables, but often it goes to the table in the same form as it was prepared, being a completely independent dish.
Almost no dish in France is served without a special sauce due to its status. The mandatory use of a variety of sauces (more than 3,000 officially recorded recipes) and a variety of spices, in fact, makes French cuisine what it is. The sauce here means much more than a simple gravy for a dish – it is a special ritual and recipe, a kind of profession test that every cook must pass, and even a science officially studied in all professional institutions. However, with all the variety of local sauces, almost all of them are one or two “basic” ingredients (usually chicken or meat broth), the taste of which is imparted by all sorts of fillers, often very unexpected. Even ordinary mayonnaise, the birthplace of which is France, is prepared here only by hand and only according to a special recipe, although it would seem that it is simply impossible to change anything in this simple combination of vinegar, salt, oil and egg yolk. What can we say about the more complex local masterpieces of “sauce making”, which include “bechamel”, “aioli” (a type of mayonnaise in which lemon juice is used instead of vinegar), “mornay” (bechamel with cheese), “bordolaise”, “lyonnaise” “, Madeira, wine or white sauce.
Cheese (fromage) can easily be considered the hallmark of French cooking. Despite the fact that this product is respected in all European countries, it was in the “country of the Gauls” that it was elevated to a pedestal of fame and turned into something cult. This is not surprising – France produces the largest quantity and range of cheese in the world, with more than 400 varieties officially registered (and new ones appear every year!). Moreover, 36 of them have been turned into trademarks and fall under a special classification of “originally controlled names” (AOC, Appellation d’Origine Controlee), and no one knows how many original recipes are used in each specific locality. Which, again, is easily explained – the method and recipe for making each specific type is a jealously guarded secret. As a result, the subtle nuances of taste and smell that so distinguish different types of French cheese were not neutralized by industrial production. The annual consumption of cheese per Frenchman is 22.8 kg, while about 1.6 million tons of cheese are produced per year, and a third of them are exported.
Almost all high-class restaurants in France have a special menu of cheeses (plateau de fromages), and before serving they themselves are stored at a strictly defined temperature and humidity, specified for each specific variety separately. Cheese is served with bread, but without butter, as a choice or as a set, at the beginning of the meal and after it, with wine or vegetables – it all depends on the characteristics of the product and its compatibility with other dishes, and here the French are great specialists. In addition to the ubiquitous roquefort, brie, bleu, camembert, tomme and numerous types of goat’s milk cheese (chevre), the menu is sure to include several excellent types of local cheeses. In many quite ordinary stores you can easily find an assortment of hundreds of types of cheese, but the French themselves prefer to buy it in specialized cheese stores (fromagerie).
Fish and seafood
Dishes made from sea and freshwater fish are very popular: cod, halibut, pike, carp, as well as seafood such as oysters, shrimp, lobsters, scallops and urchins. Oysters and bouillabaisse (Marseille fish soup, a thick soup made from different types of fish) are deservedly considered the hallmarks of local cuisine, but in reality the range of seafood dishes is several orders of magnitude wider. Usually, special ingenuity is not required to prepare fish dishes – the fish is boiled in a special broth (“court bouillon”, which is salted water with herbs, spices and vegetables – a Frenchman will not cook fish in ordinary water), grilled and deep-fried or they are fried, stewed and baked in a special wine sauce (“matelot”), and less often smoked, although in every town you can see many variations of these technologies. The main thing here is the quality of the product itself (primarily freshness and fishing conditions), cooking time and sauce – everything else depends on the imagination of the cook. The garnish usually includes the same vegetables, less often rice and potatoes, herbs and the obligatory lemon in most cases. Contrary to popular belief, oysters (“Belon”, “Marenne” and “Arcachon”), as well as frogs and snails (we will loosely classify them in the same category) are not an everyday French dish, but mussels and scallops, as well as meat crabs and other crustaceans are used very widely, often being an indispensable component of many appetizers and salads.
French desserts deserve special attention. Historically, unlike other countries widely known for their desserts, France has experienced virtually no Arab influence, and therefore many local recipes are completely independent products, reflecting the traditions of the original population of these places. However, their fame is no less than the famous sweets of the East, and the recipes have also been used for a long time in all countries of the world. The famous soufflés, croissants (however, the French do not classify them as dessert, but with various fillings they are very popular as the main dish for breakfast), “euf-à-la-neige” (meringue-shaped cake with custard), “milfeu” (cake with custard), “ganache” (chocolate sponge cake), “gofr” (thick wafers), “glace” (ice cream), crepes made from “white” flour, all kinds of sweets, creams, cakes, biscuits, biscuits (here it is not the usual dry cookies, but puff cookies, “with a surprise” inside) and biscuits, “meringues”, “flans” (a type of cake made from “breeze” dough), “savarins” (pies made from nut dough, soaked in syrup), gingerbread , pies with fruit and jam, excellent cookies and cakes – all this can be found in almost every cafe or store.
Bakery products should be mentioned separately. To roughly approximate, the French use only three types of bread – the famous baguette, its even longer and thinner versions – “fiselle” and “flute”, as well as “pan” -de-campagne”, or “pin-complet” – “brown” bread made from fairly coarse flour, an indispensable basis for many sandwiches and light snacks.
Wines and other alcoholic drinks
And, of course, the famous French wines, without which it is impossible to imagine this country. France is the leading producer of high-quality wines on the planet. 25% of the world’s wine is made here (approximately 10 billion bottles per year!), and only 5% of this colossal amount is exported. The average Frenchman drinks 90 liters of wine a year, and this does not include other alcoholic drinks. France is also considered the birthplace of many world-famous brands and varieties of wine, as well as other drinks, most notably cognac, armagnac, calvados and champagne. With the exception of the northwest and highlands, wine is produced literally throughout the country, but the most famous wine-producing regions are Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone and Loire valleys, Alsace, Bergerac, Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence and Savoie. The vineyards are rightfully considered a national treasure of this country.
We can talk about French wines endlessly – in almost every region there are dozens of local wine-growing areas, where the special composition of the soil and climatic conditions allow the cultivation of grapes characteristic only of this area and, accordingly, the making of unique varieties of wine. Only more than 600 distilleries are officially registered, and many private producers operate. However, in France they also produce many quite ordinary varieties of wine, and local Vin de table or Vin ordinaire (ordinary table wines) are inexpensive and sold everywhere. At the same time, you can find varieties of first-class wine that are quite affordable in price (literally from 4 to 10 euros), and these will be truly outstanding wines.
Higher-end Vins de pays can also vary greatly in quality and, oddly enough, do not always match the high prices they command. Vintage wines are designated according to the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) system and are necessarily provided with a label confirming their properties and region of origin. It is typical that alcoholic drinks – not only wine, but also cognac, Armagnac, cider and others – are served at any time of the day.
Brittany and Normandy are famous for their cider (a sparkling apple-based drink with an alcohol content of about 3-5%) and Calvados (a distillation product of cider aged two or three years using cognac technology, a strength of more than 40%), which began to be produced here back in the 13th century . Corsican wines are more tart and aromatic than continental varieties, and are produced by blending several grape varieties. Famous varieties include Schiaciarelli and Nielucci, dry white wines from Vermentino, Cap Corse aperitif, Corsican vodka Acquavita, Ratafia liqueur, as well as numerous liqueurs from myrtle, lemon, strawberry, orange, plum and nut wines. .
Beer is much less widespread, although you can buy Belgian and German varieties literally everywhere, as well as good French beer from Alsace. But all kinds of cocktails, often mixed at the distillery, are found everywhere.
However, all of the above applies to French cuisine in general. At the same time, this country is characterized by quite striking differences between the culinary traditions of its different regions, which makes it possible to divide local cuisine into a number of regional “schools”, often completely different from each other.
The cuisine of Paris is usually visible to tourists only in the form of ham and butter sandwiches, croissants or, as if in contrast, the most complex “haute cuisine” products. However, it is Parisian cooking that is considered to most fully reflect all the best recipes of the country. It is characterized by the active use of butter, mayonnaise and other sauces (primarily “bersi” made from butter, onions and white wine), all kinds of herbs and spices, as well as “macedouana” – a characteristic mixture of vegetables and mushrooms. The signature dish of a true Parisian woman is omelette. It’s not without reason that they say that in order to become a chef, you must first learn how to bake an omelet. The cheeses of the Ile-de-France region, to which Paris actually belongs, are also widely known, primarily brie and coulomiers, sausages, cabbage pie with cream and sweet buns.
Normandy is famous for its dairy products, primarily cheese (Camembert, Pont-Leveque, Livarot, Neufchatel, etc.), cream and sour cream, which are added to almost all dishes. However, local mushrooms are also good, excellent veal dishes (veau), especially – cooked in the characteristic vallee d’Auge style of the place, with lots of cream and butter, various dishes from tripe and other offal, rabbit and poultry, various sauces , as well as fruits (primarily apples and pears).
The long sea coast gives the region a huge amount of fish and seafood, from which the famous fish soup and bouillabaisse are made, as well as excellent mussels and oysters. Also popular are typical local dishes such as fish in cider or with sour cream and almonds. It is worth trying tripes from Caen (tripes de Caen), vire sausage (l’andouille de Vire), first-class Normandy butter (locals consider it the best in the world), ham from Cotentin, blood sausages from Ornay and Esse, legs of lamb from the city of Ayr , Normandy duck liver pate, famous local desserts – apple cake, tergoul rice cake, brioche from Moulin-Lamarche and Diaman-Dalazone, fruit ice cream in Calvados “trou-Normand”, shortbread cookies from Lonle-Labaye, Rouen lollipops and chocolate from Tenshebre. Normandy is also known as the birthplace of two delicious apple drinks – cider and Calvados.
The cuisine of Burgundy is largely famous for two factors – excellent red wines and the wonderful breed of Charolais cows. Moreover, local wines not only go to the table as such, but are also used to make excellent sauces, which even gave the name to a whole class of dishes – “La Bourguignon”, that is, in Burgundy, or essentially “cooked in red wine sauce with onions, mushrooms and lard.” Classic Burgundian dishes of this kind are buffet bourguignon and chicken in wine. Another hallmark of the region is another sauce – “meurette”, also made using red wine, but without mushrooms, and often served with eggs, fish, poultry and meat.
Local Chablis sausages, mustard from Dijon, Burgundy snails (escargots de bourgogne, which is typical, in accordance with local traditions, are stewed for several hours in white wine with vegetables and spices), small goat cheeses from Macon, meat bourguignon (beef ragout in red wine sauce) and fondue, poultry “poussin” from Bresse (it is worth mentioning the famous “Gaston Gerard poulet” – fried chicken in a sauce of Gruyere cheese, white wine and mustard). Equally popular are first-class local ham with parsley (jambon persille), fish soup “pochouse” with onions, butter, garlic, lard and white wine, roast hare “Rabelais de livre la piron”, vegetable soup with ham “pote” Bourguignon, sausages with mustard from Franche-Comté, excellent frogs and crayfish, Burgundy truffles, pastries from Nevers, as well as the famous Charolais beef.
In Burgundy you can try many delicious varieties of cheese, the names of which in most cases coincide with the area where they are produced: chaurce, vézelay, comté, morbière, grand cru, mondor, bledeges, setmoncel, maconnay, epoisse, charollis, sumantran and processed cheese Canquyot. Of course, the region can also offer guests a huge amount of first-class red wines, which have long been both the calling card of the region and the basis of its economy, aniseed drinks from Flavigny, the famous Dijon blackcurrant liqueur (when added to six volumes of white wine, Aligote gives national aperitif kir and local cider from.
Brittany is widely known for its seafood cuisine; almost all edible representatives of sea and river fauna are used here for food, and fish, oysters, crabs, lobsters, lobsters and shrimp are used to prepare almost every second dish. The calling cards of the region are “crepes” – a type of pancake made from a wide variety of flours (rye, wheat, mustard, lentils, peas, etc.) with the same varied fillings, as well as their savory equivalent – “galette” ). And at the same time, it’s hard to imagine local cuisine without “moulet marinier” (oysters with white wine, shallots and parsley) and fish “soup de poissons”, “coquille Saint-Jacques” escalopes, salmon with mustard sauce, crabs, shrimp and lobsters, as well as “cotriade” – an analogue of the Mediterranean “bouillabaisse”. Local apples are very good (huge quantities of them are used to make the famous Breton cider), strawberries, chestnuts, cauliflower and artichokes, buckwheat pie with meat or vegetable filling “kig-ha-farz” (one of the oldest dishes in the country), sausages from Gemene, Breton pate, specially prepared lamb (must be salted in sea water), fish soup “cotriada”, galettes “Saracen style” made from buckwheat flour, “complete” with ham, eggs, cheese and onions, sweet crepes “crepe” -de fromen”, sweet pie “kouign-aman” with butter cream, airy pie “far” with prunes and sweet pie “craquelen”.
The traditional Breton drink is cider. It is cooked here in huge quantities and according to a wide variety of recipes. Breton wines are quite unpretentious – they are mainly ordinary white varieties, Muscadet and simple table wine. Although Brittany does not directly produce wine – most of the vineyards are located in the Loire-Atlantique department, which is not specifically related to this region.
The Loire Valley is famous for its fruits and vegetables, from asparagus and legumes, which are grown here in incredible quantities, to plums and pears from Anjou or apples and apricots from Tours (the famous “tarte tatin” – an apple pie in which the filling is placed on the bottom of the mold appeared right here, in the town of Lamothe-Beuvron). Considering the number of rivers that flow through this region, it is hardly surprising that there is an abundance of fish on local menus – filet de sandre of perch with the classic Loire beurre blanc sauce, stuffed bream, fried eel in red wine, salmon with sorrel and simply deep-fried local small fish are an indispensable element of the local feast. There is also no shortage of meat, and it is typical for these regions to use a thick sauce made from wild mushrooms or champignons grown in huge quantities when preparing this product (the real center of this characteristic local business is the limestone caves of the Sologne massif). Tours and Le Mans are famous for their pâtés and cured pork, while Touraine is famous for its goat cheese, sausages and ham.
Loire wines are not as famous as Bordeaux or Burgundy, but there are 20 varieties that are among the best in the country. Especially good are white wines from Sancerre and Nantes, heavier wines from Anjou, soft red wines from Saumur and slightly richer wines from Touraine. Characteristic local wines are young wines from the Gamay grape, very similar to red Beaujolais, sweet and semi-sweet whites from Vouvray and dessert wines from the Toues Valley.
Dishes of Provence and the Mediterranean coast are characterized by greater use of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, eggplants, olives and peppers, fish and fruits. The hallmark of Provence is bouillabaisse (Marseille-style fish soup – a complex and very satisfying fish soup with garlic and spices) with rouille garlic sauce. Marseille is considered the birthplace of this dish, so it is recommended to try it here, but every seaside town will offer its own recipe for this popular soup. Also good are crabs and sea urchins, which coastal residents cook with great creativity, fresh mussels in onion broth with spices, Avignon stew, fish soup with garlic sauce – “burrida” (in principle the same “bouillabaisse”, but cooked a little differently ), young lamb from Sisteron, all kinds of game, “tapenade” (a typical Provençal dish of capers, olives and anchovies), vegetable stew “ratatouille” and lamb stew, Provençal tomatoes, foie gras from the Dordogne (usually served with champagne, which is quite unusual for France), assorted Marseilles, Landland duck confit, truffles, anoli and pistou soups, lamb stew Gardagne. And all this is necessarily richly seasoned with the famous Provençal olive oil (huile d’olive), sauces and spices.
In Provence, the range of bread used is much wider – flour tortillas “fougasse”, boat-shaped bread “navette” from Marseille, pan bagnat bars (a popular “base” for original sandwiches) and Aix bread can be found on any table and even in in the form of independent dishes (for example, “tapenade” – toasted bread with a mixture of olives, anchovies and capers). Local cheeses are mostly made from goat’s milk and have a very original recipe. The best sweets in the region usually include honey, the famous nougat from Montelimar (the city is considered the birthplace of this sweet), papalins with chocolate or tugasset with orange color, as well as almond sweets from Aix.
Languedoc and Roussillon are famous for their seafood – the freshest fish, oysters and mussels, plantations of which are plentiful in the warm waters of the Gulf of Lyon, anchovies, scallops and other marine life form the basis of almost two-thirds of local dishes. The local cuisine is noticeably more “spicy” than in the north; wine and spices, garlic and onions, saffron and marjoram are used much more often here. But the main decoration of the region is its wines. Languedoc – Roussillon ranks second in France in the production of vintage wines.
The cuisine of Aquitaine has absorbed the best traditions of several nations and is distinguished by its spiciness and the widespread use of wines and spices for preparing dishes. The main decoration of the local cuisine is beef from Bazas and lamb from Pauillac, entrecotes from Bordeaux, oysters, eels and lampreys from the coast around Arcachon and from the mouth of the Garonne, Landish fried chickens, truffles and ham from Bayonne, bearnaise stew, pastries, strawberries and nuts from Périgord. In the foothills of the Pyrenees there is a very high proportion of traditional Basque dishes, including the famous “ahoa” (boiled veal with onions and peppers), “piperada” (bread soaked in fat and fried with vegetables), “tripoxa” (blood sausages) and, of course , all kinds of cheeses. These places are the birthplace of the famous Armagnac and the most expensive wines of France, and Bordeaux has for several centuries carried the well-deserved title of “capital of red wines” – some names are “Bordeaux”, “Medoc”, “Graves”, “Saint-Emilion”, “Pomerol”, “Chateau-Petrus” and “Chate” are worth it.
The Auvergne and Rhone Valley are among the main livestock-raising regions of France, so one should not be surprised at the abundance of hearty meat dishes and light river fish dishes with side dishes of excellent local vegetables and spices. It is worth trying the famous Auvergne ham “jambon”, stewed meat “punti”, goose liver and pates made from it, “brochette” of pike and carp in dough, “aligo” (processed cheese mixed with mashed potatoes), “omelet braiude” (Galian omelette), pomme potatoes, as well as Gigot Braiude (roast lamb in white wine sauce with potatoes), as well as excellent local cheeses: Cantal, Bleu, Fourme, Saint-Nectaire and others.
The cuisine of the Rhone-Alpes region is distinguished by the use of gigantic amounts of onions, nuts, sauerkraut and sausage. These mountainous regions are famous for their chestnuts, fruits (primarily stone fruits) and wild berries, honey, olives and, of course, cheese. Lyon is even often singled out as one of the capitals of French cuisine, although local cuisine is more famous for its satiety than for any culinary delights.
Widely known local dishes are game pate, Savoy ham, all kinds of smoked sausages, sausages and sausages made from literally all types of meat (only here you can find donkey sausage, for example), cervelat with truffles and pistachios, dry sausage and tripe sausages “Andouillette” from Lyon, charcoal-grilled trout and pike, rennet from Scheubel, mountain “raclette” (potatoes with melted cheese), game and fondue from Savoy, first-class Rhone crayfish, as well as cheeses – Raciette, Reblochon, Beaufort, Vacherin, Savoy emmental, claqueur, otelus and others.
Alsace and Lorraine are similar in their culinary traditions to both France and Germany at the same time. Here you can try sauerkraut “choukrut” (here even the menu distinguishes a whole class of dishes – l’alsacienne, which in the closest translation means “with sauerkraut”) and the famous “bekoff” (three types of meat stewed in a pot with potatoes), a variety typical German sausages, smoked pork and ham with countless seasonings, excellent foie gras pates, “schiffala” (boiled smoked ham with potato salad), “matelot” (river fish stewed in Riesling) or simply river trout “au-bleu” (that is, lightly fried with the addition of white wine and vinegar), goose foie gras, sausages with pate filling and “bresoli” (strips of meat grilled over coals), Metz asparagus and quenelles with pork liver “Lieberknell”. Worth noting are Verdun turnips and pancuti (potato cutlets with minced beef), blood sausage with apples and plums from Nancy, smoked pork shoulders “skiffala”, Lorraine puff pastries, ham with sauerkraut and simply stewed sauerkraut in Alsatian style , pie with cheese “fluss”, “tarte-flambé” and “tarte-loignon” (onion pies), hare ragout with noodles, dumplings with pate “kneppfle” and pork head jellied “presskopf”, pate with nutmeg “quiche” ” and baked pork legs “wedele”, meat in a Lorraine pot and salty bibelskese cheese with onions and herbs.
Among the sweets, all kinds of open pies with wild berries and fruits are popular, typically Lorraine quiche and Alsatian – with rhubarb, blueberries, apples, cherries or plums, round pies from the Vosges foothills and raisin and almond pie “kugelhopf”, curd cake ” Tarte-au-fromage-blanc,” an excellent “biervec” pie, the indispensable filling of which is dried fruits soaked in “kirsch” (local cherry brandy), various rum baba and ice cream, whose homeland is traditionally considered to be Alsace. Unlike the rest of France, the preference in alcoholic drinks here clearly belongs to light white riesling, refreshing sylvaner, herbal gewürztraminers, the same kirsch and beer. It should be noted that small Alsace produces half of all beer produced in the country.
The visiting card of Corsica is herbs. Thyme, marjoram, basil, sweet dill and rosemary are found here in almost every dish, and the combination of Italian traditions and French processing methods gives local recipes a unique flavor. Two more aspects of local cuisine are well known – first-class pork and the entire range of products made from it, as well as the widest use of chestnuts both as a side dish and as the main ingredient in many dishes. Chestnut pancakes “frittelli gaja fresco”, chestnut soup with onion and garlic in meat broth and sweet chestnut porridge “pulenta”, bacon with eggs or baked potatoes “pansetta”, ham “coppa”, pork liver sausages “figatelli” , raw ham “prisuttu”, smoked pork fillet “lonzo” and other typical local dishes are usually well remembered by all guests of the island. By the way, only here pigs are specially fed acorns and chestnuts, and the Corsicans themselves are considered the founders of a specialized diet for fattening animals, which allows them to impart special properties to meat.
Corsica is also famous for its soft sheep’s milk cheeses “brocchiu” and hard “fromage” cheeses, which are found in almost all dishes, including specific local omelettes and cheese rolls. Equally characteristic is the abundance of game – dense mountain forests supply the Corsican table with meat from hare and wild boar, woodcock and partridge, wild pigeon and blackbird (merles), and clear rivers are home to trout and eel, in the preparation of which local chefs have also reached great heights . On the coast, red mullet (rouget), sea bream (loup de mer) and all kinds of shellfish are consumed in large quantities. The best lobsters are caught in the Bay of Saint-Florent area, and oysters and mussels are caught along the east coast. However, no less good is the local version of bouillabaisse – pawpaw, all kinds of stuffed vegetables, omelette with mint and cheese, canistrelle biscuits, several types of honey, fig and strawberry jam, pies with fish, cheese or chestnut, and even simple corn porridge, which Corsicans manage to prepare using literally a dozen recipes. Excellent local fruit can be found on every corner, including the somewhat exotic clementine.
The wines of Corsica have always been considered ordinary, but recently their quality has increased significantly, and local Muscat, Cabernet, Carignan and especially Malvasia have long been included in the list of the most popular drinks in France.