Each of the four regions of France has a different culinary characteristic, but in general food requires the use of lots of different types of sauces and gravies. Recipes for cuisine that originated in the north-western region of France tend to require the use a lot of apple, milk and cream, ingredients and they tend to be heavily buttered to create an extremely rich meal. South-eastern French cuisine is reminiscent of German food, heavy in lard and meat products such as pork sausage and sauerkraut creating much more rustic dishes.
However French food has changed over time and it is now a lot lighter in fat and substance, with them relying heavily on olive oil, herbs and tomatoes in their culinary creations. Other typical French ingredients include: white mushrooms, Faro apples, Montmorency cherries, Groslay pears, Houdan chicken, Meau mustard and Grand Marnier liqueur.
The French are a nation of traditional cooks and once they have a good recipe, they see no need to update or change it for the sake of change. This classic French onion soup is a great example of a timeless dish that is basic and perfectly balanced.
Check out the new Italian recipe from jungle king Gino d'Acampo!
Why not try cooking a tasty french treat of tarte tatin!
Experience Spain from your own kitchen with traditional paella!
My Fellow Europeans - the site that aims to teach you all about European food.
For the caramel
For the ice cream
For the tarts
1. For the ice cream; make a caramel sauce by dissolving the sugar in the cold water. Boil the syrup for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has taken on a golden caramel colour.
2. Carefully add the boiling water and stir well - set aside.
3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale.
4. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and add the glucose. Bring to the boil.
5. Pour this liquid on to the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time, until smooth.
6. Return the mixture to a clean pan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Don't let the mixture boil though.
7. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and leave to cool.
8. Stir the caramel sauce into the cool custard mixture.
9. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until frozen and set aside.
10. Meanwhile, make the tart tatin. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat and line deep tart tins with greaseproof paper.
11. Put the sugar and honey into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
12. Bring to a simmer and boil for 5 minutes, without stirring, or until you have a rich golden brown caramel.
13. Pour the caramel into the bases of the tart tins.
14. Peel and core the apples. Slice 1cm layer from the top of the apples, so that they are level with the tops of the tins.
15. Put one star anise and half a vanilla pod in the hollow centre of each apple. Place on to the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until just tender.
16. Roll out the pastry and cut into discs.
17. Cover the apple, tucking the edges of the pastry down the sides.
18. Return the tarts to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Leave to cool slightly, then invert onto serving plates and serve with a scoop of caramel ice cream.