Few places are as synonymous with world-class cuisine than Paris.
There is a reason internationally acclaimed chefs spend years honing their skills and learning the intricate techniques developed in French kitchens. If you’re thinking about heading there sometime soon, make sure to try some of the most typical Parisian foods and get a small taste of what the fuss is all about!
1. Open face cheese sandwiches
One of the most popular Parisian foods is the Croque Monsieur (a baked or fried boiled ham and cheese sandwich) and the Croque Madame (same as the Monsieur but with a fried egg on top), this delicious combination is the quintessential Parisian dish. Traditionally a quick snack, you can find a version of the Croques at almost any Parisian café, such as the one I went to when I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral. Learn how to make your own version of this iconic sandwich here.
2. Steak tartare
A blend of raw, high quality beef, egg, typically onion, capers and various other spices, the steak tartare is a staple of French cuisine and a mainstay in the Parisian foods scene. Some say that the famous French author Jules Verne popularized the recipe in France with his novel, Michel Strogoff. At first, it was even made with horse-meat, though that was phased out for the less controversial beef over time.
The dish is typically served with potatoes or French fries, and can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. Many chefs have chosen to construct the tartare in front of diners, so they can be assured of its freshness. Because the ingredients are eaten raw, this is of the utmost importance, especially for health reasons. Want to learn to make your own? Check out this recipe from French Guy cooking who even gives a special vegetarian twist!
A thin pancake made from wheat or buckwheat flour, the crêpe is world famous dish that comes in a variety of flavors. Sweet crêpes (crêpes sucrées) are made with wheat flour and slightly sweetened while savoury galettes (crêpes sales) are usually made with buckwheat flour and unsweetened. Because they come in so many varieties, you can literally eat crêpes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack! Sounds like a dream to me…
Want to know where to get the best version of this export from Brittany in Paris? Click here! Or check out Au Petit Grec, known for having exceptional crêpes for reasonable prices (so you can spend more on the other items on this list!)
4. Duck confit
Known in French as confit de canard, this typical dish is made from the leg of duck and is a specialty of Gascony, though it can be found throughout France and, of course, in Paris. The process of preparation requires salting the piece of meat and then cooking it in its own fat. A little research confirms that you can find some of the best duck confit in Paris at the restaurant Josephine Chez Dumonet, also known as Chez Dumonet, for a fairly steep price. But hey, you only live once, right?
Featured image from Guy Moll via Flickr.