French food culture: what you need to know!

 Experiencing French culinary culture is an important part of traveling to France. There are so many little differences and rules when coming to this country that you just can't help but be aware!

If France is famous for anything, it's great food and wine. With government organizations and independent groups guaranteeing the highest quality of French cheeses, wines and meats, it's easy to see why France has such great food. Enjoying French culinary culture is an important part of traveling to France !

French culinary culture has many interesting thingsFrench culinary culture has many interesting things


There are a lot of differences and minor rules in French food culture , and knowing these nuances will help you better understand and enjoy your time in France. Always be open-minded when it comes to French food, especially when visiting France for the first time!


Some words you should know in French culinary culture

The letter A at the top with the following series of names is to distinguish the different food shops when you come to France: 

La Boulangerie: Bakery - Where you can buy croissants, fresh breads and sandwiches. Great for quick breakfasts and lunches! You can also find some basic pastries, like macarons here.

La Patisserie: Pastry Shop - Where you can buy great French pastries! This place usually doesn't sell bread, but may sell some kind of pastry or sweet bread similar to a bakery shop.


Famous Berthillon Ice Cream - French Culinary CultureFamous Berthillon Ice Cream


La Boucherie: Butcher Shop - You can find delicious sandwiches or platters at some snack shops!

Le Fromagerie: Cheese Shop

Le Chocolatier: The Chocolate Shop!

Le Cave à Vins: Liquor Store - Some shops will also serve alcohol by the glass!

Le Supermarché: Supermarket - Famous supermarkets in France include Monoprix, Carrefour, Auchon.


Cute bakery in Laduree - French Food CultureCute cake shop in Laduree


Meilleur Ouvrier de France: Best Craftsman in France - There is a contest every four years to determine the best artisans of several categories, including chocolate, cheese and pastries! Any store that achieves this title (determined by the French Ministry of Labor) is worth a visit!


French diner: The difference between a cafe and a restaurant

When you arrive in France, you will notice that there are several names for places to eat: brasseries, cafes, bistros and restaurants. These names can be a bit confusing for those visiting France for the first time, and while they don't differ much, there are small differences that are useful to know.


Cafe des Flores, a classic French cafe!  - French culinary cultureCafe des Flores, a classic French cafe!


Difference between a cafe and a restaurant: In French food culture , the main difference between a cafe and a restaurant is the level of formality. A coffee shop is usually casual and usually serves simple food. It can be said that a coffee shop is the most casual of the eateries in France (besides chains like Starbucks or McDonalds). Restaurants are usually more formal, serving full dinner menus. The difference between a restaurant and a pub will be less - a bistro is another casual eatery, but you can expect the food options here to be a bit better than in a regular cafe.


Cafe des Flores at Saint Germain des Pres - French Culinary CultureCafe des Flores at Saint Germain des Pres


Bistro vs Brasserie: What's the difference between a pub vs a brasserie? A brasserie is a restaurant that serves simple, casual food, much like a bistro. The difference in names between the two eateries can mainly be attributed to the days when brasseries served alcohol and bistros did not (but now, you'll be hard-pressed to find an eatery in France that didn't serve alcohol). You might expect the menus to be pretty similar, so there really isn't a huge difference between a bistro and a brasserie these days, but both are staples of French food culture !


Great Chapon Mousse - French Culinary CultureAmazing Chapon Mousse

What is a French meal?

Because French food is so delicious, the French take their meals quite seriously! For breakfast, classic croissants or pan au chocolat (chocolate croissants) are pretty standard. Parisians don't necessarily eat this every day, but the bread is delicious! When you visit France, you should go to a bakery every morning for new foods!


Fresh bread at Le Marais in Paris - French Culinary CultureFresh bread at Le Marais in Paris


Pastries from Georges Larnicol in District 6 -French Culinary CulturePastries from Georges Larnicol in District 6


You can have a quick lunch at a cafe or food court if you're short on time when visiting France, but it's not uncommon for the French to have a three-course, hour-long lunch at the cafés. local wine! If you like to enjoy long French lunches there are many places that will offer very reasonable lunch menus, so if there is a restaurant you really want to eat there it is a bit over the top  your prices, check to see if they sell a weekday lunch menu! Dinner is the most formal meal of the day, and it's the most expensive if you're eating at a restaurant.


Wine on the terrace in Paris - French culinary cultureWine on the rooftop in Paris


Top 10 French foods

Croquet Madame: While this cold and cheese sandwich topped with extra cheese and an egg may seem simple, no one does it like the French do! Delicious French cheese adds great flavor to this coffee sandwich.


Croquet Madame - French culinary cultureCroquet Madame


Coq au Vin: Chicken cooked in wine sauce - a simple but delicious classic French dish.

Galettes and crepes: Galettes are savory crepes made with buckwheat flour and crepes are desserts made with flour. Try Nutella and banana or salted caramel for a classic French twist.

Cheese: great variety of cheeses like cheeses- fondue, camembert, raclette, bleu... and enjoy a little of each.

Steak frites: Steaks and fries are classic pub food.

Cassoulet: A slow-cooked stew with meat and beans. Simple and hearty.


Cassoulet - French culinary cultureCassoulet


Croissants (+ all Baguettes) are very typical and delicious in France.

Macarons: These lovely, round cookies can be found in almost every bakery in France!


Macarons - French culinary cultureMacarons


French Onion Soup: Many people love to enjoy the classic French onion soup in French culinary culture ! It really warms you up on a cold day.


French onion soup - French culinary culture ẩmFrench onion soupúp


Nicoise Salad: This salad is usually made with olives, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, and tomatoes.

French food culture is full of nuances and uniqueness, and hopefully these tips will help you experience it to the fullest while visiting this beautiful country! While the distinction between a cafe and a restaurant and different culinary terms may seem odd, it's these little things that make French food culture unique .