France's 11 high meals experiences and the place to search out them in 2022

Gourmand appetites know no bounds in France, a paradise for meals lovers with its various delicacies, markets and native gusto for eating nicely.

Go to Burgundy for hearty wine-based cooking, Brittany and the Atlantic Coast for seafood and Basque Nation for a slice of Spanish spice.

Scorching on the heels of Lonely Planet’s latest ebook Eat France, we’re highlighting a number of of our favourite French meals experiences. 

17 finest meals festivals of France: the place and when to go for the gourmand tour of a lifetime

Paris for pâtisseries

Parisian pâtisseries (pastry retailers) are much like bakeries however are typically up a notch on the sophistication scale. Though they promote totally different forms of pastries and truffles, each is commonly recognized for a selected specialty – Ladurée and Pierre Hermé do macarons, Gérard Mulot does truffles and tartes, and so forth. A chocolatier focuses on goodies, typically offered in 100g increments and accessible in over a dozen mouthwatering flavors: pistachio, lavender, ginger, orange and extra.

I’ve authored greater than 50 Lonely Planet guidebooks: my high recs for the most effective avenue meals in Paris for 2022

Normandy delicacies closely options cream, apples and cider © Dawid Kasza / Getty Pictures

Normandy for moules à la crème normande

Cream, apples and cider are the necessities of Norman delicacies, which sees mussels simmered in cream and a splash of cider to make moules à la crème Normande and tripe thrown within the sluggish pot with cider and greens to make tripes à la mode de Caen.

Creamy camembert is the native cow’s milk cheese, and on the coast coquilles St-Jacques (scallops) and huîtres (oysters) rule the seafood roost. Apples are the essence of the area’s principal tipples: tangy cider and the potent calvados (apple-flavored brandy), beautiful straight or splashed on apple sorbet.

Delicacies of Normandy 

Burgundy for bœuf bourguignon

Vine-wealthy Burgundy honors a culinary trinity of beef, purple wine and Dijon mustard. Start with oeufs en meurette (wine-poached eggs) or snails, historically served by the dozen and oven-baked of their shells with butter, garlic and parsley. Savor bœuf bourguignon (beef marinated and cooked in younger purple wine with mushrooms, onions, carrots and bacon), adopted by the choose of Burgundy AOC cheeses.

Wine tasting within the Côte d’Or vineyards, supply of world-famous Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune wines, is compulsory when in Burgundy; laid-back Irancy, much less recognized across the globe however much-loved by locals, is an insider favourite.

Burgundy’s most stunning highway journeys to drive your self to distraction

Summer truffle display for sale In an outdoor fresh produce market in Périgord, Dordogne
The Dordogne area is understood for its truffles and indulgent delicacies © Pierre Longnus / Getty Pictures

The Dordogne for truffles

The Dordogne is fabulously well-known for its indulgent black truffles and poultry, particularly geese and geese, who’re sometimes force-fed to make sure suitably fattened livers to enter foie gras (actually “fattened liver”). Pâté de foie gras (duck- or goose-liver pâté) is served straight or flavored with Cognac and truffles. Confit de canard and confit d’oie are duck or goose joints cooked very slowly in their very own fats. Snails are one other delicacy. Walnuts from the area’s considerable walnut groves go into eau de noix (caramel-colored walnut liqueur).

Gourmand Dordogne: learn how to profit from certainly one of France’s high foodie areas 

Uncover the world’s most intriguing experiences with our weekly publication delivered straight to your inbox.

Lyon for the pork

Lyon is dubbed France’s gastronomic capital. And whereas it doesn’t compete with Paris in terms of number of worldwide delicacies, it actually holds its personal in terms of titillating style buds with the weird and ingenious.

Take the age-old repertoire of feisty, typically pork-driven dishes served within the metropolis’s legendary bouchons (small bistros): breaded fried tripe, massive fats andouillettes (pig-intestine sausage), silk-weaver’s brains (a herbed cheese unfold, not brains in any respect) – there isn’t any means you may ever say Lyonnais delicacies is run of the mill. A lighter, much less meaty specialty is quenelle de brochet, a poached dumpling fabricated from freshwater fish (often pike) and served with sauce Nantua (a cream and freshwater-crayfish sauce).

Equally wonderful is the Lyonnais wine listing the place very wonderful Côtes de Rhône reds vie for consideration with native Brouilly and extremely esteemed Mâcon reds from close by Burgundy. In bouchons, native Beaujolais is combined with a touch of blackcurrant liqueur to make a blood-red communard aperitif.

A day with Lyon’s maverick ice cream makers 

Alsace for the choucroute alsacienne

No Alsatian dish is extra traditional than choucroute alsacienne or choucroute garnie – sauerkraut flavored with juniper berries and served sizzling with sausages, bacon, pork and/or ham knuckle. It’s meaty, Teutonic and served in winstubs (conventional Alsatian taverns). Wädele braisé au pinot noir (ham knuckles braised in wine) additionally include sauerkraut. 

Crack open a bottle of sunshine citrusy sylvaner, crisp dry Alsatian riesling or full-bodied pinot noir to accompany both, and spherical off the filling feast with a tarte alsacienne, a delicious custard tart made with native fruit reminiscent of mirabelles (candy yellow plums) or quetsches (quite a lot of purple plum). Beer is likely to be massive in Alsace however it’s a giant no-no in terms of sauerkraut. Candy tooths will adore Alsatian gingerbread and kougelhopf (sugared, ring-shaped raisin cake).

Enjoying a warm summer's evening outside in Cassis, Provence
Having fun with a heat summer time’s night exterior in Cassis, Provence © Gary Yeowell / Getty

Provence & the Côte d’Azur for the contemporary vegetables and fruit

Delicacies on this sun-baked land is laden with tomatoes, melons, cherries, peaches, olives, Mediterranean fish and Alpine cheese. Farmers collect on the weekly market to promote their fruit and greens, woven garlic plaits, dried herbs displayed in stubby coarse sacks, and olives full of a large number of edible sins. 

À la Provençal nonetheless means something with a beneficiant dose of garlic-seasoned tomatoes, whereas a easy filet mignon sprinkled with olive oil and rosemary contemporary from the backyard makes the identical magnificent Sunday lunch it did generations in the past.

But there are thrilling culinary contrasts on this area, which see fisherfolk return with the catch of the day in seafaring Marseille; grazing bulls and paddy fields within the Camargue; lambs within the Alpilles; black truffles within the Vaucluse; cheese produced from cow’s milk in Alpine pastures; and an Italianate accent to cooking in seaside Good.

Bouillabaisse, Marseille’s mighty meal of fish stew, is Provence’s most well-known contribution to French delicacies. The chowder should comprise no less than three sorts of contemporary saltwater fish, cooked for about 10 minutes in a broth containing onions, tomatoes, saffron and numerous herbs, and eaten as a principal course with toasted bread and rouille (a spicy purple mayonnaise of olive oil, garlic and chili peppers).

The fish stew bourride is much like bouillabaisse however has fewer elements, a much less prescriptive recipe, and sometimes a barely creamier sauce. It is usually served with aïoli.

When in Provence, do because the Provençaux do: drink pastis. An aniseed-flavored, 45%-alcohol drink, it was invented in Marseille by industrialist Paul Ricard in 1932. Amber-colored within the bottle, it turns milky white when combined with water. An important lunch or dinner companion is a relaxing glass of the area’s irresistibly pink, AOC Côtes de Provence rosé wine.

Excellent Provence: an eater’s information 

Plate of freshly shucked oysters in Brittany, France
Brittany is for seafood lovers © EQRoy / Shutterstock

Brittany for the seafood

Brittany is a paradise for seafood lovers (assume lobster, scallops, sea bass, turbot, mussels and oysters from Cancale) in addition to youngsters, due to the standard crêpe and galette, an historical culinary custom that has lengthy dominated Breton delicacies. Pair a candy wheat-flour pancake or savory buckwheat galette with une bolée (a stubby terracotta goblet) of apple-rich Breton cider, and style buds enter connoisseur heaven. 

Royal Guillevic and ciders produced by the Domaine de Kervéguen are wonderful high quality, artisanal ciders to attempt. If cider is not your cup of tea, order a neighborhood beer like Coreff or nonalcoholic lait ribot (fermented milk). Chouchen (hydromel), a fermented honey liqueur, is a typical Breton aperitif.

Cheese is just not massive, however la beurre de Bretagne (Breton butter) is. Historically sea-salted and creamy, a knob of it naturally goes into crêpes, galettes and probably the most outrageously buttery cake you’re prone to ever style in your life – kouign amann (Breton butter cake). Bretons, in contrast to the remainder of the French, even butter their bread. 

Seaweed is one other Breton culinary curiosity, and 80% of French shallots are grown right here.

Put together your palate: new French meals and wine museum to open in Dijon

Languedoc-Roussillon for the cassoulet stew

No dish higher evokes Languedoc than cassoulet, an earthy cockle-warming stew of white beans and meat that fires passionate debate. Everybody is aware of finest which kind of bean and meat hunk ought to be thrown within the cassole, the normal earthenware dish it’s cooked and delivered to the desk in. 

In any other case, this area’s trademark delicacies campagnarde (nation cooking) sees fisherfolk tending lagoon oyster beds on the coast, olives being pressed in mild hills inland, blue-veined “king of cheeses” ripening in caves in Roquefort, geese and gaggles of geese fattening round Toulouse, sheep munching in salty marsh meadows round Montpellier, and mushrooms rising in forests.

In Uzès, croquignoles (shortbread biscuits adorned with candy almond or hazelnut and lined in orange syrup after baking) are a candy deal with. A Spanish accent provides delicacies in neighboring Roussillon a fiery twist of exuberance.

Final eats: the world’s high 10 meals experiences 

Strings of red chillies hanging in front of house with red shutters
The  deep-red Espelette chillies add chunk to many dishes in Basque Nation © Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Basque Nation for the pintxo

Among the many important elements of Basque cooking are the deep-red Espelette chilies that add chunk to many dishes, together with the dusting on the signature jambon de Bayonne, the regionally ready Bayonne ham. 

Consuming out on this a part of France close to Spain is a delight due to its many informal pintxo (tapas) bars serving garlic prawns, spicy chorizo sausages and different native dishes tapas-style. Wash the whole thing down with a glass of native cider (sidrea in Basque), lighter and extra glowing than ciders in northern France, finest poured in a glass at arm’s size. Izarra is a much-loved natural liqueur.

Basques love truffles, particularly gâteau basque (cake full of cream or cherry jam). Then there’s Bayonne chocolate. 

A traveller’s information to beer in France 

Corsica for the stufatu

The hills and mountains of the island of Corsica have all the time been supreme for elevating inventory, and the dense Corsican underbrush referred to as the maquis is made up of shrubs combined with wild herbs. These uncooked supplies come collectively to create fragrant trademark Corsican dishes like stufatu (aromatic mutton stew), premonata (beef braised with juniper berries) and lonzo (Corsican sausage cooked with white beans, white wine and herbs).

The 12 finest seashores in France