What is French cuisine? I have asked this question to many people and to myself. To get an answer is harder than you think. For example, when you think of Italian cuisine, you will say immediately pizza, pasta. For Indian, it’s curry. For British, fish and chips. For Chinese, sweet and sour. But for French cuisine, what is your answer? Snails (escargots)? Croissants?

I was further introduced to French cuisine after marrying my Scottish husband, whose family, not unlike many British, is fascinated by French food and culture. Over the years, we have tried many different types of French food and cuisine. Here I will try to mention some that I think may represent what French cuisine is and I hope I can help answer the not-so-easy question of “What is French cuisine?” I take this answer from one of my friends as the best answer: “French cuisine is about using fresh local ingredients and bringing out the best of those ingredients with skills and artistry.” That explains why you seldom see heavy source in French cuisine.

Morels (morilles) is a type of cup fungi used in French cuisines a lot. The honey-comb liked head is what makes it distinctive. Apart from truffles, this is my favourite mushroom so far. It’s got a smokey favour and goes very well with beef or in a simple creamy mushroom sauce. I was lucky to acquire some in a small village on the French Alps. The same amount of morels (morilles) at Geneva airport was six times more expensive.

French food - morels (morilles)

Morels (Morilles) are used a lot in French food.

French food - morels (morilles)

Morels (Morilles) are used a lot in French food.

French food - morels (morilles)

Morels (Morilles) used in French cruisine: Filet de Boeuf du Simmental pure race saisi, l'epaule braisee aux morilles, millefeuille de petit pois, lard fume et moelle (Fillet of beef of Simmental purebred seized, shoulder braisee with Morels, yarrow small peas, smokedn Bacon and marrow)

More to come…

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