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French cuisine is full of heavy pates, cheeses and desserts. Breakfast is microscopic, dinner is served in the evening, and yet the French are at the forefront of lean nations. Poles should follow their diet as an example, because overweight is a problem for every eighth inhabitant of France, and every second in Poland!

French cuisineis considered to be exquisite and sophisticated, but also offers many easy-to-prepare, yet imaginative dishes, e.g.omelette- an extraordinary dish of eggs - the French brought it to perfection. French chefs have always been considered the best, and their language has become the language of culinary arts.Foodin France is a time to relax and chat with friends and celebrate your meal. There is no nation that would attach such importance to food and create so many unusual dishes and products. Every day we deal with his inventions, e.g. a baguette, mayonnaise, vinaigrette, tart, and omelette. The French are proud of their cuisine, they consider it an important part of the world heritage.

French cuisine: a meal is holy season

The French eat 3 large meals a day. Children also get lunch and afternoon tea, but adults also eat 2-3 light snacks a day. Meal times are strictly adhered to, and the French like to celebrate their food. These few habits already explain why they do not gain weight. The French breakfast (also known as the continental one) is modest, it consists of a croissant or a fresh baguette and coffee with milk or drinking chocolate, served here in bowls so that you can dip pieces of bread in it. Note: the baguettes are not cut with a knife, but torn lengthwise and smeared with butter and jam. The next meal is more abundant, it is eaten between 12 and 2 pm. Although it is the middle of the working day, it is a holy time for the French. During this time, offices and even shops are closed, it is impossible to do something in the office. Working people eat out in the city - in nearby bars, bistros and restaurants. Within an hour, they slowly eat several dishes: after a small starter (e.g. a salad), a main course (a light dish of meat or fish or cheese or eggs) is served, followed by traditional cheese, and finally (but not necessarily) a dessert, which is often there are fruit, ice cream, cookies. The meal is topped off with coffee. Although this meal can be called a dinner (but it's more like a lunch), soups at noon are not eaten.

French cuisine: lunch or dinner?

The third large meal, resembling our lunch, can be called a dinner because of the time. It is eaten relatively late, around 8pm, and is the main meal. It starts with an appetizer or soup followed by a main course - meat or fish (more solid than midday), necessarily with a large portion of vegetables, lettuce and vinaigrette sauce. Then the cheeses are served, and finally the dessert. Wine is served with both lunch and dinner. It is a light table wine and well-known brands since holidays. Water is also drunk with meals (tap water is perfect for direct drinking). Nobody eats on the run, you have to sit down for a meal, having completely detached from the previous activities. The French eat slowly, chew each bite thoroughly. They are focused on the contents of their plate, they are not distracted.

According to an expertDariusz Kuśnierz, director of Sopexa SA, an agency promoting French food products around the world, organizes in Poland, among others, Apéritif à la française

the French don't only pay wine

Wine, the flagship French product, is produced in 12 regions, the best known in the Bordeaux region. However, France is famous not only for wine (especially champagne), but also for vodkas and liqueurs produced according to traditional methods. Cognac is a world-famous liquor that comes from the distillation of white wines. Armagnac is produced in southwestern France. Normandy produces cider - a low-alcohol cider made from fermented apple must. The distillation of cider produces a high-grade brandy called calvados. It was the French who invented the aperitif, a small glass of alcohol served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. The best known is kir, a white wine with blackcurrant syrup. In the south, the most popular aperitif is pastis - a strong, 90% anise-flavored drink. After a meal, the French take digestif to improve digestion. Most often it is cognac, armagnac and various types of liqueurs (cointreau, benedictine).

Fresh vegetables, fruit and fish count in French cuisine

The basis of French cuisine is the highest quality and freshness of products. That is why fairs where you can buy vegetables, fruits and fish are still very popular. Small local stores also play an important role, and they thrive despite the expansion of supermarkets. They are strictly specialized - bakery, confectionery (sometimes they are combined), dairy, cheese, meat and sausage shops (these are not combined).

The smell of herbs is overwhelming in French cuisine

French cuisine is not too spicy. It smells oftengarlic, willingly added to many dishes, but most of all with herbs - parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, basil and chervil (it smells like a cross between parsley and caraway). Both fresh (these are used more often) and dried improve digestion and accelerate metabolism. It is important that the herbs do not dominate the taste of the dish, they are to emphasize it. A bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf) is added to soups and broths. Practical French invented wrapping herbs in gauze - such a packet is easier to remove after cooking. Provencal cuisine has the most intense aroma - the famous mixture of herbs from this land is basil, marjoram or oregano, cornflower, rosemary and thyme, possibly sage or mint. When seasoning a dish with Provencal herbs, you can often choose not to add s alt (or at least reduce its amount).

French cuisine with cheese

No country in the world produces this amount of cheese. Most recipes are closely kept secret, and each region has its own speci alties. The most famous cheeses are camembert and brie - both overgrown with white mold - and roquefort with blue mold. The synovial cheeses (eg Munster, Livarot) are noteworthy, and the goat cheeses are excellent (Crottin de Chavignol, Saint Maure). The traditional form of serving cheeses is a platter (board), on which you should find several types that differ in taste and shape. Nuts are put next to cheeses, sometimes grapes or figs, they are necessarily served with a baguette and wine. It may seem a bit quirky to serve cheese after a meal, when the body is saturated. After all, cheese is high in calories (approx. 350 kcal / 100 g). But first of all, it is eaten in minimal amounts, and secondly, it contains CLA - conjugated linoleic acid, which speeds up the metabolism.

A lot of vegetables + olive oil is the basis of French cuisine

A bowl of lettuce is an integral part of a meal. Torn into pieces (it is never cut with a knife) and poured with vinaigrette, served with a baguette and wine, it is a light snack. Lettuce species can be combined with each other, the usual butter can be replaced with, for example, lamb's lettuce, and the vinaigrette is enriched with mustard or orange juice. The French also like asparagus, eggplants, and artichokes, which are served with a vinaigrette sauce. The vegetables are eaten raw, in the form of casseroles, stuffed or stewed in olive oil. This fat is the basis, only in the north of France is butter used.

French cuisine uses the richness of seafood

Having access to the warm Mediterranean Sea and the cool Atlantic, France takes advantage of most of the creatures that live there. The French eat fresh sea fish, rich in acidomega-3, calcium and phosphorus. The delicacy is mussels, or rather mussels, caught in the north. One of the culinary symbols of France are oysters. They were considered a luxury, the price depends on the size (small ones are cheaper), but because they come from farms, they are not that expensive anymore. They are eaten raw, sprinkled with lemon, so they must be super fresh. The stereotype of French cuisine is frog legs (marinated in spices, they are breaded and fried) and snails (the most popular are those in Burgundy - with garlic butter). Interestingly, the French are most likely to eat vineyards imported from Poland.

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