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jpg]] [[caption-width-right:350:As you can see here, French Cuisine [[BlatantLies is nothing but escargot]].]]



Beer is not uncommon, especially in the once-German Alsace and Lorraine areas and along the Belgian border--the Nord ''département'' consists of the western part of Flanders and Hainaut (the rest of which are in Belgium), and shares in the famous Belgian brewing tradition. Normandy is known for its cider and Calvados (a type of apple brandy). Brittany, or at least its cultural area, is also known for its cider, as well as Chouchenn (of the same family as Calvados) and more uncommonly mead. A good way to invoke BerserkButton in Brittany or Normandy is to state the other invented cider/ has the best cider. Note that French cider generally tends to be much lighter in alcohol content than English cider from the south-west, is rarely served outside of Brittany and Normandy where it is almost a national pride, and tends to be the kind of thing you serve to children as a substitute for beer (attitudes towards alcohol are completely different to what can sometimes be seen outside of Europe).

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Beer is not uncommon, especially in the once-German Alsace and Lorraine areas and along the Belgian border--the Nord ''département'' consists of the western part of Flanders and Hainaut (the rest of which are in Belgium), and shares in the famous Belgian brewing tradition. Normandy is known for its cider and Calvados (a type of apple brandy). Brittany, or at least its cultural area, is also known for its cider, as well as Chouchenn Lambig (of the same family as Calvados) and more uncommonly mead.Chouchenn (a kind of buckwheat-honey mead that sometimes also includes a bit of cider). A good way to invoke BerserkButton in Brittany or Normandy is to state the other invented cider/ has the best cider. Note that French cider generally tends to be much lighter in alcohol content than English cider from the south-west, is rarely served outside of Brittany and Normandy where it is almost a national pride, and tends to be the kind of thing you serve to children as a substitute for beer (attitudes towards alcohol are completely different to what can sometimes be seen outside of Europe).


This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of the well to do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy. Exceptions were made for black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg/mace (black pepper because it was all but indispensable, the cloves and nutmeg because they could be grown in France's Caribbean colonies--or later, its African ones).[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable, a bit like catching a delicious time machine to ''[[TheEdwardianEra La Belle Époque]]''. At its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.

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This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of or the well to do well-to-do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy. Exceptions were made for black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg/mace (black pepper because it was all but indispensable, the cloves and nutmeg because they could be grown in France's Caribbean colonies--or later, its African ones).[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable, a bit like catching a delicious time machine to ''[[TheEdwardianEra La Belle Époque]]''. At its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.



Arguably this is no longer "New Cuisine"; the innovations of Nouvelle Cuisine were hugely influential around the world (if you cook some of the above, like the emphasis on fresh food cooked very lightly might seem familiar) but has long since been incorporated into high restaurant cuisine and home cooking. Many chefs will now use techniques from both Haute Cuisine and Nouvelle Cuisine, and probably incorporate ideas from other cuisines as well. Still, understanding the difference is useful for understanding French Cuisine as a whole.

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Arguably Arguably, this Cuisine is no longer "New Cuisine"; New; the innovations of Nouvelle Cuisine were hugely influential around the world (if you cook some of the above, like the emphasis on fresh food cooked very lightly might seem familiar) but has long since been incorporated into high restaurant cuisine and home cooking. Many chefs will now use techniques from both Haute Cuisine and Nouvelle Cuisine, and probably incorporate ideas from other cuisines as well. Still, understanding the difference is useful for understanding French Cuisine as a whole.



Haute Cuisine--both ''Nouvelle'' and ''Classique''--is the cuisine of chefs and foodies. While most French eat it at least occasionally, their everyday cooking will more likely resemble their [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional]] cuisines, which are less formalized and more varied than the national cuisine. France was not always a modern nation state, and the different regions of France--Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne, Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Île-de-France, Burgundy, Provence, etc.--all have their own culture and cuisine. Indeed, provincialism is quite strong in France, with most Frenchmen having a strong attachment to the city or town of their birth, even if they later move. In a French restaurant abroad you will with a few small exceptions[[note]]There is a small but significant number of restaurants in some major world cities that serve--or attempt to serve--Provençal cuisine. That region's cooking is attractive to restaurateurs abroad because it is both quite unique--closer in some respects to Northern Italian cooking than French--and relatively codified. Because seafood is a strong point of the Provençal kitchen, these places often specialize in that.[[/note]] at best find some of the most famous dishes of each region, and perhaps nothing regional at all, but it is still an integral part of the French national identity. This cuisine is often based heavily on what is produced locally in a given region, so expect lots of apples and butter in Normandy and Brittany (unsalted in the former and salted in the latter), beer in Nord, olives and olive oil in the coastal south, and local wines and cheeses just about everywhere.

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Haute Cuisine--both ''Nouvelle'' and ''Classique''--is the cuisine of chefs and foodies. While most French eat it at least occasionally, their everyday cooking will more likely resemble their [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional]] cuisines, which are less formalized and more varied than the national cuisine. France was not always a modern nation state, and the different regions of France--Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne, Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Île-de-France, Burgundy, Provence, etc.--all have their own culture and cuisine. Indeed, provincialism is quite strong in France, with most Frenchmen French people having a strong attachment to the city or town of their birth, even if they later move. In a French restaurant abroad you will with a few small exceptions[[note]]There is a small but significant number of restaurants in some major world cities that serve--or attempt to serve--Provençal cuisine. That region's cooking is attractive to restaurateurs abroad because it is both quite unique--closer in some respects to Northern Italian cooking than French--and relatively codified. Because seafood is a strong point of the Provençal kitchen, these places often specialize in that.[[/note]] at best find some of the most famous dishes of each region, and perhaps nothing regional at all, but it is still an integral part of the French national identity. This cuisine is often based heavily on what is produced locally in a given region, so expect lots of apples and butter in Normandy and Brittany (unsalted in the former and salted in the latter), beer in Nord, olives and olive oil in the coastal south, and local wines and cheeses just about everywhere.


Although the French do eat potatoes and couscous quite frequently (they formerly had a certain notoriety for not being able to handle rice, though), the big traditional starch of a French meal is bread, by far the most famous being the long, crispy stick of bread known as the baguette. Properly made, a baguette is ideal for both a meal and a sandwich bread. All this said, the baguette is not the only French bread; indeed, although long breads have quite a history in France (with long, wide loaves being definitively recorded during the reign of UsefulNotes/LouisXIV, long, thin ones from the reign of Louis XVI, and extra-long--we're talking ''two meters''--loaves from the Second Empire), the baguette as it is generally known is much NewerThanTheyThink, dating back no earlier than 1920.[[note]]The reason for the appearance of the modern baguette is widely debated, but suspicion generally falls upon a 1919 law forbidding bakers to work between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM, necessitating the development of a bread that could be made fresh in time for the breakfast rush starting around 6 or 7:00 in the morning. A loaf that was somewhat thin and long but not incredibly so, baked in a "deck oven" (which uses steam to speed the baking process) fit the bill; because the resultant loaf looks rather like a baton or wand, people dubbed it a ''baguette'', the French word for those things.[[/note]] The somewhat more traditional family of breads sometimes known as ''pain de campagne'' ("country bread") tend to be flattened balls or wheels of greyish-brown bread; at its worst it's barely distinguishable from white bread, but the bread of Poilâne bakery in Paris (now in its third generation of ownership[[note]]If you're an English-speaking [=YouTube=] viewer of any kind of food channel, you've probably seen the third-generation owner/baker Artemesia Poilâne's advertisements for her "[=MasterClass=]" series on bread-baking. Don't let her perfect American English fool you; while she was born and raised mostly in New York, she's all Paris when it comes to bread.[[/note]]) is considered among the best and most imitated in the world. Also, there's brioche -- an eggy, buttery bread used for breakfast, desserts, holiday pastries, and uses like that. [[note]]Brioche was also the "cake" used in the misattributed-to-Marie-Antoinette quote "Let them eat cake", which, if it was ever really said by the person people mistook Marie Antoinette for, was less a brushoff and more an invitation for the poor people to raid the bakeries -- it was said in context of lack of the affordable breads: the bakeries tended to churn out much more expensive brioches and such, which few working-class people could buy regularly, instead of cheaper breads, as they had higher profit margins. By inviting them to eat brioche, the speaker more or less encouraged the poor to "regulate" the bakeries themselves. Ironically, almost the same situation happened in Saint-Petersburg some 120 years later.[[/note]] Finally, there's the originally-Austrian croissant -- a yeasted relative of puff pastry and danish, and one of the three most popular breakfast breads in the USA, along with biscuits and bagels. (Chocolate croissants -- the rectangular, chocolate-filled ''pain au chocolat'' -- are very popular after-school snacks for French kids.)

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Although the French do eat potatoes and couscous quite frequently (they formerly had a certain notoriety for not being able to handle rice, though), the big traditional starch of a French meal is bread, by far the most famous being the long, crispy stick of bread known as the baguette. Properly made, a baguette is ideal for both a meal and a sandwich bread. All this said, the baguette is not the only French bread; indeed, although long breads have quite a history in France (with long, wide loaves being definitively recorded during the reign of UsefulNotes/LouisXIV, long, thin ones from the reign of Louis XVI, and extra-long--we're talking ''two meters''--loaves from the Second Empire), the baguette as it is generally known is much NewerThanTheyThink, dating back no earlier than 1920.[[note]]The reason for the appearance of the modern baguette is widely debated, but suspicion generally falls upon a 1919 law forbidding bakers to work between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM, necessitating the development of a bread that could be made fresh in time for the breakfast rush starting around 6 or 7:00 in the morning. A loaf that was somewhat thin and long but not incredibly so, baked in a "deck oven" (which uses steam to speed the baking process) fit the bill; because the resultant loaf looks rather like a baton or wand, people dubbed it a ''baguette'', the French word for those things.[[/note]] The baguette also has reached its former colony of Vietnam, where it is called ''bánh mì'', and has been a staple of Vietnamese cuisine ever since.

The somewhat more traditional family of breads sometimes known as ''pain de campagne'' ("country bread") tend to be flattened balls or wheels of greyish-brown bread; at its worst it's barely distinguishable from white bread, but the bread of Poilâne bakery in Paris (now in its third generation of ownership[[note]]If you're an English-speaking [=YouTube=] viewer of any kind of food channel, you've probably seen the third-generation owner/baker Artemesia Poilâne's advertisements for her "[=MasterClass=]" series on bread-baking. Don't let her perfect American English fool you; while she was born and raised mostly in New York, she's all Paris when it comes to bread.[[/note]]) is considered among the best and most imitated in the world. Also, there's brioche -- an eggy, buttery bread used for breakfast, desserts, holiday pastries, and uses like that. [[note]]Brioche was also the "cake" used in the misattributed-to-Marie-Antoinette quote "Let them eat cake", which, if it was ever really said by the person people mistook Marie Antoinette for, was less a brushoff and more an invitation for the poor people to raid the bakeries -- it was said in context of lack of the affordable breads: the bakeries tended to churn out much more expensive brioches and such, which few working-class people could buy regularly, instead of cheaper breads, as they had higher profit margins. By inviting them to eat brioche, the speaker more or less encouraged the poor to "regulate" the bakeries themselves. Ironically, almost the same situation happened in Saint-Petersburg some 120 years later.[[/note]] [[/note]]

Finally, there's the originally-Austrian croissant -- a yeasted relative of puff pastry and danish, and one of the three most popular breakfast breads in the USA, along with biscuits and bagels. (Chocolate croissants -- the rectangular, chocolate-filled ''pain au chocolat'' -- are very popular after-school snacks for French kids.)


The French also eat pizza (understandable, since they share a border with Italy); in practice, most French pizzerias offer only a handful of styles of pizza, but France also has its own native types, like the anchovy and onion-laden pissaladière of Provence and the Alsatian onion/cream/bacon flammekueche.[[note]]Alsace being on the border with Germany and having a very strong German element to its culture--to the point that it was almost completely Germanised during the period that it was controlled by Germany [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar 1870]]-[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne 1920]]--the German name is to be expected. The French name ''tarte flambée'' is also heard, but not as much as one might expect.[[/note]] Also not uncommon is fougasse, a type of bread similar in both name and style to northern Italy's focaccia, though the French often make them sweet, sometimes with fruit like grapes baked in. It should be noted that, like the American variant of pizza, French pizza mostly originated as the poor man's food among the immigrant Italian populations of Marseille, and thereafter somewhat diverged from its Italian counterpart. It tends to be thinner than thick-crust American pizza and slightly thicker than thin-crust Italian pizza.

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The French also eat pizza (understandable, since they share a border with Italy); in practice, most French pizzerias offer only a handful of styles of pizza, but France also has its own native types, like the anchovy and onion-laden pissaladière of Provence and the Alsatian onion/cream/bacon flammekueche.[[note]]Alsace being on the border with Germany and having a very strong German element to its culture--to the point that it was almost completely Germanised during the period that it was controlled by Germany [[UsefulNotes/FrancoPrussianWar 1870]]-[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne 1920]]--the German name is to be expected. The French name ''tarte flambée'' is also heard, but not as much as one might expect. Also, technically, ''flammkueche'' is not quite in the same family as pizza; the bread is unleavened (making it weirdly like the cracker-crust pizzas of certain American Midwest cities like St. Louis and Dayton).[[/note]] Also not uncommon is fougasse, a type of bread similar in both name and style to northern Italy's focaccia, though the French often make them sweet, sometimes with fruit like grapes baked in. It should be noted that, like the American variant of pizza, French pizza mostly originated as the poor man's food among the immigrant Italian populations of Marseille, and thereafter somewhat diverged from its Italian counterpart. It tends to be thinner than thick-crust American pizza and slightly thicker than thin-crust Italian pizza.


Although the French do eat potatoes and couscous quite frequently (they formerly had a certain notoriety for not being able to handle rice, though), the big traditional starch of a French meal is bread, by far the most famous being the long, crispy stick of bread known as the baguette. Properly made, a baguette is ideal for both a meal and a sandwich bread. All this said, the baguette is not the only French bread; indeed, although long breads have quite a history in France (with long, wide loaves being definitively recorded during the reign of UsefulNotes/LouisXIV, long, thin ones from the reign of Louis XVI, and extra-long--we're talking ''two meters''--loaves from the Second Empire), the baguette as it is generally known is much NewerThanTheyThink, dating back no earlier than 1920.[[note]]The reason for the appearance of the modern baguette is widely debated, but suspicion generally falls upon a 1919 law forbidding bakers to work between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM, necessitating the development of a bread that could be made fresh in time for the breakfast rush starting around 6 or 7:00 in the morning. A loaf that was somewhat thin and long but not incredibly so, baked in a "deck oven" (which uses steam to speed the baking process) fit the bill; because the resultant loaf looks rather like a baton or wand, people dubbed it a ''baguette'', the French word for those things.[[/note]] The somewhat more traditional family of breads sometimes known as ''pain de campagne'' ("country bread") tend to be flattened balls or wheels of greyish-brown bread; at its worst it's barely distinguishable from white bread, but the bread of Poilane bakery in Paris (now in its third generation of ownership) is considered among the best and most imitated in the world. Also, there's brioche -- an eggy, buttery bread used for breakfast, desserts, holiday pastries, and uses like that. [[note]]Brioche was also the "cake" used in the misattributed-to-Marie-Antoinette quote "Let them eat cake", which, if it was ever really said by the person people mistook Marie Antoinette for, was less a brushoff and more an invitation for the poor people to raid the bakeries -- it was said in context of lack of the affordable breads: the bakeries tended to churn out much more expensive brioches and such, which few working-class people could buy regularly, instead of cheaper breads, as they had higher profit margins. By inviting them to eat brioche, the speaker more or less encouraged the poor to "regulate" the bakeries themselves. Ironically, almost the same situation happened in Saint-Petersburg some 120 years later.[[/note]] Finally, there's the originally-Austrian croissant -- a yeasted relative of puff pastry and danish, and one of the three most popular breakfast breads in the USA, along with biscuits and bagels. (Chocolate croissants -- the rectangular, chocolate-filled ''pain au chocolat'' -- are very popular after-school snacks for French kids.)

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Although the French do eat potatoes and couscous quite frequently (they formerly had a certain notoriety for not being able to handle rice, though), the big traditional starch of a French meal is bread, by far the most famous being the long, crispy stick of bread known as the baguette. Properly made, a baguette is ideal for both a meal and a sandwich bread. All this said, the baguette is not the only French bread; indeed, although long breads have quite a history in France (with long, wide loaves being definitively recorded during the reign of UsefulNotes/LouisXIV, long, thin ones from the reign of Louis XVI, and extra-long--we're talking ''two meters''--loaves from the Second Empire), the baguette as it is generally known is much NewerThanTheyThink, dating back no earlier than 1920.[[note]]The reason for the appearance of the modern baguette is widely debated, but suspicion generally falls upon a 1919 law forbidding bakers to work between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM, necessitating the development of a bread that could be made fresh in time for the breakfast rush starting around 6 or 7:00 in the morning. A loaf that was somewhat thin and long but not incredibly so, baked in a "deck oven" (which uses steam to speed the baking process) fit the bill; because the resultant loaf looks rather like a baton or wand, people dubbed it a ''baguette'', the French word for those things.[[/note]] The somewhat more traditional family of breads sometimes known as ''pain de campagne'' ("country bread") tend to be flattened balls or wheels of greyish-brown bread; at its worst it's barely distinguishable from white bread, but the bread of Poilane Poilâne bakery in Paris (now in its third generation of ownership) ownership[[note]]If you're an English-speaking [=YouTube=] viewer of any kind of food channel, you've probably seen the third-generation owner/baker Artemesia Poilâne's advertisements for her "[=MasterClass=]" series on bread-baking. Don't let her perfect American English fool you; while she was born and raised mostly in New York, she's all Paris when it comes to bread.[[/note]]) is considered among the best and most imitated in the world. Also, there's brioche -- an eggy, buttery bread used for breakfast, desserts, holiday pastries, and uses like that. [[note]]Brioche was also the "cake" used in the misattributed-to-Marie-Antoinette quote "Let them eat cake", which, if it was ever really said by the person people mistook Marie Antoinette for, was less a brushoff and more an invitation for the poor people to raid the bakeries -- it was said in context of lack of the affordable breads: the bakeries tended to churn out much more expensive brioches and such, which few working-class people could buy regularly, instead of cheaper breads, as they had higher profit margins. By inviting them to eat brioche, the speaker more or less encouraged the poor to "regulate" the bakeries themselves. Ironically, almost the same situation happened in Saint-Petersburg some 120 years later.[[/note]] Finally, there's the originally-Austrian croissant -- a yeasted relative of puff pastry and danish, and one of the three most popular breakfast breads in the USA, along with biscuits and bagels. (Chocolate croissants -- the rectangular, chocolate-filled ''pain au chocolat'' -- are very popular after-school snacks for French kids.)


* Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages. Since it melts well and has a complex flavor, commonly used in sandwiches (e.g. the ever-popular croque-monsieur[[note]]A fried ham and cheese sandwich[[/note]] and croque-madame[[note]]A croque-monsieur with a fried egg on top[[/note]]) and and in French onion soup.
* Comté: A semi-hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté.

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* Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages. Since it melts well and has a complex flavor, commonly used in sandwiches (e.g. the ever-popular croque-monsieur[[note]]A fried ham and cheese sandwich[[/note]] and croque-madame[[note]]A croque-monsieur with a fried egg on top[[/note]]) and and in French onion soup.\n
* Comté: A semi-hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté. Since it melts well and has a complex flavor, commonly used in sandwiches (e.g. the ever-popular croque-monsieur[[note]]A fried ham and cheese sandwich[[/note]] and croque-madame[[note]]A croque-monsieur with a fried egg on top[[/note]]) and and in French onion soup.


* Brie: A creamy cow's milk cheese, made in the Île-de-France and environs since the Middle Ages (there are stories referencing it from the 9th century, and a 14th-century English recipe for a cheese pie calls for it[[note]]Technically ''The Forme of Cury'' calls for "Bry", but it could only be Brie.[[/note]]). It's covered in a bloomy white rind and usually made in large wheels (23-37 cm in diameter), though smaller rounds have appeared more recently as a means to both reduce aging time and compete with Camembert (see below). As a Francilien product, it is ''very'' popular in Paris. It's generally pretty soft in texture and mild in flavor, except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is crumbly and stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait''.

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* Brie: A creamy cow's milk cheese, made in the Île-de-France and environs since the Middle Ages (there are stories referencing it from the 9th century, and a 14th-century English recipe for a cheese pie calls for it[[note]]Technically ''The Forme of Cury'' calls for "Bry", but it could only be Brie.[[/note]]).Ages. It's covered in a bloomy white rind and usually made in large wheels (23-37 cm in diameter), though smaller rounds have appeared more recently as a means to both reduce aging time and compete with Camembert (see below). As a Francilien product, it is ''very'' popular in Paris. It's generally pretty soft in texture and mild in flavor, except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is crumbly and stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait''. Brie has a long history as an export product; the royal cooks of [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfPlantagenet Richard II]] in the 14th century provide a recipe for a "tart de Bry" (i.e. Brie tart), and it won a cheese contest orchestrated by French Foreign Minister Talleyrand at the 1814-15 Congress of Vienna (earning it the nickname "king of cheeses").



* Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages.
* Comté: A hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté.

to:

* Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages.
Ages. Since it melts well and has a complex flavor, commonly used in sandwiches (e.g. the ever-popular croque-monsieur[[note]]A fried ham and cheese sandwich[[/note]] and croque-madame[[note]]A croque-monsieur with a fried egg on top[[/note]]) and and in French onion soup.
* Comté: A hard semi-hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté.Franche-Comté.


* Comté: A hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comt&eacute.

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* Comté: A hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comt&eacute.Franche-Comté.


* Camembert: A cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk. Initially made in the 19th century as a Norman imitation of Brie, it developed its own identity around its smaller wheels (usually about 10 cm diameter) and rather strong taste.

to:

* Camembert: A cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk. Initially made in the 18th or 19th century as a Norman imitation reinterpretation of Brie, it developed its own identity around its smaller wheels (usually about 10 cm diameter) and rather strong taste.


* Brie: A creamy cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France and environs made since the Middle Ages. It's covered in a bloomy white rind and usually made in large wheels (23-37 cm in diameter), though smaller rounds have appeared more recently as a means to both reduce aging time and compete with Camembert (see below). As a Francilien product, it is ''very'' popular in Paris. It's generally pretty soft in texture and mild in flavor, except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is crumbly and stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait''.

to:

* Brie: A creamy cow's milk cheese from cheese, made in the Île-de-France and environs made since the Middle Ages.Ages (there are stories referencing it from the 9th century, and a 14th-century English recipe for a cheese pie calls for it[[note]]Technically ''The Forme of Cury'' calls for "Bry", but it could only be Brie.[[/note]]). It's covered in a bloomy white rind and usually made in large wheels (23-37 cm in diameter), though smaller rounds have appeared more recently as a means to both reduce aging time and compete with Camembert (see below). As a Francilien product, it is ''very'' popular in Paris. It's generally pretty soft in texture and mild in flavor, except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is crumbly and stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait''.


* Camembert: A cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk. Initially made in the 19th century as a Norman imitation of Brie, it developed its own identity around its smaller wheels (usually about 10 cm diameter) and rather strong taste. * Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages.

to:

* Camembert: A cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk. Initially made in the 19th century as a Norman imitation of Brie, it developed its own identity around its smaller wheels (usually about 10 cm diameter) and rather strong taste. taste.
* Roquefort: A very strong tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages.


France has ''many'' kinds of cheese, from very strong to very sweet, from very hard to very creamy. Most popular cheeses include Camembert (a creamy cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk, rather strong taste), Brie (a creamy cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France and environs, ''very'' popular in Paris, similar to a Camembert but made in larger wheels and with a milder flavor--except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait'') Roquefort (a very strong taste blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania), Comté (a hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté) and Crottin de Chavignol (soft and sweet goat cheese--though it becomes progressively harder and stronger if left to age more--made in the Loire valley). Note that Emmental and Gruyère are actually made in Switzerland (but are still very popular in France; Comté is so similar to Gruyère that the former sometimes goes by "French Gruyère" abroad, and within France only the blindest nationalists would object to substituting Gruyère for Comté for most purposes). The stinkiest cheeses are believed to be Munster and the Boulette d'Avesne, both from the North of the country. The diversity of cheeses is often used to highlight France's oft-forgotten (by outsiders) [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional diversity]]: as [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfFrance president]] UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle famously asked, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"

to:

France has ''many'' kinds of cheese, from very strong to very sweet, from very hard to very creamy. Most The most popular cheeses include Camembert (a creamy cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk, rather strong taste), Brie (a include:
* Brie: A
creamy cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France and environs, environs made since the Middle Ages. It's covered in a bloomy white rind and usually made in large wheels (23-37 cm in diameter), though smaller rounds have appeared more recently as a means to both reduce aging time and compete with Camembert (see below). As a Francilien product, it is ''very'' popular in Paris, similar to a Camembert but made Paris. It's generally pretty soft in larger wheels texture and with a milder flavor--except mild in flavor, except for the aged ''brie noir'', which is crumbly and stronger and popular in Île-de-France as a breakfast dish to dip into ''café au lait'') Roquefort (a lait''.
* Camembert: A cheese from Normandy, made with cow milk. Initially made in the 19th century as a Norman imitation of Brie, it developed its own identity around its smaller wheels (usually about 10 cm diameter) and rather strong taste. * Roquefort: A
very strong taste tasting blue cheese, made with sheep milk, from the town of Roquefort in Occitania), Comté (a Occitania. With the Italian Gorgonzola, it's one of the oldest blue cheeses, dating from the early Middle Ages.
* Comté: A
hard cheese made from cow milk, originating in the region of Franche-Comté) and Franche-Comt&eacute.
*
Crottin de Chavignol (soft Chavignol: A soft and sweet goat cheese--though it becomes progressively harder and stronger if left to age more--made in the Loire valley). valley

Note that Emmental and Gruyère are actually made in Switzerland (but are still very popular in France; Comté is so similar to Gruyère that the former sometimes goes by "French Gruyère" abroad, and within France only the blindest nationalists would object to substituting Gruyère for Comté for most purposes). The stinkiest cheeses are believed to be Munster and the Boulette d'Avesne, both from the North of the country. The diversity of cheeses is often used to highlight France's oft-forgotten (by outsiders) [[UsefulNotes/DepartementalIssues regional diversity]]: as [[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfFrance president]] UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle famously asked, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"


This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of the well to do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy. Exceptions were made for black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg/mace (black pepper because it was all but indispensable, the cloves and nutmeg because they could be grown in France's Caribbean colonies--or later, its African ones).[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable; at its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.

to:

This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of the well to do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy. Exceptions were made for black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg/mace (black pepper because it was all but indispensable, the cloves and nutmeg because they could be grown in France's Caribbean colonies--or later, its African ones).[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable; at enjoyable, a bit like catching a delicious time machine to ''[[TheEdwardianEra La Belle Époque]]''. At its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.


Also known as "La Grande Cuisine", Haute Cuisine (literally "High Cooking") has its roots in the cuisine of the Middle Ages and of [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi the Ancien Régime]] but really took off after UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, when the guilds were disbanded and anyone could be a chef if they wanted--if they could hack it. The founder of the modern form of this style is generally considered to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Antoine_Carême Marie-Antoine Carême]], who was one of the first celebrity chefs (and a chef to celebrities: he spent much of his career in the employ of the French diplomat/politician [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-Périgord Talleyrand]]). However, Carême's dishes, made for heads of state and diplomats and designed to impress, could be quite complex, and there was a lot of variation in the early-to-mid-19th century, as not everyone adopted his techniques and ideas right away. However, Carême gradually became the gold standard by which other French chefs are measured, and by the late 19th century, Georges Auguste Escoffier would cement Carême's status by developing a [[TropeCodifier codification]] of French cuisine developed by adapting and simplifying Carême's recipes.

to:

Also known as "La Grande Cuisine", Haute Cuisine (literally "High Cooking") has its roots in the cuisine of the Middle Ages and of [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi the Ancien Régime]] but really took off after UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, when the guilds were disbanded and anyone could be a chef if they wanted--if they could hack it. The founder of the modern form of this style is generally considered to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Antoine_Carême Marie-Antoine Carême]], who was one of the first celebrity chefs (and a chef to celebrities: he spent much of his career in the employ of the French diplomat/politician [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-Périgord Talleyrand]]). However, Carême's dishes, made for heads of state and diplomats and designed to impress, could be quite complex, and there was a lot of variation in the early-to-mid-19th century, as not everyone adopted his techniques and ideas right away. However, Carême gradually became the gold standard by which other French chefs are measured, and by the late 19th century, Georges Auguste Escoffier would cement Carême's status by developing a [[TropeCodifier codification]] of French cuisine developed by adapting and simplifying Carême's recipes.

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