The regional food of France

All you need to know about the food of France.

by: Jacoba Budden | 04 Jun 2010

Paris is France’s culinary heart and is a city of markets, restaurants and patisseries. It’s also home to the baguette.

Brittany is world renowned for seafood (their oysters are legendary), early fruits, vegetables, buckwheat galettes and sel de guerande.

Normandy provides classical cheeses like Camembert, Pont l’evêque and Livarot as well as crème fraîche and butter.

Apples thrive here, and calvados and cider originate here.

The Loire Valley is famous for goats milk cheese, blue cheese and wild mushrooms.

This valley is also home to Cognac, tarte tatin and rillettes. The most famous goats milk cheese manufactured here, is the Crottin de Chavignol.

Nord–Pas-de-Calais along the coast includes Boulogne-sur-mer, Frances’ biggest fishing port and further inland one can buy Maroilles cheese, andouillettes and the Flemish beers that are often used for cooking dishes like carbonnade àla flamande.

Picardie is the region that is famous for vegetables, fruit and also the pré-salé lambs (lambs that graze on saltmeadow marshes).

Champagne-Adennes is a rural region which is famous for cheeses like Brie and Chaource.

In the rugged north, the game forests of the Ardennes have created a tradition of charcuterie. jambon and pâtés d’Ardenne and are world famous.

Alsace-Lorraine borders on Germany and its charcuterie is used in quiche lorrainne, choucroute garnie, tarte flambée and baeckenoffe (a stew).

A la Lorraine (with bacon) dishes are always served with red cabbage cooked in wine.

Potatoes and cabbages provide warmth and energy and are used with abandon in dishes like aligot and potée auvergnate, delicious and hearty pork and cabbage stews.

Limousin is known for its meat and Auvergne for its game. Cantal, Fourme d’Ambert, Bleu d’Auvergne and Saint Nectaire cheese are made here and this is the home of Vichy water.

Burgundy is wine country. Especially in and around Beaune and gave the world boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin.

Bresse chicken cooked with wild morels with cream and snails in garlic butter and herbs are typical of the region.

Dijon’s mustard is as famous as its spicy ginger bread (pain d’épices).

Lyon is famous for the many cafés and brasseries and is the charcuterie centre of France.

, salade lyonnaise, cervelle de canut, poulet au vinaigre and the potato gratins are only a few of the exquisite dishes for which the city is famous for with the local Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône as the regions favourite wines.

This region consists of three very important areas:

Franche-Comté in the north, Savoie and Dauphiné in the south and all of them produce glorious cheeses.

In summer the cheeses like Reblochon are delicacies, whilst Tomme de Savoie, Beaufort and Comté are tailor-made for raclette and fondue that, whilst typically Swiss, is a French staple.

Potatoes are grown in the central and the eastern part of this region. Dauphiné has given its name to the world famous gratin dauphinois.


Bordeaux is known for its superlative wines and the Grand’s Cru's of Médoc and Saint Emillion are well known internationally, as are the sweeter wines of Sauternes.

The dishes made with red wines in this region can be recognised by the à la bordelaise suffix (like entrecote à la bordelaise).

Oysters are harvested from the beds at Arcachon and goose, duck confit and foie gras  are brought to the table in the Dordogne and Lot, while walnuts and black truffles come from Périgord.

Agen is home to prunes.

Ascony is mainly a rural region, the home of Armagnac, outstanding foie gras and terrines.

Southwest Basque is home to the local Bayonne ham, tuna and gâteau Basque.

Provence is typically Mediterranean and olives, olive oil, garlic, courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes are generously flavoured with herbes de provence.

Strawberries, peaches and melons are plentiful in Cavaillon and aioli, anchoïade (anchovies), tapenade (olive paste) and pistou (garlic and fresh basil) are typically from the Côte d’ Azur .

The classic and world famous bouillabaisse, the red rice from the Carmargue, honey and candied fruit are typical of this region.

Languedoc-Rouissillon is the home of Roquefort blue cheese that is aged in the local caves.

Burride is Languedoc’s answer to bouillabaisse and cassoulet, and pink garlic harvested in Tarn.

Corsica’s typical regional dishes are stufato and polenta. 
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