Say what you might about France, it is still the number 1 country when it comes to food and cooking (oh it’s pretty good at wine too). Our recent 2 week summer family to Avignon just confirmed this fact, so I thought I would share with you my 8 reasons why France is the best country for food. In The World.
- CHEESE. Sorry for the capitals, but CHEESE! Need I say more? France has a crazy selection of cheeses that are incredibly diverse. Made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, ewe’s milk. Soft, hard, mouldy, smelly, with maggots included sometimes (!), melt-in-your-mouth, you name it, France has got it cheese-wise and I don’t think any other country in the world comes close.
- Charcuterie. I have just realised that, despite the vast quantity of cold meats we devoured on holiday, I don’t have one single photo of the saucissons, hams or diverse charcuterie that we ate during our 2 weeks in France. But that just proves how good French cold meats are – they were eaten before they could be captured!
- Bread. And I’m not talking processed, sliced bread nonsense. I mean proper French boulangerie bread. Crusty and crunchy on the outside, tear it apart and it’s soft on the inside and melts on your tongue. Near where Ben’s mum lives (near Avignon) is a proper boulangerie where the bread is so OUTSTANDING that I ate – no word of a lie – 2 baguettes a day all by myself! Yeah, so much for the French eating in moderation. You cannot get that kind of bread outside of France. Although the easy, crusty bread recipe from Le Coin de Mel is a decent substitute for those of us not living in France.
- Wine. We were staying just a few kilometres from Chateauneuf du Pape in the Côtes du Rhone wine region. Next time we must go with a car! French wine is just amazing and ridiculously cheap too. A £6 bottle in the UK will set you back a mere 3€ in France, so you can drink some seriously good vin over the channel.
- Fruit and Veg. Certain areas of France – Provence in particular – offer a broad variety of cheap and delicious fruit and vegetables. Until you’ve tasted melons and tomatoes from here you can’t begin to compare them with the ones we eat in the UK. I could eat tomatoes with just a little oil and vinegar drizzled over the top and it would be taste bud paradise.
- Desserts. Patisseries. Do we even have an equivalent in the UK? Me thinks not. Rich, creamy cakes. Sticky tarts. Dare I say more? I don’t want you to start drooling…..But yes, France does them incredibly well, n’est-ce pas?
- Apéritif. Possibly my favourite part of French food culture is the apéro. Sociable and a time to drink (Pastis, Kir, wine, beer….) and eat varied nibbles and finger foods. Our 7 year old daughter is also obsessed with l’apéritif (starting young!). There’s a great blog post all about aperitifs by Phoebe from Lou Messugo, who is based in Roquefort les Pins near Nice, all about aperitifs if you want to know more about these great cultural moments.
- Fish & seafood. Whilst it is not the best country in the world for fish and seafood, it does have far greater variety on offer than in the UK. We enjoyed prawns, bulots (whelks) and ray whilst in France – the latter two are high on my list of favourite fish/seafood but are so hard to find in the UK.
Do you agree? Is France THE best country in the world for food? Have I missed any key French foods from my list?
And in case you were wondering, after 2 weeks of holiday eating and drinking I really struggled to get back into my jeans! But is was sooooooo worth it 🙂 Only another 3 months until we head back to France for some Christmas eating……
I’m linking today’s mouth-watering blog post up to Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays, click on the link below to read some more drool-making articles: