January 21, 2010

What Dish Says "France" to You?

The other day I asked un p'tit question on Twitter: If you had to choose just one dish that said "France" to you, what would it be?

The responses came in fast and furious. Many had exactly one dish in mind and others couldn't quite decide so suggested a few favorites. Most were very passionate about their idea of the quintessential French dish.

The most popular were:
Foie gras with 6 votes
Coq au Vin with 7 votes
Boeuf Bourguignon and Cassoulet with 8 votes
Confit de Canard with 9 votes

Even though it isn't a dish per se, the baguette was mentioned a couple of times, as was pain au chocolat. Not a single mention of French cheese however!

bcinfrance Foie gras, no doubt about it.

sheriffof0 Beef Bourgignon w/ Dauphinoise! Mmmmmmm.....

spacedlawyer Blanquette de veau à l'ancienne. Although Boeuf bourguignon might be more widely known outside France.

cutestmidget for me it's definitely confit de canard. or foie gras :)

jpack Bouef Bourguignon!

hamishwm coq au vin, foie gras, steak au poivre

frenchbabe09 Cassoulet !! Ca me manque :)

katethyme Savory dish that screams France? My favorite: Pan-Seared Foie Gras - with Brioche toast and Sauterne

Confit canard et pommes de terre sarladaises!

lucullian foie gras and sauterne

food_writer coq au vin!

home_gourmets For me, it's Ratatouille (savoury) & (sweet) Tarte Tatin, s'il vous plaît!

lifesafeast Oooh Blanquette de veau? Daube de beouf au carottes?

cowgirlchef Duck confit w/ a side of gratin Dauphinois

LostNCheeseland boeuf bourguignon!
LostNCheeseland keeping it simple, the quiche! (I know I said beef bourguignon yesterday, but this is über French too)

MyMelange So many to choose...Coq au Vin, Moules for dishes. Croque Monsieur for cafe food.

Foodbridge pain au chocolat but I guess that is not a dish -what about coq au vin

foodiechick tarte tatin, pomme anna

melrovens Cassoulet

k_sam Salad nicoise? Quiche? Steak frites?
k_sam C says coq au vin

VinsdeBourgogne Jambon beurre sandwich

lyonalacarte Blanquette de Veau

annief1 Crepes made with buckwheat ....from Breton...!

danamac escargot

nimble_wit Henri IV's poule au pot, sans doute

feteafete duck confit!

lezzles Confit de canard avec des pommes sarladaises.

brassfrog Not a "dish" but it would have to be baguettes; you can't find any here that are half as good.

peterwoodcock for me it would have to be 'bavette frites' - as served at Chez Felix in Carcassonne of course

foodwinediarist Rillettes de porc!

dinkypen - crêpes!!!

cookitaly Jambon Persillé - pot au feu - paté du canard - 3 dishes I know!

FifiFlowers Bifteck et pommes frites!

jemangepdx coq au vin!

karinakazue crème brûlée ever!!!

DesignBabylon Cassoulet? Confit de Canard? Macarons? Galette de Rois? Now my pathetic excuse for a dinner really won't cut it

AntoniaTable casoulet bouillabaise coq au vin

nativefoodwine Je pense Cassoulet

marieloua Confit de canard :-)

parisiensalon Tie between boeuf bourguignon and croque monsieur. Or confit de canard. Or a pot au feu. Damn. Now I'm starving.
parisiensalon Thanks to @louloufrance, I am now craving duck confit, but have no hope of having any tonight. Argh!

bellavventura Mais 'les crepes' evidament!

misterrios When we were in Paris, my girlfriend ordered the Oeufs a la Neige, and it is one of the defining food moments of the trip.

ap269 that would be baguette

Stefaniya Cassoulet! Soupe a l'oignon, bouillabaisse, magret de canard a l'orange, tournedos Rossini, croque monsieur... frites...

foodiechick Abbreviated RT @Stefaniya: @louloufrance: Frites!

letastingroom Cassoulet springs to mind of course, but moules as well and from our perspective in the Loire, rillettes.

leperchoir Difficult question - agree with @letastingroom about Cassoulet & moules but can't overlook Confit de canard and Foie gras !!

GastroGirls Coq au Vin or Boeuf Bourguignon. Or Bouillabaise.

aaronmalys Thanks! --> Crème brûlée

TheGringoChapin boeuf bourgignon!

foodloverkathy Savory dish that says #France is Beef Burgundy (couldn't spell it in French)
foodloverkathy Crouquembouche is a sweet dish that is #France

brockhallfarm beautiful crusty baguette with a great Beurre d'Issigny
brockhallfarm @food_writer @louloufrance yes, my suggestion was hardly a 'dish' but conjures up images of picnics en plein air,with or without du tracteur
brockhallfarm forgot to say, whether at the top of Montmartre or not, onion soup

winosandfoodies tarte tartine
winosandfoodies It's difficult to pick just one 'cos all are quite regional.

ParisMB i'm afraid dishes don't say "france" to me, they say "savoie", "bourgogne", "sud ouest" and many other lovely things :)

Then there was the one with the sense of humor.
cognacproperty Satellite??? (I'm no fan of regular French TV but Canal+ is fab)
(get it? - which "dish"?) ha ha ha...

What do you think? If you had to choose just one dish that said "France" to you, what would it be?

Oh yeah, I forgot to add my two cents:
@louloufrance Choosing 1 dish is difficult. I would say Coq au Vin (and Cassoulet and Sole Meunière and Steak Frites- I said choosing just 1 was hard!) Pin It


katiez said...

That was fun!

Kalyn said...

I worked in a French restaurant in Salt Lake for about 10 years, operated by a charming man from the South of France, so I'm not sure I could ever choose, but Scallops or Dover Sole with Browned Butter and Lemon were two of my favorites back then! And this place had the most heavenly vinaigrette dressing (now sold in bottles in Utah to this day, even though Max has been dead for many years.)

spacedlaw said...

Of course, there is also Couscous. Just as much a typical French dish as Curry is to the Brits...

Veronica said...

I forgot to answer! I was actually going to suggest the classic Puy lentil salad; it just seems quintessentially French to me. And ile flottante for dessert!

Anonymous said...

I have to throw in fruit de mer living near the west coast of France, though I love boeuf bourguigon too, and desserts such as clafoutis. so much to chose from this debate could rage for days!! but its good fun..



PeterWoodcock said...

I wonder if the results would have been different if you had asked the question during the heat of mid-summer. There were a lot of, admittedly delicious, casserole type dishes in the list. Good game though - well done.

Mlle Paradis said...

so hard to choose, but somehow, tarte aux pommes cut into flat rectangles with apple sauce base on top of puff pastry and thinly sliced apples on top criss-crossed with more puff pastry and glistening with apricot jam captures the simplicity and elegance and depth of flavor (buttery, vanilla-ey, maybe rum-ey) and comfort-ing-ness of french food. tell me i'm wrong!

Nadege said...

That was fun read. "Je me leche les babines", tasting in my mind all that wonderful food. You made my day in rainy So Cal.

Peter M said...

Great read. For me, it`s Beef Bouguignon.

garry said...

my fave French dish is "lolulou!"

I am sure she qualifies as French now!

Otherwise is a combo of bread, cheese and winea

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Very interesting post!

I'll get another dessert represented here - Pâte à Choux and Profiteroles ;)

Loulou said...

It was! I asked it on a whim and was surprised by how many people responded so decided to make it into a blog post.

Sounds delicious! Anything with browned butter is wonderful in my opinion.
Thanks for chiming in!

I thought of that also and was surprised that nobody mentioned it.

Gee...one would think that you were out sitting in a café or something, neglecting your computer! :)
I like you addition to the list!

Oh, clafoutis! That is truly a wonderful French dessert.
I love the huîtres gratinées that I've had here as well.

I think you are right, they would have been very different.
Guess I'll ask again in July and we'll see what responses I get! :)

Mlle Paradis
Yes, simplicity and elegance. And comfort. Tarte aux Pommes is a perfect choice.

I'm happy to have made you smile with the weather you're having! Stay dry and warm and safe!

An excellent choice. Thanks for commenting. :)

Yes, technically I am French. Not sure how dishy I am though. lol
But I like your combo of bread, cheese and wine.

I thought of profiteroles too. Très bonnes!

Allie said...

Oh, that's tough for me. Boeuf bourguignon is probably the first savoury thing I think of, but I cook meunière *often*, so it really should be the first one I think of.

Before I think of savoury dishes, though, I think of pastry. All the lovely, lovely pastries they make.

Sarah said...

loved it! I should do something like this for Middle Eastern food, what a great idea.

meredith said...

All your great photos of cheese say "France" to me.

Ino said...

This post is going to become very useful in a few months when I "visit" France for my Round the World in 100 Recipes challenge!
Thank you for this!
Mine would have to be Steak Frites, although I love most of the other things mentioned here. And a tarte tatin certainly deserves a mention. Yum!

Ken Broadhurst said...

According to polls, French people say blanquette de veau is their favorite.

But then couscous seems to be the most popular dish, ahead of steak-frites.

Graham said...

It has to be Coq-au-vin because French cooking is all about sauces, France is also all about wine and Bresse chickens must be the most regulated food animal there is.

Brunofrance said...

let me assure you , Garry, LouLou is a French "dish"
I would havve to break my favorites into 3 courses --

1st - Scrambled eggs with truffles

2nd - Cassoulet (only from Castelnaudary)

3rd - Tarte Tatin

and of course - coffee with 50 yr old Cognac

Loulou said...

I never make Meunière, but it screams "France" to me. And I agree that French pastry is sublime!

You should!

Merci. :)

I'll look forward to reading about your "visit" to France.
Steak Frites and Tarte Tatin - good choices!

You always have such great information.
I think I've only eaten Blanquette a couple of times since we moved here. And I never come across couscous. Down here restaurant menus always offer Paella, not couscous, due to our proximity to Spain.

Very true about the sauces and the Bresse chickens.

So you think I'm dishy, huh? :)
I like your menu. Just as long as you do not pour the 50 year old Cognac into the coffee!

lostpastremembered said...

Foie gras... with crusty bread... close your eyes and think of Paris. What a great and evocative question!
Fun post!

Anonymous said...

Not a single mention of Aligot? There's a reaason I picked Auvergne as my first region last January, and it's not just because the food is so well-suited to winter. I guess deep down, since that was the first place I lived in France, dishes like aligot, tarte auvergnat, and salade tiède de lentilles (de Puy, bien sûr) will always be the ones most immediately associated with France. Oh, and Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert, and Bleu d'Auvergne. :)

Cynthia in the French Alps said...

If I had seen your Twitter post, I would have been the one that said French cheese! It is the best (although I do love my Parmesan, Pecorino and Feta too). Cynthia in the French Alps

Loulou said...

Good choice!
We had some amazing foie gras over Christmas. So rich and decadent. I love it!

I've only had Aligot once...oh my was it delicious!
I agree with you - the food from that region is very special.

A woman after my own heart! :)