When we read about France, we read about the foundational recipes, the mother sauces, and the Canon. It’s all grand, involved, borderline uptight. France Week, for us, is everything outside of those limitations: It's how real French people cook. From the shortcuts they use in their own kitchens (quelle horror!), to the fact that what’s new in French wine is not drinking French wine, and an actual tour of Paris (in a Google map designed by our own community), it's all here to take you beyond the haute France you already know, to the easygoing France we love.
We have quite a few recipes that are French in origin and Genius is execution. Here are some that might go well with
sauce tomate sauce vierge, the best tomato sauce.
"There are French desserts in the vicinity of which you dare not breathe, lest they crumble, deflate, or melt with your disturbance," writes Sarah Jampel, our resident infographic mastermind. These five desserts are not them—and their five ingredients don't need to be ordered days in advance (no edible rosebuds or figs-just-plucked-from-the-tree here, merci). Find where you stand in this flowchart and get your sugar on.
Below, Lindsey Tramuta, author of The New Paris, tells us about a particular 5-ingredient pastry that most people overlook (but shouldn't).
Food deemed "the best" is often subjective, unverifiable, and impersonal. So we asked people who know a thing or two about French food and culture to write about (and provide recipes for) the dishes they think deliver France on a plate.
Writer Adam Gopnik, of New Yorker and Paris to the Moon fame, talks about the shallot-showered entrecôte that defines France for him—in that hackneyed way everyone talks about "the dish that defines France." See the others:
Many members of the Food52 community have, at some point in time, traveled to Paris. Lucky for us, they've shared their favorite spots on this very handy Google map. Let them guide you through the City of Light. A few of them brought back some French-ified recipes with them, and we'll be posting a new one every day this week.
Enter the wonderful world of French composed salads, where each salad name carries
a story of a region a grocery list of the region's famous foodstuffs. Think lettuce layered with fried potatoes and melty cheese; or a refreshing Vietnamese rice noodle salad ("Bo Bun"), which is the it-salad in Paris right now. And Ann Mah, author of Mastering the Art of French Eating, has tossed together the ways French people argue about salad. (Yes, it's a thing.)
Can't get your hands on Comté or jambon de pays? Fear not: A composed salad is really just a showcase of ingredients from your region, so hit up your local farmers market and invent one of your own, using this foolproof method:
Despite how it looks, not every leisurely French dinner comes together effortlessly. So we gathered a few tips and tricks from people who have reckoned with French kitchens (and gained some culinary confidence in the process), so we can learn how to churn out tarte tatins (or throw together a meat and cheese plate) with aplomb.
Traditional French food culture (our perception of it, at least) is changing to reveal a diverse, textured landscape that's well-adapted to modernity. We asked people who actually live in France to tell us what's changing and what's staying the same.
Plus: Tessa Kiros (who does not live in France but authored the cookbook Provence to Pondicherry) tells us what she learned about French food from the people who live and cook in France's former colonies.
The French are so into their homes that their language has a preposition for it: chez ("in the home of"). All week, we'll be posting tips—from Instagram, David Lebovitz, and us—on how to turn your home into chez you, only with prettier curtains and flaky sea salt containers.
Say bonjour to our best-selling Staub French oven, now topped off with a brass rooster. 300 of these babies just flew out of the motherland and into our Shop (and our Shop only), just for France Week. Catch them (on sale) before they go poof.
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