Culinary Chronicles

10 must-have ingredients when cooking French food

French cuisine is one of the most popular in the world. The delicate balance of flavours, textures, aromas, and of course, the freshness of ingredients are what make French cuisine so popular. French cooking is as much about the ingredients as it is about technique. As with most other cuisines, several star ingredients make all the difference when cooking French cuisine. In today’s post, we will examine 10 must-have ingredients when cooking French food.


  1. Olive Oil

One of the staples of French cuisine of course is Olive Oil. It is the starting point of a variety of French dishes. The delicate aroma and distinctive taste of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are highly prized by French cooks and chefs. Used in a variety of marinades, vinaigrettes, and also as a cooking staple, this wonder ingredient is one of the cornerstones of French cuisine.


  1. Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard is mustard produced in the Dijon region of France. This slightly spicy mustard has a distinctive piquant taste for which it is highly prized. It is primarily used to emulsify vinaigrettes for salads and to thicken and add a novel flavour to marinades. It is also used as a base for sauces or as one of the condiments in a sandwich. 


  1. Mushrooms

One of the most integral ingredients in French cuisine is the humble mushroom. The French use mushrooms in a wide variety of dishes. Mushrooms are used in soups, salads, as an accompaniment to steaks and as stuffings in savoury croissants. 


  1. Truffles

A member of the mushroom family, truffles are prized for their earthy texture and the umami they lend to French dishes. These wonderful fungi grow in the shade of oak trees and are very highly valued.


  1. Creme Fraiche

A variant of heavy cream, creme fraiche is used to top and add richness to soups and sauces. It can also be used to top fruit salads and in muesli. 


  1. Herbes de Provence

Dried and roasted herbs from the Provence region of France are used to flavour savoury meat preparations. These herbs include thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, and others.


  1. Shallots 

A member of the onion family, shallots have a milder, sweeter taste than regular onion. It is used in a variety of meat and vegetable-based recipes, in much the same way as regular onions are. 


  1. French bread

From the humble baguette to the flaky deliciousness that is a croissant, no French meal is complete without bread. Often used to soak up residual sauce or gravy off a plate, baguettes also make an amazing base for sandwiches. Of course, no French high-tea is ever complete without a pain au chocolat or butter croissant as an accompaniment. 


  1. Wine

The French produce some of the world’s best-known wines. Wine is often paired with food and is also used to marinate meats and fish and as a base of some rich sauces. 


  1. French Cheese

The French produce and consume more cheese than any other people in the world. A definite after-dinner staple, the cheese platter is often served with fruits and wine. Some of the most well-known French cheeses include Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, and others. 


We hope this list helps you on your French culinary journey. We have an excellent selection of French brands and products and we’d love to be a part of your French exploration. Until next time, au revoir! 

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