French Food by Kat

Ratatouille

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After 3 months in France, it’s easy to say that I’ve tried my fair share of French delicacies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure your black bean burger from the Snar is marvelous and all, but you’ve never really lived until you’ve toiled away in a French kitchen.  Let me share some of my favorite meals with you…

Breakfast in France is nothing like it is in America.  Say goodbye to the eggs and bacon, and say hello to your new best friend the croissant!  The French breakfast is light, providing just enough energy to get you going.  In the mornings, I indulge in a couple slices of baguette toast, smothered in Nutella, accompanied by a bowl of hot chocolate and a demi-tasse of coffee.  Simple, sweet and delicious!

You can’t say you’ve lived in Toulouse without having eaten their regional celebrity dish, the cassoulet (pictured below).  Wonderful for those cold winter nights, this hearty casserole contains sausage, pork, and white beans all stewed together for hours on the stove.  Pair with a full bodied red wine and you’re set.

 

I’m proud to say, that in my time in France thus far, I have tried escargots.  Escargots, snails, are cooked in the shell, drenched in butter and garlic, and then served promptly.  While not my favorite dish, it does taste amazing!  For me, the hard part is getting over the fact that I’m eating a snail.  Mind over matter!  This is a French go-to dish that everyone must try once in his or her lifetime.

Finally we come to the classic French dish of Ratatouille.  While also a heart-warming Disney classic, Ratatouille as food is a scrumptious vegetarian meal option.  Consisting of stewed onions, zucchini, peppers and eggplant in a tomato base, this meal is fantastic.  I find that the best time to eat it is the summer, when all of the vegetables can be found in the open-air markets, fresh and grown locally!

French cooking is such a delicate and traditional process that has been honored for hundreds of years.  I’m only getting a taste during my semester abroad, but even in my few months here, I find that the French put so much love into their cooking.  If only Ratatouille could be over-nighted to the United States!

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