French food is not only about eating, is a way of life in France. It is a good part of everyday life.
Cooking is made from scratch as often as possible. It involves different steps, from planning the meals, sometimes gathering recipes from friends and family, finding the right ingredients, to following the traditions and embracing the innovations; cooking and eating it is rarely improvised and "le repas" is more than a meal, it is a social event.
This might surprise you, but some of the most famous French recipes are quite simple to prepare.
All French chefs and good home cooks make a point in using only the finest fresh ingredients, be it herbs, vegetables, fish, poultry, meats, seafood and oils and vinegars. One of the secrets of great food is using the freshest ingredients and especially herbs. Growing fresh herbs is easy, and the flavors that the fresh herbs infuse into any dish are worth the small effort.
Regarding desserts, French desserts and/or fruit sauces are not overly sweet. They are delicate and working with different textures is part of the fun.
Here are some of the basic ingredients of French food that can easily be part of your weekly grocery list, to keep in your kitchen and help you prepare almost any French recipe almost any time. The secret is in the seasoning!
- Olive oil
- Hot mustard (Dijon)
- Sour cream
- Cheese (Comté or Gruyère for cooking)
- Lardoons or diced bacon.
- Some Nutmeg, coriander and cloves
Mushrooms (Champignons de Paris, Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotes), Porcinis (Bolets and Cèpes)
As you can see, all these ingredients are easy to find at almost any grocery store and local farmers markets!