Bastille Day: France is known for its gothic architecture, its stunning art, history and its beautiful language – but more than anything else, France is famous for its culinary delights. French food is one of the world’s most famous cuisines, known for its sumptuous cheeses, rich sauces and expertly cooked meat and seafood dishes.
In fact, online surveys show that people across the UK love to eat French food, with many even confessing to the fact that they like to cross the English channel just to eat French food!
On July 14, the French celebrate their most important national holiday – Bastille Day. This important date on the Gallic calendar commemorates the start of a French republican democracy and the end of a brutal monarchic rule. In order to celebrate alongside the French, why not try some classic French dishes this weekend?
Here are just a few of our favourite classic French recipes. Bon appetit!
Coquilles Saint Jacques
Topping Buzzfeed’s list of French dishes to try before you die, Coquille Saint Jacques must be tasted to be believed. Often served at Christmas, this dish tops countless French online surveys of the ultimate special occasion food. This classic dish is composed of scallops poached in white wine and then served on top of a mushroom puree on the half shell. The scallops are covered with a delicate sauce and then gratinéed under a broiler.
Coq au vin
This delectable French chicken stew will have you drooling. Simmered gently in red wine and with bacon, shallots and herbs, the magic happens the longer you let the mixture cook on a low heat. Follow this recipe from the BBC to experience it for yourself.
Are you hoping to have something a little lighter and healthier this Bastille Day weekend? Try a Salade Nicoise. Combine fresh lettuce, boiled baby potatoes, steamed green beans, black olives, tomatoes and hardboiled eggs with high quality tinned tuna. Top with a lemony dressing and you have a classic French salad that will satiate and delight.
A gorgeous duck leg is cooked slowly in its own fat, allowing the skin to crisp and the meat to turn tender and delicious. Duck Confit is surprisingly easy to make, but is definitely not ‘low cal’ – you’ll need a heap of duck fat to make this dish, but that makes it all the more delicious!
Normandy Fish Stew
Once you master a simple, fresh and delicious fish stew, you’ll always have a go-to dish that can impress guests and make any meal a special occasion. Try this version with white fish, mussels and Normandy cider – be sure to pair the stew with some glorious crusty bread for plenty of sopping and dipping! Every plate is sure to be mopped clean.
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Happy Bastille Day, and Bon Appetit!