French Food: Recipes, History, and More!
Marion Bres, European Regional Manager for Under30Experiences, lives in France and walks us through the local cuisine, traditions, and even shares one of her favorite recipes with us.
A little bit about Marion...
As we mentioned, Marion is the Regional Manager for our Europe region. She’s in charge of various countries such as Spain, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, to name a few.
Marion loves to learn languages ( she is currently learning German) and already has 5 under her belt! She is based in a charming city in France, called Lyon, where she lives with her boyfriend, Joanny (really great guy), and their newly adopted dog, Pen Duick (Celtic for 'little black head').
Before we get to her delicious dish, we asked her a few questions about the French cuisine.
1. What are the typical foods in France?
The food in France is very rich (and quite heavy too!).
France has a wide variety of foods and depending on each region, you’ll find different dishes. For example, the Alsace region is very well known for its « choucroute », while in Provence, « ratatouille » is one of the symbols of Mediterannean food. Each region is different and has its own specialty.
Some of the most famous and traditional foods are « Boeuf Bourguignon », « Coq au vin », Onion soup, Duck confit, Escargots (they are delicious!). Cheese is of course cannot be forgotten on this list!
2. Any food traditions?
One of my favorite food traditions is called the Thirteen Desserts. Yep you heard me right. In Provence, one of the traditions when celebrating Christmas is to serve 13 desserts that represent Jesus and the apostles. Desserts are often dried fruits, nuts, fresh fruits, and sweets. Yep, we’re pretty healthy over here.
3. What dish did you choose and why?
I’ve chosen the Ratatouille recipe as Summer is approaching and zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplants are showing up everywhere on food stalls. It’s a simple recipe to make compared to other French recipes that demand more technique and patience.
Ratatouille is also a dish my grandma used to cook a lot when I was visiting her in the South of France. I just love all the flavors of this recipe because it reminds me of my childhood and the summers I spent in Provence.
2 small (or 1 big) zucchinis diced
2 small (or 1 big) eggplants diced
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g/7 oz. tomato passata/puree
Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven (grill mode) to 240°C/460°F
- In a frying pan, add a little bit of olive oil and sauté the onions. Add thyme, garlic and then the zucchinis. Mix. Add the eggplants, a bit of salt, cumin, paprika and some Espelette pepper. Mix again.
- Let the natural water of the vegetables evaporate and add the tomato puree, mix. Leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Add the vegetables in a casserole dish (oven safe) and add the eggs on the vegetables. Add the casserole in the oven and let it grill for 2 minutes so it cooks the eggs.
- Add more seasoning: salt and some basil leaves.
- You can serve the Ratatouille with some toasted bread and olive oil.