Photo by Alexa

Roquefort quiche recipe from the Aveyron

An excellent quiche using the local roquefort cheese from the Aveyron. Perfect for informal outdoor lunches accompanied with a green salad, or served in small bite-size pieces for apéritifs and picnics.

Fabulous French macarons: origins and flavours

In spite of its diminutive size, the macaron has become one of the most famous pieces of French pâtisserie, and thanks to its never-ending reinvention, it remains the very height of fashion. We pick our favourite colours and flavours…

Photo by Slastic

Aligot, an irresistible speciality from the Aveyron

Aligot is a fondue-like potato and cheese dish made by skilled men with vast wooden paddles and often served alongside local sausages or spit-roast veal, lamb or pork. Aligot transcends its simple ingredients and tastes best eaten outdoors in a crowded village square on a summer’s evening.

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Ham & Olive Bread, a French apéritif favourite

This is a quick and simple recipe for a french savoury ‘cake au jambon et aux olives’ or ham and olive bread. Very popular for snacks, picnics or informal apéritifs … just cut it up and serve!

Book review: La Tartine Gourmande

La Tartine Gourmande Béatrice Peltre, Roost Books, $35 In the unforgiving world of social media for foodies, you don’t get 27,000 Instragram followers unless you cook brilliantly and take lovely photos. Béatrice Peltre, whose website we featured last issue, is very much in the vanguard of food writer/photographers,

The origins of Cognac

Located on the banks of the Charente, Cognac has a history as rich as its famous drink’s flavour. The area has been inhabited since the Prehistoric era and, even if their origins remain a mystery, there are still relics from

A classic French dessert: Tarte au citron

First popularised by the Roux brothers in the 1960s, this refreshing dessert is now considered a delicious French classic. We looks at the different versions available around France and put three shop-bought versions through their paces…

Food specialities of the Midi-Pyrénées

The Midi-Pyrénées is a region created around what is now the capital, Toulouse, the ‘pink city’ famous for its sausages. In France, the rules relating to how they are made are strict and only the best carry a prestigious red label. The authentic Toulouse sausage is free

Food specialities in Centre and Val de Loire

The Loire Valley area makes up one of the largest regions in metropolitan France, birthplace of writer François Rabelais and his most famous character, Gargantua – a giant with an enormous appetite and a taste for the local fouaces… Like pitta pockets spiced with saffron (Safran du

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Crème Catalane Recipe

If you’re looking for a traditional Languedoc-Roussillon dessert to delight your dinner guests, then why not turn your hand to the surprisingly simple preparation of a Crème Catalane – a favourite from the French Catalonia area in the south of the region bordering Spain.

Winter recipe: Chicken, leek and Comté pie

Comté cheese is a pressed, cooked cheese from the Massif du Jura region in eastern France. Its nutty flavour makes it perfect for hearty winter recipes such as this take on a British classic: chicken and leek pie. Combined with tarragon

photo by Will Clayton via Flickr

Soul food from Burgundy: coq au vin

A classic French dish made with chicken braised in red wine. With its deep colour and rich flavour this coq au vin recipe is the perfect slow-food to make any dinner guest feel special.

Classic French dish: Boeuf Bourguignon

In the winter we all need dishes such as this to nourish body and soul. Florence Derrick charts the origins and history of this all-time French classic, a slow-cooked stew that’s equally pleasurable at home or sampled at your favourite bistro

Photo by Hotel du Vin & Bistro

French onion soup recipe from the Cévennes

This is what they eat to warm themselves up in the Cévennes mountains in winter … if it works for them, it could help us through our cold winter too. Here is a delicious French bistro staple.

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Chestnut and orange crêpes recipe

Popular at any time of year this crêpe recipe incorporates chestnuts – a Limousin speciality. The basic mixture is made separately so you can use your own imagination for the fillings, the possibilities are endless…..

Flocking to Sarlat’s annual goose festival

Sarlat-la-Canéda is the heart of the Dordogne Valley and the capital of the Périgord’s gastronomic specialities: walnuts, black truffles and, most of all, foie gras. Florence Derrick ‘takes a gander’ at the town’s annual celebration of goose-based cuisine, Sarlat en Périgord Fest’Oie

Photo by Maarten Danial

Roquefort cheese from the Aveyron

Roquefort is a flavourful ewe’s-milk blue cheese and is France’s second most popular cheese after Comté. During the Age of Enlightenment, the French philosopher Diderot attributed the title “King of Cheeses” to Roquefort cheese, declaring in 1782 that “Roquefort cheese is without doubt the finest cheese in Europe”.

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Black truffles from the Languedoc

The black truffle, also known as the ‘black pearl’ or ‘black diamond’ of the kitchen, is one of the most expensive edible mushrooms in the world. It is harvested from November to February not just in the Perigord, but also in a number of other regions where conditions are favourable, and that includes the Languedoc and Provence.

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La Galette des Rois

This galette is made especially for the Ephiphany to celebrate the arrival of the Magi. The custom is to hide a little charm or fève within, and the lucky guest who finds it is crowned King or Queen.

Photo by Jun Seita

Boeuf Bourguignon: a French classic

Want to impress your friends? Why not try out the most famous of all French dishes, le Boeuf Bourguignon? Here’s a tried and tested recipe.

Bûche de Noël Photo by Matthieu Aubry via Flickr

La Bûche de Noël, a French Christmas tradition

A traditional French dessert served after the main Christmas dinner is la Bûche de Noël, a roll of light sponge cake, covered in chocolate or coffee butter cream textured to resemble bark as an evocation of the ancient tradition of burning the Yule log.

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How to eat an oyster

Best-selling author Mireille Guiliano demystifies one of the ultimate luxury foods. Follow her elegantly simple approach to how to taste an oyster, then decide for yourself whether you like them or not.

Photo by Marc Lagneau via flickr

Roasting chestnuts in the Limousin

Roasting chestnuts is one of those rituals that bring back wonderfull childhood memories. Cook some just before going for a walk through the autumn leaves to keep your hands warm or enjoy them by the fireside with a glass of wine.

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Kouign-aman: a buttery indulgence from Brittany

A traditional pastry from Douarnenez, Brittany, a Kouign-amann means butter cake and is made from risen dough, but using the same method as for flaky pastry… a little effort for a tasty reward.

Home sweet home: Bertinet’s French patisserie

Renowned Breton baker Richard Bertinet is back with a stunning new guide to simple pastries and desserts that you can make at home. He talks exclusively to Florence Derrick about his inspiration and favourite recipes.

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Cèpes à la Bordelaise

This quick and easy recipe brings out the flavour of the cèpes without overpowering their delicate earthiness. Bon Appetit!

Notes on a French classic: Crème Brûlée

This French classic is so adored the world over that other nations even claim it as their own. Florence Derrick investigates, tasting more than her fair share of the delicious dessert on her way! But how do the supermarket crème brûlées compare?

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Daube de Bœuf à la Saintongeaise

Daube is a classic Provençal stew made with inexpensive cuts of beef braised in wine. Perfect for a dinner party as you make it well ahead of time to allow the flavours to meld together.

The creative cuisine of Nantes

The city that gave us pure buttery pleasure in the form of petit-beurre biscuits is also home to some of France’s freshest produce and most innovative cuisine. Florence Derrick reveals its culinary secrets…

Pumpkin, tomato and red pepper soup

This recipe makes excellent use of that most underutilised of all vegetables, the good old pumpkin. Every year they’re grown in their thousands and used as Halloween lanterns. Don’t discard the flesh; try this delicious punpkin soup instead.

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Moules Marinière

This is the Charentaise take on a traditional seafood favourite, that typically French mussel recipe of moules marinière with a dash of Pineau.

Le great French bake off!

This October on TV5MONDE there’s fantastic foodie TV on the menu with our top gastronomy programmes all subtitled in English for everyone to enjoy – Sky 796 / Virgin 825

10 of the best French foods

10 of the best: French classics ◗ Baguette – It goes without saying, but you can never tire of this most français of French staples. When in France, don’t go a day without one… ◗ Crêpes – These thin Breton pancakes

À votre santé! Fantastic French cuisine

The world of French cuisine – where do we begin? In this country of culinary delights, each time of the day is well catered for. The entire nation awakes to the divine scent of freshly baked baguettes and silky butter croissants, bitter

Why do we love Dijon Mustard?

I grew up on mustard and always had it in a simple vinaigrette with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. The beauty was that the dressing could be made as mild or powerful as us children could stand. I remember that, as a kid,

French tips on pâté de campagne

The French are masters of using cheap cuts of meat which would otherwise be wasted. A traditional pâté de campagne needs good pork meat, fat and liver, and should be well seasoned with good sea salt and black pepper. Use any rough

Chocolate Rocks

 I remember a meal I had at a Michelin restaurant in the center of France where, at the very end of the meal, they brought a small tray to the table filled with chocolates, tiny lemony madeleines, and miniature cookies.