Photo: Véronique PAGNIER

A Traditional Christmas in Provence

In Provence, on Christmas Eve the family gathers for the traditional Christmas meal known as le Gros Souper (the big supper). This meal begins with seven meatless dishes, ending with the ritual number of 13 desserts…

tarte tatin

French food classics: Tarte Tatin

This upside-down apple tart originated in the Sologne region under rather unconventional circumstances. Florence Derrick investigates the story behind one of France’s best-loved desserts.

Recipe: Pink chard and vegetable tart

Tarte à la bette à cardes roses et aux légumes (pink chard and vegetable tart) We bring you a stunning summer recipe from Nina Parker, author of Nina St Tropez – her new cookbook, offering a sun-drenched selection of Mediterranean delights. Of this

jambon cru french ham

Chestnuts and charcuterie: Corsican food

Slap bang in between Italy and France, this Mediterranean island was the birthplace of the Emperor Napoléon and its cuisine consists of a glorious collision of the two cultures. Florence Derrick digs in…

Classic French moelleux au chocolat

We’re always in the mood for chocolate! Florence Derrick recommends a decadent moelleux au chocolat for any occasion – a melt-in-the-middle dessert lover’s dream…

Violets of Toulouse

Ask any Toulousain about the emblems of the pink city and you can be sure that violets will make the list. Their enchanting fragrance and significant colour even inspired the city’s other nickname: the City of Violets.

Visiting a Calvados distillery in Normandy

In Lower Normandy, apple cider has been distilled into brandy since the Middle Ages. Florence Derrick visits the Boulard family distillery in Coquainvilliers, where 85% of the region’s tipple is produced…

Coffee and café culture in France

They say that in France, people watching is a national sport. So as you settle down outside a café (for which you’ll pay a premium in Paris) you had better hope the coffee is good – tradition dictates that you could be out there for hours!

Gardiane de taureau; Frances Lincoln

French recipe: Joël Robuchon’s beef stew

French cookery legend Joël Robuchon reflects upon his culinary journey and presents a favourite recipe from his new book: gardiane de taureau I was born in Poitiers, in the Poitou. It is my ‘homeland’ – the region of my childhood

Taste of the terroir: Marne

We propose a toast to Marne, where grapes are grown and both red and white wines flow! From coq au vin de Bouzy, to chocolate liqueurs, this departement’s delicacies are inextricably linked to the fruit of its vines.

Tried and tested: Comté cheese

Who knew that France produces more Comté – or Gruyère de Comté, to give it its proper name – than any other of its AOC cheeses? There’s got to be good reason…

Photo Dordogne Perigord Tourisme

Market day in the Dordogne

Market day is important in rural Dordogne – an opportunity to buy fresh food from local producers and catch up on news from friends and neighbours in the area. If you are used to supermarket fruits and vegetables, be prepared to change your shopping habits forever.

Chocolate truffles, made in France

Not only did the French introduce the rest of the world to Champagne (and, it follows, Marc de Champagne) but a little bit of research reveals that the chocolate truffle was, in fact, a French invention too.

Photo by Frédérique Voisin-Demery

Strawberry Tarts

April in southern France is a gastronomic feast. The markets overflow with the luscious new vegetables and fruits of spring. Foremost amongst these are strawberries, the perfect ending to any spring dinner party.

Photo by Arria Belli

Tarte à la rhubarbe

With the rhubarb season well under way, tempt your taste buds with this delicious recipe for Tarte à la rhubarbe with a Norman twist… Calva and crème fraîche!

Photo by Frédérique Voisin-Demery

Far Breton, a sweet treat from Brittany

The Far Breton is a flan-based dessert originally from Brittany. Available in many versions, the Farz Forn remains the most well known, with additions like rum or plum liqueur.

Photo by Sgillies

Truffle Omelette

This is a classic recipe, extremely simple and perfect for supper on the day you manage to buy – or find – your first fresh truffle. Truffles have a pungent aroma that permeates the eggs beautifully.

French onion soup fit for a king

Gloriously rich and sweet, with just the right amount of acidity, French onion soup defies the modest reputation of its main ingredient. However, when the dish was invented, it was simply a case of the allium being in the right place at the right time…

Culinary specialities of Franche-Comté

This mostly rural, relatively little-explored region abutting Switzerland is best known for its cheese and charcuterie yet boasts a unique of variety of wine dating back to the Romans. Florence Derrick investigates…

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

Image by catorze14 via Flickr

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