Memories of Gascony – French Kitchen

Legendary French chef Pierre Koffmann waxes lyrical about his idyllic childhood in Gascony. In this exclusive extract from his book ‘Memories of Gascony’ he recalls the place of duck and goose on the family menu and how his beloved grandmother prepared her own confit.

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.

Taste of the Terroir – Normandy

Camembert and Calvados are two very famous examples of the fine French food and drink to come out of Normandy. But what of the goat’s milk, oysters and pears also on offer?   No trip to Normandy would be complete

Taste of the Terroir – Pays de la Loire

Well-known as ‘the garden of France’, Pays de la Loire is the place for fresh produce. But with its rivers and coastal edge, there’s also plenty of fishy business going on. Justin Postlethwaite browses the menu…   Nestling between Brittany

Taste of the Terroir – Toulouse

The ‘Pink City’ is a well-established culinary centre, one which boasts famous specialities that range from cassoulet and Toulouse sausages to violet-flavoured sweets.   Toulouse is most famous for its speciality charcuterie sausages – historically made from pork that’s marinated

A Tale of Two towns – Deauville & Trouville

  There is more than a bridge linking Deauville with Trouville.  Both villages on Normandy’s lovely Côte Fleurie have a casino, a beach boardwalk and a film festival…   Given its small size and a population of just 4,000, Deauville

Taste of the Terroir – Pays Basque

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish Pyrénées in the South-West of France is the Pays Basque and it has a much respected culinary style all of its own!   As an appetizer, you can’t beat a few slithers

Taste of the Terroir – Poulet de Bresse

Justin Postlethwaite on just what it is that makes the blue-footed Bresse chicken, a living embodiment of the French flag, Le Tricolore, so in demand with amateur gourmands and top restaurants alike…   The strutting creatures that you occasionally glimpse

Taste of the terroir – Pyrénees-Atlantiques

  Strong Basque Influences Cuisine in this département is heavily influenced by Basque culture. You’d be advised to start off with the Bayonne ham. This is a sweet variety of specially cured ham protected by something called indication géographique protégée

Taste of the Terroir – Mayenne

This rural department of Pays de la Loire is characterised by wide open fields providing ample room for cattle to graze. Some poor cows live indoors all year round. Not here, where the beef is top notch   In this

Taste of the terroir – 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…   One of France’s most underrated regions, Franche-Comté

Taste of the Terroir – La Côte d’Opale

Twenty-one miles from England lies France’s Opal Coast. For many school children, this stretch of coastline linking Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer provides their first taste of France. Eleanor Fullalove advises visitors of all ages to bring back plenty of yummy ‘souvenirs’

Taste of the Terroir – Marennes Oléron

Situated off the west coast of France, the island of Oléron is accessible via Marennes in mainland Charente-Maritime. Not surprisingly, seafood is the main culinary delight found in this beautiful outpost on the Atlantic, but that’s certainly not all…

Taste of the Terroir: Alsace

Every region of France has a unique personality and Alsace is no different: more pork is consumed here than anywhere else in the country, fried carp and chips is the norm and its speciality foods have a distinctly German flavour.

Taste of the Terroir – The Vienne

Famous for its picturesque green pastures, for the majestic River Vienne, and as the land of Futuroscope, this beautiful department in Poitou-Charentes is perhaps less known for its gastronomy. However, there are many culinary delights to enjoy, as Nina Richards

Taste of the terroir – Champagne region

When in Champagne, for many of us the temptation is to think solely about the region’s identity-defining booze. But beyond the bubbles, cellars, châteaux and vineyards, fizz-guzzling foodies can also find plenty of fine regional grub to get their teeth

France’s Five Best Beaches

  House hunting is exhausting work. So why not stretch your legs or squeeze in a spot of sunbathing on the warm sand between viewings? Wherever your search takes you, a paradisical plage awaits 1 La Grande Plage, Biarritz It’s

Five of France’s Sweetest Spots

  La Belle France is home to a bounty of unique confectionery. So, if you’re house hunting in these areas, make sure you save some room to indulge in their signature treats…   1 Brittany: Kouign-Amann Pastry chef Thierry Lucas

Taste of the Terroir – Burgundy

Historic Burgundy has long been a thriving agricultural region. This has influenced the Bourguignons to create rustic and hearty meals from locally sourced ingredients, as Nina Richards reveals   Burgundy is home to some of the finest jewels of French

Taste of the Terroir – Provence

From the Med to the foothills of the Alps,Provence is blessed with some of the most delicious natural produce in the whole of France, with vegetables, fruit and harbour-fresh fish. Not to mention the newly invigorated wine scene that’s causing

Taste of the Terroir – Corsica

  With its culinary traditions and proud local heritage, few French places stake a claim to the importance of terroir quite like Corsica, the “Île de Beauté” in the Mediterranean. Justin Postlethwaite makes his selection of the best food and

Taste of the Terroir – Delights of the Dordogne

The Dordogne is split into four areas, known locally as the Périgord Noir, Périgord Blanc, Périgord Vert and Périgord Pourpre. Each boasts foodie treats galore and keep France’s top restaurants well supplied…   We begin our produce tour of the

The Rhône, uncorked

  You’ve doubtless sampled Rhône wines, but have you visited the villages named on the bottles? If not, you’re really missing out, as Roger Thomas explains…   CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES About ten years ago, my local supermarket started to

Corsican Delicacies ©Skampixelle

A taste of France: Corsican delicacies

These local specialities provide a real insight into the place they are produced. Ingredients like chestnuts and citrus fruits crop up time and time again… as do names like fiadone and frappes

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.

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…

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…

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.

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…

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

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

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 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”.

Photo by KimonBerlin via Flickr

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.