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This is the searchable online international food dictionary with 67,413 terms in 307 languages plus 42,027 plurals.

Just type in the word that you're looking for and press enter or click on search. There are other types of search; see search help for more information.

The database behind this site was the loving creation of Suzy Oakes, who has since passed away. She is greatly missed. You can see her obituary in the Guardian

A cookbook, featuring Suzy's favourite recipies, is available. People who are interested should contact Mun Flint. Currently, the cost is £12.50 plus postage and packing. All proceeds go to the Suzy Oakes Trust for Mill Road.

Picture of cover of recipe book

French food and cuisine

French food, at its best, is well cooked, beautifully presented and a joy in every respect. A lot of visitors to France come home saying "I don’t know what all the fuss is about. We didn’t have a single good meal while we were there" On the whole it is because they choose the cheapest of the set menus in an inexpensive restaurant and are amazed when it is not Michelin-star level.

To guarantee the best food in France, just like anywhere else in the world, you will have to pay. Unlike other countries, although others are beginning to catch up, with a little diligence you should find a small local restaurant specialising in what France does best - using local ingredients, in season, and cooking them perfectly. Such establishments are still remarkably common, but they do need to be sought out.

As is often stated, the best French cooking is regional. It is true that 'globalisation' seems to result in a flattening of quality everywhere and even proud France has not been immune. However, seek for a restaurant serving local produce and you are already half way to the real France. If you are in the south you are more likely to find food cooked in olive oil with tomatoes, aubergines (US: eggplants) and other flavours of the Mediterranean. In Normandy the dish you choose will be cooked in butter and probably have cream in it too. Sauces will be made using wines from the local terroir and the flavour of those wines will dictate whether you get a light, delicate dish or a meaty, rich, dark, warming stew. If your favourite dish is aubergines à la Provençale, wait till you go south to eat it. Don't order it in Picardy. By definition, the restaurant which offers it is unlikely to be dealing with local producers.

Choose cow’s milk cheeses in Normandy (such as Camembert) or Savoie (such as Beaufort) and in areas where lush green fields or high mountain pastures provide the grasses that feed the beasts. In rocky, mountainous regions, stick to sheep or goat’s milk cheeses.

It is true that there is now a greater exchange of fresh products, but the rule of thumb should be to eat lemon sole on the north coast, anchovies on the Mediterranean. Clicking on the regions, provinces and departments listed below will guide you as to what may be available as you travel round savouring the remarkable cuisine of France.

We recommend that you click on the region of interest under 'See places' below to help you to find out about local foods and dishes.

So far, I have made some 9,000 entries in French, but you can bet that the item you are searching for is not among them. If this is the case, please e-mail and I will try to respond with the information you need.

French food and cuisine
Map of France, with many thanks to by Tourizm Maps &Copy; 2006

Ethnicity: French
Most frequent country: France

See places: Ain, Alsace, Angoulême, Anjou, Aquitaine, Ardèche, Ardennes, Ariège, Armagnac, Artois, Auge, Aude, Aunis, Auvergne, Aveyron, Basque food and cuisine, Basse Normandie, Baux-de-Provence, Béarn, Beaucaire, Beauce, Beaujolais, Bercy, Berry, Bigouden, Bordeaux, Bordelais, Bouches du Rhône, Boulonnais, Bray, Brittany, Brie, Burgundy, Calvados, La Camargue, Centre, Cévennes, Champagne, Charentes, Charollais, Clamart, Corsica, Creuse, Dauphiné, Dordogne, Doubs, Drôme, Essonne, Eure et Loire, Foix, Franche-omte, Gascony, Gers, Haut Garonne, Haut Marne, Haut Rhin, Haut Saône, Haut Savoie, Haut Vienne, Haute Loire, Haute Normandie, Hautes Alpes, Hautes Pyrénées, Herault, Île-de-France, Ille et Vilaine, Isère, Languedoc, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Loir et Cher, Loiret, Lorraine, Lot, Lot et Garonne, Lozère, Lyonnais, Maine et Loire, Marne, Mayenne, Médoc, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Midi-Pyrenées, Morbihan, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Nièvre, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Oise, Orne, Paris, Pas-de-Calais, Pays-de-la-Loire, Pays Basque, Périgord, Picardie, Poitou, Puy de Dôme, Pyrénées Atlantiques, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, Rouergue, Roussillon, Sarthe, Savennières, Savoie, Seine Maritime, Seine-et-Marne, Somme, Tarn, Val d'Oise, Var, Vaucluse, Vendée, Vosges, Yonne, Yvelines

See foods and dishes: aïoli, Andouille, baguette, beurre, bleu, Bleu d'Auvergne, à la bordelaise, boudin, bouillabaisse du pêcheur, bouillon, à la bourguignonne, brandade, Bresse Bleu ®, Brie, café, Camembert de Normandie, cassoulet, charcuterie, à la chasseur, coq au vin, consommé, coquilles Saint-Jacques, crème, croque-monsieur, croquette, confit, croissant, boeuf à la mode, boeuf bourguignonne, sauce béarnaise, sauce béchamel, sauce Mornay

See drinks, wines etc: Armagnac, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Calvados, Champagne, Cognac, Côtes-du-Rhône

Feel free to e-mail us if you have any comments, but be aware that the database is just being maintained, not updated.

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