French food has a special place in my heart. Baguettes, butter, cheese, wine, more butter, champagne - the list goes on. The French know good food and I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of all of their famous French deliciousness. And don't worry, I tried everything! Especially all things preserved, aged, and fresh out of the oven.
It seems like every Parisian street is dotted with the iconic restaurant or cafe sidewalk seating. The cute wicker chairs welcoming you to sit down, order a glass of wine and people watch for hours.
The food we enjoyed at these delicious curb-side restaurants included all of the French classics.
Like this perfect Charcuterie board to share - with jambon de Bayonne(French prosciutto), Pâté, hard cheese, and a small pickled gherkin.
And seared Duck à l'Orange (duck breast with a sweet orange sauce).
We also ventured over to the 'Chef special' section of the menu and blindly ordered the bisque of the day, excited about what would be served. With our appetite in the Chef's hands, out came a bowl of steamed cabbage and shrimp with a glass of tomato bisque. We held our breath and dramatically poured the delicious bisque soup over the top. I have never seen a bisque quite like this but it was so fantastic! This dish was a show stopper for sure.
We managed to hunt down French crepes - this one was served flambé (on fire) using Grand Marnier liquor.
And it took some time but I found a pork terrine! We talked about terrines in culinary school and I always wanted to try this French food classic. The dish is like a hodgepodge of pork best described as a fancy textured hotdog, served cold and in the classic terrine square shape. I loved every bite!
Psst - can you spot the snails below?
I loved this slow roasted baby lamb leg served with mashed potatoes. Absolutely beautiful, fall-off-the-bone, and paired with a rich espagnole sauce.
And finally, a classic Crème brûlée!
But if you don't have hours to spend sitting at a restaurant, there are street venders on almost every corner and park entrance. They serve up cheap eats that are oh so satisfying,
We had baguette sandwiches at least once a day, sometimes twice. By the end of our trip, the loafed French bread was coming out of our ears we ate it so often - I couldn't get enough! Most sandwich stands offered the classic Jambon et Fromage combination which translate to ham and cheese.
Some food stands sold this beauty, a toasted baguette stuffed with a hot dog and topped with cheese. I never ordered it but I always drooled a little bit when I saw it teasing me through the glass.
And this cheesy bread, which I did try, made me drool too! This halved baguette was topped with cheese and caramelized onion bits, then sinfully toasted for a crunchy, gooey snack.
Now, Let's talk crepes. I can't believe it took me about three days to get my hands on one, but when I finally did, it was everything I had dreamed of. I ordered the Nutella crepe with banana slices from a pop-up stand by the Grande Roue de Paris. It was filled with warm, chocolaty goodness wrapped in a light and fluffy crepe with hints of sweet banana. Unbelievably dreamy! The French enjoy crepes as not just sweet, but savory too and you can usually order either one at most crepe stands.
We also found a pop-up stand carrying these fancy French macaroons. They were so beautiful and colorful - worthy of being displayed in any fine pastry shop.
Speaking of pastry shops .. These intricate cakes and tarts are edible works of art - real French food classics! We found ourselves wandering into random bake shops while walking the streets of Paris just to peek at these delicate desserts. Some of the shops also sold cute personal quiches, perfect for a breakfast on the go.
One bake shop I highly recommend is Ble Sucre. After spending time at Marche d'Aligre, Mark and I headed over to this popular bakery. This shop was recommended to me by my French relatives who told me this place has the absolute best croissants in Paris. They suggested we order an espresso and dip our flaky, warm and buttery croissant into the freshly brewed shot of coffee.
With croissants and espresso shots in hand, we found a cute park right across the street from the bakery to enjoy our bites of French heaven. It was divine!
Because we were visiting some of my French relatives, we got to see first hand how the French eat at home. One of the first meals we had at my family's home was a (catered) Moroccan couscous dinner. The curried chicken was tender, the vegetable stew was hearty and the fluffy couscous took hours to prepare. I loved the regional food choice for our first meal in a French home!
A few days later, after the wedding festivities, we also enjoyed pâté and caviar on toast, champagne, and cheese - so much cheese!
I also spotted this machine translated to 'the mill' in my family's kitchen. Now anyone can make perfect beef tartare at home!
I also managed to pop into a few convenience stores, which is where you find some of the best cultural foods. I spotted canned kiwi, Pâté, preserved meat slices, and sausage.
The Rillettes du Mans below is a type of pork Pâté that is slow cooked in fat until the meat can be shredded. Grab some crusty baguette slices and smear it on - mmm, sounds so yummy!
Some convenience stores also had fresh and vibrant fruit and vegetables at the front of the store. I always stopped and snapped a few pictures because they always looked so gorgeous!
And there is no way I could end this French Food post without mentioning this gorgeous Eiffel Tower cake (again)! It's just so pretty. Click here to read the full post about my relative's wedding in France (more pics of the cake included!).
Did you spot any of your favorite French foods? I will accept Nutella as an answer!