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As the saying goes, “If you want to eat well, eat like a Frenchman.”  French food is renowned the world over as one of the finest cuisines and boy do the French love their food! French dining isn’t so much the mix of flavours making a decent dish, to them it’s a lifestyle.

There are hundreds of thousands of quality restaurants and bistros in France – Paris alone is home to more than 5,000. French cuisine is a fine art – it’s a leisurely affair with a subtle blend of ingredients, all cooked to perfection and served up in style over a few glasses of good red wine.  The international acclaim associated with winning the award of a Michelin Guide Rouge Star is what the fine restaurants strive for. For fancy restaurateurs, this global credit can boost profits no end, the loss of such can mean quick bankruptcy.

For a nation that averages a two hour lunch break from work and enjoys such a notoriously rich, fatty and alcohol filled diet, the French are a remarkably healthy race. They love their wine – red wine that’s supposedly good for your heart, adore their full fat and smelly cheeses like Brie and Camembert, eat most meals accompanied by carb-ridden baguettes, and indulge in such elaborate and expensive delicacies as truffles (a fungus that grows underground and is traditionally found by pigs), and Foie Gras (fattened liver of a big duck or goose).

The French take pride in the fact they have greatly influenced many world cuisines. The ‘roux’ is now recognised globally as one of the main ways to thicken sauces and soups and originates back to the first French cookbook “Le Cuisine Francois” in 1652. The French and their way of dining influenced many global restaurants and chefs who incorporated ‘Haute Cuisine’ menus that took fine expensive dining to a whole other level, and ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ where portions are more refined, less rich and smaller with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

French croissant breakfast 300x200 TRAVEL GUIDE TO FRENCH FOODFor those visiting France you simply have to get out and sample some of the local tastes. OK, for the true fine dining experience you need a deep pocket, but your average French bistro will serve you up a treat of regional classics at a decent price. Try a typical French Crepe in Brittany, Burgundy is famed not only for its wine but for Boeuf Bourguignon, for a true Quiche Lorraine head to Lorraine, and Provence serves up the best Salade Nicoise, Bouillabaisse and Ratatouille. And let’s not forget breakfast – croissants, pain au chocolate and fresh French bread served hot with local jam or meats!

Our advice is to simply get to France, go out and eat! You will be pleasantly surprised and astounded at the sheer choice on offer and a little research goes a long way towards finding the best places that lie within your budget.

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