Traveling to France for the first time can open you up to a whole new world of food. In most cities, boulangeries filled with delicious baguettes, pastries and croissants can be found on every street. Farmers markets are the ideal place to find produce picked that morning, and French chefs are experts at taking market fresh produce and highlighting every seasonal flavor. Here are 9 foods that you shouldn’t miss when traveling in France.
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Kouign Amann (butter cake) is a Breton pastry, made of bread dough layered with butter and sugar. The cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough, and the sugar caramelizes on the top. The resulting pastry is deeply sweet and decadent, with a soft inside and crunchy caramelized top. Kouign Amann is quite difficult to bake at home, and most French people leave it to the pros at boulangeries or confiseries.
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To most people, snails are something that you pull off your garden vegetables in the summer, not something you eat. However, the French have elevated the common snail to a delicacy. Traditionally cooked in garlic butter, white wine, and parsley, the escargots are then removed from the shell with a special fork, and eaten with a slice of bread to soak up the butter.
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The French take great pride in their cheese, and rightly so. Each region in France produces its own local and specialized type of cheese, and these varieties are famous not only throughout France but all around the world. Whether you choose a semi-soft Comté from the Jura region, or a stinky Epoisses from Burgundy, you can be sure that you’re getting a carefully crafted piece of culinary art. Many varieties of French cheese made with unpasteurized milk cannot be exported outside of the European Union, so make sure to take advantage while in France of their immense variety of local favorites.