July 14th marks a very important day in French history – the storming of the Bastille. A culmination of violence and uprising during the French Revolution, this national holiday commemorates the charging the fortress-prison in Paris in a display of rebellion by its citizens. Many of those imprisoned in the Bastille were rebels who had displeased the monarchy. Although there were only seven prisoners on July 14th, 1789, the Bastille also had a large stash of gunpowder and ammunition, which the revolutionaries needed for their cause. This was seen as a great triumph, as the people of France had been fighting to overthrow the monarchy and bring an end to feudalism in their country.
In celebration of this momentous day, we’re sharing ten of our favorite classic French foods, along with recipes you can recreate at home. Bon appétit!
1. Chocolat Chaud
Say goodbye to hot chocolate as you know it! The French recipe for hot chocolate involves melting solid chocolate pieces to make a thick, rich chocolate sauce, and then adding whipped cream as desired. Try this recipe
from Well Plated.
2. Moules Marinières
There are so many reasons to eat mussels (they’re tasty, they’re impressive, you get to cook with wine, etc.), but the best is that they’re inexpensive and easy to make! This recipe
from Serious Eats is ready in just 15 minutes.
3. Soupe à l’Oignon
Recognize this dish? In America, we call it French Onion Soup. Try this recipe
from America’s Test Kitchen – easy but oh-so-flavorful!
4. Foie Gras
One of the most devilishly decadent dishes to come out of France is pan-seared foie gras. Foie gras is fattened duck or goose liver, and cooking it at home will transform your kitchen into a Michelin star restaurant. Learn how to cook this delicacy from Serious Eats
. For bonus points, pair it with this Apple Chutney
recipe from Epicurious.
Sometimes called a Monte Cristo, the Croque-Monsieur is a cross between French toast, grilled cheese, and a hot ham sandwich. This recipe
from Ina Garten is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Want to mix things up a bit? Add some sauteed veggies to the sandwich.
Pierre Hermé or Ladurée? This is one of the biggest food debates in France – who makes the best macarons? While their recipes are a secret, this recipe
from Brave Tart is easy and comes close to those legendary, magical desserts.
7. Pain au Chocolat
A delightful complement to your morning coffee, a chocolate croissant is one of those classic French pastry items that have been perfected over the years. This recipe
from Saveur is bound to make your morning, if not your whole day!
8. Cassoulet de Canard
Cassoulet is a traditional French stew. We tend to opt for the version that’s made with duck confit. Try this recipe from Michael Lewis on Epicurious.
9. Camembert au Four
This list would be incomplete without mentioning some sort of French cheese! For a simple baked camembert recipe that’s perfect for entertaining, try this recipe from Jamie Oliver.
10. Crêpes Suzette
Last (but certainly not least!) on our list is crêpes – those impossibly thin, incredibly delectable creations that leave our mouths watering. Crêpes can be filled with almost anything (use your imagination!), but we’re offering up this classic recipe for Crêpes Suzette from Saveur. It’s a tasty treat that we dare you to eat for breakfast.
We hope this list has inspired your inner Parisian, and that you’re brave enough to try some of the more adventurous dishes.
A la Bastille!