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25 Traditional French Dishes You Need to Try Once

25 Traditional French Dishes You Need to Try Once

France—the magical land of art, history, fashion and mighty fine foods. Living in France will make you slightly addicted to elaborate dishes, unusual combinations of ingredients and having a glass of wine during lunch. Whether you are planning a trip to France or practicing your culinary skills, you need to try these 25 traditional French dishes at once. Believe me, your life won’t stay the same!

1. Coquilles Saint-Jacques

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    You know nothing about how scallops taste till you’ve tried this dish! Poached in white wine, scallops are placed atop of mushroom pue in shell, then generously covered with another layer of delicious sauce.

    2. Salade Lyonnais

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      Quoting Stendhal, “I know of only one thing that you can do well in Lyon, and that’s eat.” Indeed, the local cuisine earned the city a proud title of French gastronomy capital. Start your gourmet adventure with this rich-flavored salad of curly lettuce, tomato, smoked bacon, egg and crunchy croutons all under insanely delicious vinegar-based dressing.

      3. Moules Marinières

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        Mussels are among the traditional foods you probably most associate with France. However, this dish originated in Belgium. The French popularized it and added a few spicy twists to the original recipes. There are numerous ways to cook and serve mussels. One of the best ways is to marinate them in white wine broth with parsley and shallots. Tastes great with a glass of chilled white in a terrace café at Montmartre.

        4. Coq au Vin Jaune

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          Traditional dish from the easternmost province, Franche-Comté. Soft Bresse chicken thighs cooked and served under wine sauce with morel mushrooms. Vin Jaune is a strong white wine with nutty aftertaste, made in the Jura wine region of Savagnin grapes.

           5. Soupe à L’oignon

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            Gooey, rich-flavored soup with a thick golden crust on top—the most delicious part of the dish! Meat broth is generously flavored with onions, grated cheese and crusty croutons. This recipe is really easy to cook at home and your guests would be more then merely impressed.

            6. Blanquette de Veau

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              There isn’t a more quintessentially French dish then this meat ragout. Delicate pieces of veal, soaked in crème fraîche sauce, often garnished with pilau rice, onions and mushrooms. Buy a bottle of red Bordeaux to accompany the meal.

              7. Socca 

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                Crusty chickpea pancakes popular all along the Ligurian Sea coast, and Nice in particular. Flat rounds of chickpea dough, sprinkled with olive oil and baked in oven or on a huge round pans. Seasoned with black pepper and eaten while still hot with the fingers. Often served with veggie or cheese filling.

                8. Steak Tartare

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                  Evoke your primal instincts and eat meat the way it is supposed to be eaten: raw. Beef is finely chopped, mixed with onions, seasoned well, and served with egg yolk and rye bread. You need extremely fine fresh meat to cook the dish at home.

                  9. Salade Comtoise 

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                    Iconic rustic salad from Franche-Comté of smoked Montbéliard sausage, Comté cheese, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, nuts, and crusty croutons—all served under a delicious seasoning. A fast and easy-to-cook lunch snack.

                    10. Ratatouille

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                      This dish is already world-famous after a Pixar movie, but I couldn’t help mentioning it anyway. Originating from Nice, ratatouille is made of onions, zucchini, garlic, eggplant, bell peppers, basil, or bay leaf and thyme with more Provençal herbs added as seasoning. Can be eaten as a side dish or main course at lunch, dinner or breakfast. I see nothing wrong with eating it thrice a day.

                      11. Piperade

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                        Piperade is very similar to ratatouille, traditionally cooked in the French Basque country. A ragout of red and green papers, tomatoes, onions and fresh eggs. Usually served as a garnish to meat and fish dishes. Spicy, rich-flavored, and pretty easy to cook at home.

                        12. Pan Bagnat

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                          Another insanely tasty food specialty from Nice. A circle round of pain de campagne is generously filled with Salade Niçoise of raw vegetables, eggs, anchovies and/or tuna, seasoned with olive oil. Classy and easy-to-make snack that should be on your healthy lunch menu.

                          13. Cassoulet

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                            Cassoulet is one of those warm, comforting foods to cheer you up after an exhausting day. White beans and duck (also pork sausages, goose, or mutton) slowly stewed in big round pan. The dish originates from Southern France and is incredibly popular in Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Castelnaudary. The last claim to be the first to cook this magnificent, rich-flavored meal. If you are absolutely into casseroles, you should check these 11 recipes!

                            14. Bouillabaisse

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                              Fragrant stew from the city of Marseille. Traditionally, made with at least three kinds of fish: red rascasse, sea robin, and European conger. Bouillabaisse can also include gilt-head bream, monkfish, mullet, or European hake. French chefs add a variety of shells and other seafood like mussels, crabs, small octopuses and more. Everything’s seasoned with Provençal herbs and served hot in a pot. The dish may not be easy to cook, but definitely worth all the efforts.

                              15. Escargots

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                                The most traditional of all French appetizers to be eaten with a glass of fine white wine. Specially bred land snails cooked with tasty garlic butter and parsley, wine sauce and sometimes chicken stock.

                                16. Confit de Canard

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                                  Crispy duck legs, salted and then cooked in their own fat. Warm comforting dish originating from Gascony region takes up to a few days to cook as the meat should to be marinated in salt, garlic and herbs for 36 hours to taste best. That is one of the 7 main secrets of the French kitchen.

                                  17. Gratin Dauphinois

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                                    Gratin Dauphinois is one of the most authentic French dishes that you can easily cook home. Potatoes are thinly sliced and covered with crème fraîche, add some butter and a clove of garlic, et voilà—your dinner’s  ready. Variations include adding cheese.

                                    18. Soupe au Pistou

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                                      My favorite Provençal dish, fragrant and flavorful. Made of summer vegetables, pasta and a French version of pesto—an appetizing mix of pounded garlic, olive oil, and basil.

                                      19. Oeufs en meurette 

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                                        Burgundy is famous not only for fine reds, but mighty good local cuisine, as well. Oeufs en meurette is a classic dish of poached eggs in divine meurette sauce: red wine mixed with onions and/or shallots, seasoned with thyme, parsley and bay leaf and mixed with a few drops of espagnole sauce. Sometimes mushrooms added to enrich the flavor. Served with toasted garlic bread and pieces of bacon.

                                        20. Baeckeoffe

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                                          Splendid Alsatian dish that can be literary translated as “baker’s oven”. Sliced potatoes, onions, a variety of meat (mutton, pork and beef) is left to marinate in white wine for the night, then seasoned with herbs, juniper berries and carrots. Back in the old days dames of Alsace started to cook it late Saturday, left the casserole at the nearest bakery to slow-cook during Sunday morning, and picked it up when returning from the church.

                                          21. Soupe de Poisson à la Rouille

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                                            Traditional fishermen’s soup born in Marseille. You can use any type of fish for the soup as the secret of the dish is “rouille”—a clump of garlicky and saffrony mayonnaise placed on top.

                                            22. Quiche Lorraine

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                                              The classiest savory pie of all time. Quiche Lorraine is a perfect lunch snack and an excellent dinner dish as it’s pretty simple to cook. Mix up the buttery dough, add smoky bacon or lardon and cover it all in cheese.

                                              23. Pissaladière

                                              Pissaladière

                                                Maybe you think Italy is pizza-lovers’ mecca, yet France has a few seriously great pizzas of its own! Pissaladière—a thin crusty layer of dough covered with anchovies, onions and olive, served on nearly every corner in the South. Enjoy it with a glass of local rosé.

                                                24. Tarte flambée

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                                                  Another incredibly delicious pizza originating from Alsace. Thick layer of crème fraîche, bacon and onions, all baked in an open oven till the crust is crunchy. Pair it with a glass of white Riesling or glass of cold beer.

                                                  25. Quenelles de brochet 

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                                                    You haven’t been to Lyon unless you’ve eaten at least one portion of pike quenelles. The fish is mixed with breadcrumbs and generously coated with cream sauce. You many need some practice if you plan to cook the dish at home, but it’s all worth it.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Erik Totten via flickr.com

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                                                    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                                    Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                                    If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                                    When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                                    In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                                    1. Salmon

                                                    Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                                    It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                                    Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                                    Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                                    Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                                    Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                                    2. Blueberries

                                                    Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                                    Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                                    Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                                    Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                                    Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                                    3. Turmeric

                                                    Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                                    Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                                    Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                                    Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                                    Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                                    • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                                    • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                                    • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                                    • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                                    4. Coffee

                                                    Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                                    Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                                    Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                                    Coffee can also:

                                                    • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                                    • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                                    • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                                    • Improve your memory.
                                                    • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                                    5. Broccoli

                                                    What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                                    Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                                    Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                                    Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                                    Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                                    6. Bone broth

                                                    Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                                    Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                                    Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                                    Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                                    Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                                    With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                                    Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                                    7. Walnuts

                                                    Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                                    Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                                    Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                                    Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                                    8. Eggs

                                                    For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                                    Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                                    Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                                    9. Dark chocolate

                                                    You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                                    Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                                    Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                                    Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                                    Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                                    In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                                    If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                                    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

                                                    [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                                    [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                                    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                                    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                                    [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                                    [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                                    [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                                    [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                                    [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                                    [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                                    [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                                    [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                                    [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                                    [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                                    [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                                    [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                                    [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                                    [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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