French cuisine puts a big emphasize on preparation of the dishes. It’s hard to approach some of them without a cookbook in hand. The recipes sometimes prove to be intimidating and even top chefs prefer to support their experience with a little cheat sheet.
French dishes are rich in flavour and use various techniques to enhance the taste. Fresh and seasonal ingredients are the basis of the cuisine. In some parts, it’s hard to get a hold of some products. Restaurants usually source their ingredients from the local markets. In some cases, they need to find substitutes for unavailable products. The quality of the ingredients decides about the taste of the dish. Which are the must-have ingredients for French cuisine?
The core of many French dishes include butter. Perhaps that’s why it’s not typically served on the table alongside the bread. It’s used for cooking and baking. French dishes need a substantial fat content.
- Olive oil
Olive oil enhances the flavours. There are different kinds of as the olives are grown in different areas. It’s good to look for two types of olive oil: extra-virgin and pure. The first one is pricey, but has the highest quality. It’s good to save it for dressings. The pure olive oil is less expensive and it’s good for cooking.
Various types of it are present in many French dishes. They’re good for cooking, but also make a great vinaigrette and marinade bases. They provide an extra kick in some dishes. Commonly used vinegars are: champagne, sherry and red wine vinegars.
France is known for its great selection of cheeses like Brie, Camembert or Roquefort. They make their own food category. They taste great without as separate dishes or as ingredients for salads and such.
- Fresh herbs
Herbs are present in pretty much every French dish. They are responsible for the texture and flavour. The most common herbs are thyme, basil, sage, dill, mint, cilantro, rosemary and parsley.
- Sea salt
French prefer to use sea salt to table salt in their dishes. Why? It’s a natural ingredient and it comes in different types to choose from. It’s common for soups and stews. A suitable substitute is also kosher salt.
French cuisine depends on fresh and local ingredients in order to achieve strong and rich flavours. Preparing certain dishes won’t work out if the key ingredients to enhance the taste are missing. If You love French cuisine and You are in London we invite you to visit the Salt Flakes restaurant.