Summer in France is fun and colorful. When the season is in full bloom, tourists flock to the country to enjoy the festivities as well as the refreshing food choices of the Charente.
This is a time when fruits and vegetables are abundant and hence cheaper. While hitting the beaches, you might as well bring along some of the dishes below.
When: July to September
Long before the Pixar animated film made Ratatouille famous, the traditional dish from Nice is already a popular and favorite side dish or stuffing in French cuisine. The recipe is jam packed with vegetables including zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, and herbs making it a perfect summer food.
Also known as the French sailor’s mussels, this specialty is delicately steamed in a mouthwatering sauce of white wine, cream, butter, onion and parsley. And just for fun, when eating this classic, use one empty shell to spoon the remaining mussels.
Sharing the warmth of the season is the iconic and very healthy fish stew dish. It is a treasure from the South of France featuring a variety of fishes. Add shellfish for the ultimate and classic treat for seafood lovers.
France is world famous for yummy apple tarts. But did you know that the delightful tarte tatin dessert was an accident? Rumor has it that Stephanie Tatin overcooked the apples in sugar and butter one day. She tried rescuing the traditional apple pie by shoving the whole pan in the oven and the rest, as they say, is history.
Provençal Herb Terrine
Full of flavors thanks to the melding of herby goodness, the French terrine is one delicious dish. It is typically made with French game meat. One traditional Parisian bistro that is famous for their terrine is Chez Cartet.
Côte de Bœuf
Côte de Boeuf is a single rib cut from the center of a full rib of beef. It is grilled or fried and often served with a Bearnaise sauce and chips. It is also sometimes called a beef chop. Not the cheapest part of the Beef but a must try.
Grilled Camembert with Cherries
Aside from wine, what is France famous for? There are many things really but for now, we’re talking about the land’s wide and varied cheeses. And one that you should definitely try is baked camembert topped with fresh cherries.
Whether eaten as is or topped off with a plain omelet, piperade is a wonderful dish made mostly of onions, peppers and tomatoes. The flavor is then enhanced with spicy paprika, cured pork and Bayonne ham.
Soup is a staple for any season but one that is perfect to combat the summer heat is Vichyssoise. It is a classic cold soup made of potatoes, mixed with butter, a healthy dose of herbs and flavorings.
Soupe au Pistou
Another soup variety that’s perfect for summer is pistou, a specialty from the Provence region that is both comforting and tasty. It is basically a cold sauce made of garlic, basil and olive oil.