Wintertime in the Charente can be gloomy because of the cold but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be the some of the best months for anyone who loves to eat.
This time of year is a hearty season because the French tables are filled with all kinds of comforting and filling dishes.
When: December to March
An iconic delicacy in French cuisine, foie gras is as much a cultural heritage as a culinary pride. It’s not liked your ordinary duck or goose liver. This one is especially fattened for a rich and buttery flavor that tastes perfect in various preparations
Where do you find the best truffles? Of course, in France! One renowned gourmand dubbed them as the “diamonds of the kitchen” while the winter black truffles, in particular, are called the Diamond of Périgord. Fancy titles, huh? All the more reason you should taste them.
We all know how the French love their cheeses. One that is most famous in the world for its impressive melting characteristic is the Fondue Savoyarde, made with Comté Emmental and Beaufort cheeses cooked with white wine and garlic. If you drop your bread in the pot you might have a forfeit.
The Alsatians love to devour a hearty, comforting and filling dish during the wintertime. And dressed sauerkraut has remained a favorite featuring a mix of sausages, other meats and charcuterie/delicatessen.
What better way to keep warm during the cold winter months by indulging in a steaming bowl of classic French stew. The meat and vegetables are simmered for hours resulting in a truly comforting dish.
Daube de Boeuf
When it’s winter in France, one stew is never enough. Another variety that’s well loved by many is the daube, an inexpensive option where beef is braised in wine, vegetables and herbs de France. Cooking is often done a day before to allow the flavors to fully bloom.
Confit de canard
If duck breasts are delicious, can you imagine what will duck legs taste like? Prepared using a proven and tested process, the Gascony specialty is a wonder of flavors in every bite.
Simple yet sophisticated, this traditional dish is the epitome of French Basque cooking. Chicken is made more savory when mixed with well-cooked onions, garlic and peppers.
Pain au Chocolat
Even though winter can be unpleasant at times, you can always find comfort in fresh from the oven pain au chocolat. The sweet rolls from south of France is one treat you cannot simply pass up. Golden in color, crisp outside and melted chocolate… get the picture?
When it comes to traditional French dishes, you can’t really go wrong. Gratin dauphinois, for one, has been around way longer than we’ve been. It’s made of potatoes and creme fraiche, a specialty from the historic region of Dauphine.
Another hit dish during wintertime in France is this delicious and hearty lamb stew. Often cooked a day ahead, the lamb or mutton is combined with potatoes and other vegetables for one filling and heart-warming dish.
Roquefort Winter Salad
There is no standard salad for wintertime in France. You can try a veggie or fruit mix. What will make the salad perfect for the season is the star of the dish – no other than Roquefort blue cheese.
Canard à l’Orange
Roasted chicken in winter is a good choice for a main dish. But what’s even better is roasted duck in orange sauce. You can’t say have eaten duck until you’ve tried this French classic.
There’s no wonder why Coquilles Saint-Jacques is such a French cuisine classic. Imagine combining scallops, mushrooms and wine in one dish. The result is heaven on earth.
Oysters are as traditional to the French at Noël as turkey is to North Americans. France was the first country in all of Europe to start cultivating oysters on a large scale and they take it very seriously.