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Learning The Art of French Cooking

Aug 18, 2007
My passion for French cooking began the year I spent in France learning about this famous art. I knew French meals were delicious but also came to realize that the production of a meal was just as important as learning how to cook it.

While there I threw myself into the history and art of French cuisine, going to cooking school as well as learning from the locals and was able to bring back a wealth of information to include in my everyday cooking. Learning the history of how this cuisine is prepared and served on a daily basis gave me a better appreciation of the art of French cooking and helped me add true authenticity to my meals. It is important to understand what a strong influence French cooking techniques have had on the western world. The mastery of its styles and methods has become the center of culinary arts and has become what is taught as the basis of all other forms of cooking in cooking schools around the world.

Learning and mastering these styles and methods is what makes it the best in the world and what makes French cuisine truly authentic. One of the most famous techniques adopted from French cooking and one that we are all familiar with, is sauteing. Sauteing refers to food cooked in oil or butter over moderately high heat and being constantly stirred or moved. Classic French cooking has evolved over time and has been influenced over the years by surrounding European countries as well as new products like herbs, spices and items such as Cocoa brought back from distant lands by explorers.

Like all cuisines, French food depends and changes along with the seasons. Salads and fruit are very popular during the summer months because of their freshness and also because they are able to be bought very cheaply. The fall and winter months make up the hunting season in France and a variety of meat dishes, often ornately made in celebration of the successful hunt, are served.

French menus also include a selection of delicious cheeses ranging from fresh, hard, rich or creamy. It is important to learn how to serve a truly authentic French meal. A typical day in France starts out with a light breakfast of hot drinks such as milk, coffee or chocolate, served with the famous buttered baguettes or French sticks and sometimes croissants served with jam.

These delectable breads are usually bought fresh in the morning from the local bakeries called boulangeries. Later on in the day, lunch is served in three courses beginning with a mixed salad, a main course of meat and vegetables, and a variety of cheeses served with a green salad. Dinner is usually a simple meal of soup and a light main course. Maybe one of the best known parts of French cuisine is the dessert.

I am convinced that a meal would not be complete without it and always include a dessert or two in my meal plans as an after dinner treat. The eclairs and profiteroles, made of a puffed pastry filled with coffee or chocolate custard, are some of the most popular and my favorites. They are also easy to make and something that everyone loves. The elegant style of French cooking can bring new flavor to your meals and new life to your kitchen.

Mastering the art of French cuisine is easy to accomplish with a little bit of creativity and a love for great food. Try something new for dinner tonight and your family or friends are sure to fall in love with French cooking!
About the Author
Craig Chambers is a cooking enthusiast who enjoys French cooking and offers an extensive free cooking guide, recipes and resources online at his website www.cookingyourbest.com
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