Truffles in Chocolate
French Food,
Main Food In France,
France Foods Facts,
Famous French Foods

Each region in France has its food specialties, based on the produce available. In general, the cuisine of the north uses butter and dairy products, while southern dishes contain olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs. Along the coast, seafood is plentiful. Oysters are a favorite on the Atlantic coast.
They are eaten raw or broiled and served with a cream sauce. The traditional seafood platter includes oysters, clams, mussels, crawfish, crabs, shrimps, and periwinkles. They are boiled and eaten with lemons and a shallot and vinegar sauce. Along the Mediterranean, seafood is usually cooked in a bouillabaisse (boo-yah--BES), a rich stew of fish, tomatoes, wine, olive oil, and saffron.

France's favorite food has to be bread, especially the long, thin loaf called baguette (ba-GET). When eaten as a sandwich, it is split in two lengthwise and filled with butter, cheese, ham, pate, or salami. Children love tartines (tar-TEEN), sliced bread spread with butter, jam, honey, or soft cheese. American style fast foods have now invaded France, and many young people prefer to have a burger and fries rather than a traditional French meal. North African kebabs are also appearing in many of the larger towns.

Popular Food in France

The Truffles called "black diamonds," black truffls are one of the most famous and expensive luxury foods in France. The warty fungus grows underground in the roots of oak and hazelnut trees and is harvested in winter by specially trained sniffing dogs and pigs.

A Love of Good Food

French food and wines are the most well known in the world. The French are passionate about their food and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to specialities of different regions. For instance, there are more than three hundred and fifty different varieties of cheeses. Some are hard, some soft; some are flavored with herbs, nuts, or peppercorns. The world's favorite French cheese is Camembert, which originated in the small town of Camembert in Normandy. Cow's milk curd is left to set for a day, and then is salted and sprayed with a bacterium, forming the white bloom on the surface of the cheese and encouraging the cheese to ripen. As the Camembert gets older, the center turns soft and flavorful. Other famous French gourmet foods are truffles, specially black truffle and foie gras (fwa GRAH) from Perigord in the southwest. Foie gras is the fattened liver of goose or duck. The birds are allowed to wander and feed outdoors until they reach a certain size. Then they are fed with corn to fatten up their livers. After the animals have been slaughtered, the livers are kept in goose or duck fat before cooking. Its manufacturing process is cruel, but foie gras is a delicacy that has been enjoyed since antiquity and is still one of the most sought after foods in the world.

Meal Times

The day begins with bread, either a croissant or a tartine for everyone in the family. It is all washed down with milk or hot chocolate for young children and coffee for adults and teenagers. Served in a bowl-shaped cup, cafe au lait (ka-fay oh LAY) is coffee with a generous dose of milk. Some families also eat yogurt or fresh, white cheese. Another popular snack for children after they get home from school is pain au chocolat (pehn o sho-ko-LAH), a flaky pastry baked with a bar of chocolate in the middle. Lunch used to be the main meal of the day, but many families now eat a very light lunch because of work and school commitments. The usual dishes are sandwiches, salads, quiche, or pasta. On Sundays, families sit down together for a more substantial lunch consisting of salad, soup, a casserole or roast, and dessert. Favorite dishes are steak with fries or roast chicken with vegetables. The last meal of the day is dinner, eaten rather late between 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. Adults generally have three courses consisting of soup, ham, or salad, followed by a steak or lamb stew, and a dessert or cheese and fruit. They usually drink wine with the meal and sometimes have strong coffee afterward. Children, however, may skip the main course and eat soup with bread or a slice of cheese.

Extract from “Countries Of The World France”, Written by Roseline Ngcheong-Lum. Times Edition Pte Ltd. Singapore, 1999.

Olive oils with truffle flavouring / declaration and flavourings Because of their intense, pleasant flavour, truffles are a much appreciated, and expensive, delicacy. The queen of truffles is the white Piemont, or Alba truffle (Tuber magnatum pico), which sells for around CHF 6,000 per kilogram. The summer truffle (Tuber aestivum vitt.) is less intensely flavoured and costs around one tenth of Tuber magnatum. Foods containing truffles are highly prized by consumers, but because considerably cheaper varieties of truffle are available, as well as artificial, nature-identical flavourings there is clearly a niche for products which affect a higher value than they possess. The number of olive oils from all possible sources is almost impossible to summarise. Flavoured olive oils are being increasingly marketed, typically with Herbes de Provence, garlic or lemon flavouring. Particularly high prices, up to and exceeding CHF 200 per litre are commanded for olive oils flavoured with truffle. Aim of the investigation In this first evaluation of the market for truffle-flavoured olive oils, the origin of the value-adding flavouring compounds was investigated, and potentially deceptive claims were revealed. Statutory basis In addition to a general prohibition of deception, the relevant legislation makes specific provisions for foodstuffs containing truffles. • If a product contains more than 1% truffle, it may be labelled as ?X% truffled? or ?contains X% truffle? (article12, clause 2 of the EDI [Fed. Dept. of Home Affairs] Ordinance on mushrooms, VSp.). • If a product contains more than 3% truffle, it is not necessary to state the proportion of truffle in the product, which may simply be declared ?truffled? or ?with truffles? (article 12, clause 1 VSp.) • Foodstuffs containing less than 1% truffle may not indicate that they contain truffle (article 12, clause 3 VSp.) • Illustrations of truffles are considered to be indicative, and are not permitted for correspondingly flavoured products (article 20b, clause 2 LMV [Swiss Food Ordinance].) • If a flavouring is added to a vegetable oil, the product description must be qualified (article 100, clause 3 LMV.) If truffle flavouring is added to an oil, the product description must therefore state ?oil with truffle flavouring?. Oils flavoured with truffle flavouring which also contain a small amount of truffle (1%), may not be provided with an indication that they contain truffle. Sample description Five olive oils indicating that they contained either truffle or truffle flavouring were obtained from four different distributors. All products were Italian. Sale prices, per litre, were 40, 42, 160, 208 and 230 CHF. Two samples also contained a shaving of summer truffle (weighing about 100mg and worth about 6 centimes), to demonstrate their high delectability and value. Test methods Flavouring components were analysed using Headspace-GC/MS. Results Analysis of flavours showed, in general, that 2,4-dithiapentane was the predominant flavouring compound, followed by 1-octen-3-ol (mushroom alcohol), as well as further sulphurous components, which varied from sample to sample. 2,4-dithiapentane is the dominant component of the flavour of white truffle, and according to the literature is either not present, or present only in trace amounts in other types of truffle. Both 2,4-dithiapentane and 1-octen-3-ol are sold by flavouring manufacturers as nature-identical truffle flavourings. None of the product descriptions conformed to the legal requirements. In four cases this contained the statement ?with truffles", in German or Italian, even though they contained no truffle, or less than 1% truffle. One product description contained the statement ?with Piemont truffle extract?, which was found not to be the case. Illustrations of white truffles were found on the labels of four products, which did not contain any white truffle. The ingredient list of one product indicated a 0.5% content of summer truffle; however the product was found to contain only 0.1% truffle. In two cases the labelling requirements regarding easy legibility were not adhered to. For these reasons, all samples were objected to or transferred to the appropriate State laboratories. Conclusions and measures taken Based on the results of the flavouring analysis and statements received, it is clear that these products were predominantly flavoured with nature-identical truffle flavourings, rather than with truffle extracts. The labels of the products which were objected to were amended to comply with the relevant legislation. In particular, these products will no longer carry deceptive illustrations of truffles, and indications of ?truffles? in the product description will be replaced with ?with truffle flavouring?.

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