This stew made of slow-booked beans, duck confit and sausages is one of the most delicious dishes in the world and the best way to end a cold winter day. It breaks my heart but I’ve yet to find a decent version of it in the US.
Also called an apricot croissant in some parts of France, the oranais is a flaky treat filled with custard and topped with two apricot halves.
3. Chestnut jam
Chestnuts are a winter favorite in France, whether they’re roasted or candied. Chestnut jam is one of the best exemples of how good the French are at using that nut to its full potential. It’s excellent and goes well on crêpes and breads alike.
Brie and Camembert are fine and all but they’re not the only French cheeses out there. France produces literally hundreds of different cheeses. I picked Reblochon, which is EXCELLENT, but I could have also chosen Bethmale, Beaufort, Brique, Fourme d’Ambert, Maroilles, etc: All amazing cheeses that remain mostly unknown in the US.
5. Kouign Amann
The main ingredient of Kouign Amman, a pastry from Brittany, is butter. Butter on butter on butter. Also: Sugar. It’s not super healthy but it’s fucking delicious and everyone in the world should have access to it.
This is basically Provence’s take on pizza, and it involves a lot of anchovies, onions, and olives. It’s delicious!
Carambar is a traditional caramel candy (although it now exists in many different flavor) that is famous both because it’s a childhood classic and because there is a really lame joke inside each wrapper that everyone loves to laugh at.
8. Pain viennois
This is basically a baguette MADE OF BRIOCHE. Yes, it really exists, and no, I don’t know why America hasn’t been blessed with these beauties yet.
Rillettes are the answer to the question: What would it look like if pâté were a spread? And it’s the best and most amazing answer you could possibly imagine.
This classic Provençal candy is made of one layer of soft melon and almond paste and one layer of crisp sugar icing. It’s sooo good.
The idea behind Aligot is basically a shit tone of cheese melted into some mashed potatoes. You can’t really go wrong with that.
12. Fraises Tagada
The best fucking candy in the history of candy-making. Full stop.
13. King cake
The French King cake is a delicious flaky pastry filled with almond dough. It’s also one of the only things that make the month of January, when it’s traditionally eaten, tolerable.
Crème fraîche, onions, and bacon spread on a very thin crust: This Alsacian specialty may not be the healthiest but it’s definitely the tastiest.
Cacolac is a cold milky chocolate drink that can bring any French person back to childhood.
16. A Saint Honoré
This perfect beautiful jewel is made with cream puffs, pastry cream, and whipped cream. What more do you need?
17. Quenelles of Pike with Lobster Sauce
Oh god, this dish is soooo good. SO GOOD. It’s fluffy, light and rich all at once, with a subtle pike flavor – all of this topped with lobster sauce. Seriously, get this in your life ASAP.
18. Fish soup
There is no denying that America has GREAT fish soups but it doesn’t have French fish soup. And French fish soup, with its garlic croutons and saffron rouille, makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Sure, you can find salami and chorizo in America – and even saucisson in some specialized stores. But good luck finding a true dry saucisson, with its nutty aftertaste and meaty goodness. These are extremely rare on this side of the Atlantic, especially if you’re on a budget.
20. Nounours à la guimauve
These little chocolate bears filled with French marshmallow goodness are everything you need in life.
21. And a real fucking baguette.
I’ve been living in the US for over four years and still have to find a baguette as good as the one I use to buy at my local bakery back home. And believe me, I tried.