France has long been known as a culinary hub, but one of the best things about good French food is its accessibility. As a college student, I still had the budget to try a variety of amazing meals, simple because the French believe that all food ought to be good. Below are a few of my favorite foods that somehow don’t taste quite the same as they did abroad. Enjoy!
- Flower-flavored ice cream
I had no idea that ice cream came in rose, violet, and lavender flavors before I went to France, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Ice cream isn’t the only food with these flavors, but I found it to be my favorite down in sunny, warm Provence. The ice cream in France is very creamy, but also feels lighter on your stomach.
Galettes can be sweet or savory. I preferred goat cheese and honey, but a common favorite is ham, cheese, and an egg. I found these both in the Brittany region and down in Provence, so you’ll be able to try these anywhere!
- Chocolate mousse
I’m not usually a huge fan of extremely chocolately desserts, but chocolate mousse became my go-to dessert choice. I can’t say I ever had a bad chocolate mousse during the months I was in France, and the taste was always clean without feeling too heavy.
Order an espresso at least once at a café, but be wary of drinking too many! They’re smaller than you usually expect, but they’ll pack a punch.
- Street crepes
I’ll never forget my first crepe, outside of the Notre Dame. It was a classic banana and Nutella flavor. However, as I branched out, I found that I also really enjoyed honey and lemon. Try some chantilly (whipped cream) on them too!
- Croque monsieurs
Croque monsieurs are like American comfort food, but better. They are similar to a standard ham and cheese sandwich, but with cheese toasted on the top. I loved getting mine with an egg on top, which is referred to as a croque madame. Because these are a classic, you can get them anywhere in France!
As a Texan, you can only imagine my excitement when I found a street vendor selling tacos on their menu. Tacos in France are not Mexican tacos. They are more like burritos, with lettuce, cheese, sauce, protein, and fries inside. Tacos are the equivalent of French fast food, similar to “l’American” (a burger with fries in it), but it’s not an experience to be missed.
- Flat peaches
I stumbled upon les pêches plats in a market in Aix-en-Provence. While searching the market for lunch, a very nice vendor heard my American accent and offered me one for free. Flat peaches are much sweeter than your average peach, and I instantly loved them. Unfortunately, I have yet to find flat peaches in the United States, so make sure you try one abroad!
- Parisian sandwich
Ham and butter on a baguette. Simple, but amazing.
Kir is made of chilled white wine and crème de cassis (blackcurrant). This drink was perfect for warm summer evenings on the patios of restaurants. I liked these enough that I learned how to make them at home! (See Lisa’s Recipe)
Please feel free to comment any other favorites for our other readers! Thanks for reading!