I’ve just returned from my European trip, and leaving aside my business ventures I can’t but share the outstanding eating experience I had there: within the three days I stayed in Paris I was lucky to try everything that my local friend recommended, and here is the top five of what amazed me the most.
#1. Soupe à l’oignon – a soup with onions and beef served with croutons and cheese. The first thing I said having tasted it sounded like “OMG, never thought a soup can be that tasty”. Later I was explained that it’s because of caramelization of onions, and that this outstanding representative of the French cuisine originates from Roman times.
I’d add that it’s perfect for dinner as first course because the croutons and cheese on top make the transition to the second course smooth and natural.
#2. Bouillabaisse – a hearty fish stew (as a rule shellfish and mediterranean fish) that the eater adds components to once it is served. The fish is traditionally served separately from rouille sauce and toasted bread that can be added to the soup as per the eater’s taste.
Very tasty thing as well, especially for a seafood fan like me, and the fact that it is highly customizable even after being served makes it even more special.
#3. Cheese – yes, not frogs or snails, but just cheese. First I though that I am familiar with cheese and there is no way for me to get new feelings from it, but I was terribly wrong. Eating cheese in France is absolutely different from eating it elsewhere, firstly, because of how their cheese tastes, and second, because of the way how the French serve it. An ultrathin slice of cheese with a glass of appropriate wine is something absolutely different from what we are used to. Trust me, French cheese and simply cheese are two absolutely different notions.
#4. Boeuf bourguignon – pieces of beef and mushrooms braised with red wine and stewed, spiced with garlic, onions and herbs.
From the first look nothing special, all the components have been tasted many times, but believe me, if you’d like to cook something special, especially in you have a purpose of estonishing a man, this could be the best choice.
#5. Tarte tatin – the tastiest apple pie I ever tasted. As every French meal, it has it’s own story. First it was accidentally cooked by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin in 1888. It was an attempt to create a regular apple pie, but the apples with sugar and butter were left in the pan for too long. Then there was an attempt to rescue the pie and continue cooking according to the standard procedure. What it ended up with was not a ususal apple pie but something new and unusual. As I was explained, it’s because of caramelisation of apples which in its turn is a result of the dish being put upside down. And shortly – if you are not a sweets hater, make sure to try tarte tatin, you’ll not regret, I promise.