It is a great irony that most publications on French cuisine ignore the men and women who enjoy French food but not its preparation and, like me, are not too interested in blow by blow recipes when reading a travelogue. It is time for those who pay the bills in French restaurants to have a blog that suits their interests, the food.
The posts in this blog try to ensure the traveler that he or she will not spend ten days in France eating only steaks with French fries or salad. Unfortunately, most English translations of French menus still leave the diner without a clear idea of what is actually being offered; that, despite one of the main reasons for visiting France is to investigate its world famous cuisine. France’s restaurateurs should do more for the visitor as France, by population, is the most visited country in the world; over 80 million visitors annually.
Behind the French Menu enables the tourist or traveler to learn more about the offerings on French menus, and when it is of interest, a dish’s history. More than just the translation of a menu listing is noted, the main ingredients will be explained, the way it may or should be served, and what the diner should look out for; where possible an idea of the expected taste is noted. With over thirty years of dining in France for almost one month every year, I want the reader to enjoy the culinary side of their visits to France as much as I do. Behind the French Menu joins the cuisine to the country and leaves the cooking to the chefs.
Those who, like me, enjoy food and travel stories at home, as well as those planning a trip to France, may also appreciate these posts at home. My occasional additions of objective and sometimes subjective advice, along with details about other local and national foods, wines and other celebrations that the visitor may participate in may also add interest.
Food and wine celebrations are noted along with their dates and places or with directions on how to get that information before you leave home. The dates of many celebrations change annually as French celebrations, like Carnival, while not religious today, are still tied to dates in the Christian calendar and the March equinox. The information on a particular cheese, wine or region famous for its cuisine will include the wine roads, cheese routes, cider trails, traditional baguette baking competitions, sardine fetes, new wine tastings, and more. France is a country that truly appreciates its foods and wines. Join in or just watch and or taste the offerings at the fêtes for oysters, hand-made cheese competitions, sausage fairs, fruit fêtes, garlic fetes, international pastry competitions and more. France’s food and wine celebrations are open to all and visitors are as welcome as the local citizenry. Celebrating France’s cuisine may be as enjoyable and rewarding as visits to France’s superb museums and Chateaux, and when taken together they all become magnificent.