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Gastronomy in Northern France

Date Added: March 17, 2013 03:49:04 PM

For the French, food is not just something to fill up the stomach. For them, each meal is a celebration, a testament to their dedication to make and enjoy good food. Dining well is a part of their lifestyle and even the most humble peasant can enjoy good food. The French are known to be very particular about what they put in their dishes, which means only the best and freshest ingredients will do, from meat to herbs and spices. This is evident especially in Northern France, known for their excellent fish dishes and great beer. Just like the rest of France, specialty dishes originated from ingredients that are most abundant in a particular region.

Pot-Au-Feu and Beer in Nord-Pas De Calais

This region is known for its pot stews. Their specialties include Waterzoi, a variety of the famous bouillabaisse. It is made using different types of fresh water fish. It is similar to Hochepot, which has different kinds of meat and cooked with boiled vegetables and ox tail. The region is near the coast, so it's no surprise that delicacies such as the eel are rather common in specialty dishes. It is cooked in different styles, whether with herbs, cream, or/and butter. You can easily order this dish in one of those restaurants within Calais hotels or Le Touquet hotels or in any other restaurants in the area.

If you're the type who wants to feast on beer and sausages, then head to the city of Cambrai, where you must order their chitterlings and Bêtises sausages. You must also try their cheese, which is called Tome de Cambrai, which is left to mature in beer. This excellent cheese has a strong taste and a rather pungent smell, but tastes so good with their sausage. Finish your meal with a mug or two of their excellent beer.

The North is known for their beer-making trade, which produces specialties such as Trois-Monts, Gueuze, and white beer. If you are staying in one of the Lille hotels, take the time to taste their Flemmish carbonade, a sumptuous beef dish cooked in light brown sugar and beer. This tasty treat is best served with beer. For dessert lovers, their tarte aus mirabelles is a must-try. Another meat dish you will love is the Baeckaoffa, which is made of lamb, beef brisket, and potatoes, which are cooked in thyme, parsley, laurel, and a liter of Riesling wine.

Traditional Fare in Picardy

If you are more into simple and traditional dishes, then Picardy is the place for you. Here you will enjoy dishes with lots of fresh vegetables, not surprising since the area is a huge vegetable garden. Regional vegetable produce include apples, rhubarb, glasswort, chicory, watercress, and carrots. These fresh veggies can be cooked with the choicest catch from the Somme: zander, pike, carp, trout, and eel. The coast itself is a great source of herring, sea bass, dab, and sole. The nearby Picardy is a great source of shell fish. While in Picardy, you must dine on their ficelle picarde or their duck en croute. For dessert, Picardy makes heavenly macaroons made of almonds and honey. Wash everything down with a glass or two of cider, the staple drink in the area.

These are only some of the sumptuous dishes that you can enjoy in Northern France. Make sure to enjoy the gastronomic delights of the region, which will make your vacation twice enjoyable.