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What are the common ingredients used in French street food?

Charcuterie Platter

Introduction: French street food

When it comes to French cuisine, people generally think of fancy restaurants with beautifully presented dishes served on fine china. However, French street food offers a different kind of culinary experience. French street food is an excellent representation of the French culture, offering a mix of traditional and modern flavors that are simple, yet delicious.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the common ingredients used in French street food. From the quintessential baguette to the flavorful charcuterie, we will explore the essential ingredients that make up the delicious cuisine found on the streets of France.

1: Baguette – the quintessential ingredient

The baguette is a staple in French cuisine and a critical ingredient in French street food. It is a long, thin loaf of bread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The baguette is used as the base for many French street food dishes, such as the classic jambon-beurre sandwich – a sandwich made with ham and butter.

French street vendors also use the baguette as the foundation for other dishes such as croque-monsieur, which is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and tartines, which are open-faced sandwiches topped with various ingredients.

2: Cheese – a staple of French cuisine

French cuisine is synonymous with cheese, and it is a vital ingredient in French street food. Cheese is used in various street food dishes, such as the famous croque-monsieur, which is made with gruyere or emmental cheese. Other dishes, such as raclette, feature melted cheese as a prominent ingredient.

French street vendors also use cheese as a topping for their sandwiches and tartines. Goat cheese, feta cheese, and brie are among the most commonly used varieties.

3: Charcuterie – cured meats for flavor

Charcuterie is a type of French cuisine that involves curing and preserving meat. It is an essential ingredient in French street food, adding depth and flavor to the dishes. Charcuterie is used in various dishes such as the jambon-beurre sandwich, which is made with cured ham, and the croque-monsieur, which is made with ham or bacon.

Other popular charcuterie meats that are used in French street food include sausages, pâté, and rillettes – a spreadable meat dish made with pork.

4: Croissant – beyond the breakfast pastry

The croissant is a popular French pastry that is often associated with breakfast. However, it is also a common ingredient in French street food. The croissant is used as a base for various sandwiches, such as the croque-monsieur.

French street vendors also use croissants as a foundation for sweet dishes, such as pain perdu – a dessert made from stale croissants that are soaked in a mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar before being fried.

5: Sauces – enhancing the taste of street food

Sauces are an essential ingredient in French street food, adding flavor and enhancing the taste of the dishes. Some of the most commonly used sauces include mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and béchamel sauce – a classic French sauce made from milk, butter, and flour.

Other sauces used in French street food include aioli – a garlic-flavored sauce, and hollandaise – a sauce made from egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice. These sauces are used in various dishes, such as the jambon-beurre sandwich and the croque-monsieur.

Conclusion: A taste of French culture on the streets

French street food offers a taste of French culture on the streets, with a mix of traditional and modern flavors that are simple, yet delicious. From the quintessential baguette to the flavorful charcuterie, French street food is an excellent representation of the French culture’s rich culinary tradition.

Whether it is a jambon-beurre sandwich or a croque-monsieur, French street food is an excellent way to experience the flavors of France while on the go. So next time you are in France, be sure to explore the street food scene and indulge in some of the country’s most delicious dishes.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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