France has a range of different geographies and climates which support the local production of all types of ingredients; hence you can find a wide diversity in French food. French cuisine to a great extent is quite simple, relying on high quality fresh ingredients and less complicated recipes. Meals range from the very basic, such as the traditional baguette with cheese and an inexpensive table wine, to very elaborate affairs that can involve a many courses and different special wines. The most common accompaniments with French food are wine and cheese. In France wine is considered a standard part of everyday meals, and is neither expensive nor set aside for special occasions. In addition to its use in cooking, cheese is often served as a course in itself after the main meal but before dessert.
Every region of France has its own cooking traditions in terms of ingredients and preparation. French cooking can be broadly classified into three different traditions. First is the Classical French Haute cuisine, which involves cream based sauces in preparing dishes. Here the meal is correspondingly expensive as the food is elegant and elaborate prepared from the finest ingredients. Presentation of the prepared food is of high importance in Haute cuisine. The Second type in French cooking is the Cuisine Nouvelle; here the food is simpler and lighter, avoiding the heavy cream sauces. Cooking is less elaborate and quicker, with more emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Third type of French cooking is the Cuisine du terroir. This cooking focuses on regional specialties and is somewhat more rustic in character. Locally produced ingredients are made use to a great extent in this type of cooking. There are separate and special restaurants for each of these three different French cooking traditions.
Varying seasons have an impact on the type of food consumed by the French people. In summer, salads and fruit dishes are popular because they are refreshing, energizing and more over the produce is inexpensive and abundant. Green grocers rather than seeing fruits and vegetables getting spoiled in the summer heat prefer to sell their fruit and vegetables at lower prices as needed. At the end of summer, People would love eating mushrooms as it is available in plenty. The hunting season begins in September and runs through February. All kinds of animals are eaten. Shellfish and oysters is the major food when winter turns to spring.
There are a great number of French desserts that will make your mouth water. French desserts like Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse, Napoleon, Chocolate Eclairs, Apple Tarte Tatin, Lemon Meringue Pie, Cherry Clafoutis are famous across the globe. French cuisine has many interesting dessert recipes, which were invented throughout history, but also French cooks managed to improve, change, and invent varieties of dishes from cuisines of other countries. Like the famous Swiss fondue that got transformed to a French fondue with only small modifications. There are lot more desserts from many countries which have been modified by the French to come out with a new French dessert. There are lot of blogs and web sites specially dedicated for French cuisines which will help you in preparing delicious French food and desserts.