A Taste of France: The World of Preserved French Foods
French cuisine is known around the world for its delicious and complex flavors. One of the most interesting and tasty aspects of French cuisine is its tradition of food preservation. By using techniques like confit, pate, and rillette, the French have been able to preserve and enhance the flavors of their food for centuries.
If you're a fine food lover, exploring the world of French preserved foods is a must. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of the most popular French preservation techniques and how they're used to create some of the most delectable dishes in the world.
Confit: The Art of Slow Cooking
Confit is a French preservation technique that involves slow-cooking meat in its own fat. The result is an incredibly tender and flavourful meat that can be stored for months. One of the most popular confit dishes is confit duck cassoulet, a hearty and warming dish that's perfect for colder months.
To make confit, some sort of meat (most often Duck Legs) are seasoned with salt, garlic, and herbs, and then cooked in their own fat until tender. The meat is then removed from the fat and stored in jars, where it can be kept for months. When it's time to serve, the meat is reheated and paired with beans, sausage, and other ingredients to create a delicious and comforting cassoulet.
Pate: A Delicacy for the Gourmet
Pate is a type of meat spread that's made by grinding meat, fat, and other ingredients into a paste. The mixture is then cooked and chilled to create a rich and creamy spread that's perfect for spreading on crackers or bread. One of the most popular types of pate is foie gras, a luxurious and indulgent spread made from the liver of a specially fattened duck or goose.
Foie gras pate is considered a delicacy in French cuisine, and is often served as an appetiser or part of a charcuterie board. To make foie gras pate, the liver is seasoned with salt and spices, and then cooked until it's tender and flavorful. The liver is then pureed and chilled to create a rich and creamy spread that's perfect for pairing with a glass of wine or champagne.
Rillettes: The Perfect Appetiser
Rillettes is a type of meat spread that's similar to pate but has a chunkier texture. It's made by slow-cooking meat, usually pork or duck, in its own fat until it's tender enough to be shredded. The meat is then mixed with more fat and seasonings to create a delicious spread that's perfect for serving with crusty bread or crackers.
One of the most popular types of rillette is pork rillettes, which is often served as an appetizer or snack. To make pork rillettes, pork shoulder is seasoned with salt, garlic, and herbs, and then cooked in its own fat until it's tender and flavorful. The pork is then shredded and mixed with more fat and seasonings to create a rich and savory spread.
A New Take on Traditional Techniques
While these preservation techniques were originally used out of necessity, they have since become gourmet specialties that are enjoyed by fine food lovers around the world. In fact, many of the preserved foods that are produced in France today are made using the same techniques that have been used for centuries.
However, French chefs are also finding new ways to use these traditional techniques to create innovative and exciting dishes. For example, confit can be used to create flavorful sauces and glazes for roasted meats, while pate can be used as a filling for savory pastries and tarts.
Our supplier of Choice: Comtesse du Barry
Comtesse du Barry is a brand that embodies the elegance and refinement of French cuisine. Founded in 1900, the brand has a rich history of creating high-quality delicacies that are beloved by food lovers around the world. From their signature pates to their classic rillette, Comtesse du Barry's products are made with the finest ingredients and time-honoured techniques that have been passed down through generations. With a commitment to preserving the traditional flavours and techniques of French cuisine, Comtesse du Barry continues to be a leading brand in the world of gourmet food.
Their beautiful gift sets have been extremely popular at O&O and really are a perfect present for any lover of French cuisine.
Whether you're looking to indulge in something truly special or seeking to impress your guests with a culinary masterpiece, Comtesse du Barry's products are sure to delight even the most discerning palate.
You can find our full range of Comtesse du Barry products here.
Exploring the world of French preserved foods is a journey that any fine food lover should embark upon. These preservation techniques not only help to extend the life of food, but also enhance the flavours and textures of the dishes they're used in.
From confit to pate to rillette, there's a wealth of preserved French delicacies to discover and savor. So the next time you're looking to impress your guests or indulge in something truly special, consider incorporating one of these traditional French preservation techniques into your culinary repertoire. Your taste buds will thank you!