HEALTHY French Food
Updated: May 25, 2018
A lot of you think that “healthy” cooking cannot go with “French” cooking. Could it be a myth?
If you take a look at traditional French cuisine, the old adage is probably true. Foie gras and charcuterie, butter and cream sauces, vegetables sautéed in butter, potatoes fried in lard, cheese, lots of cheese, then a custard or a mousse for dessert, all in one meal … No doubt, the calories were too many, and the fat content was alarming.
Fast forwarding the evolution of French cuisine, the second part of the twentieth century brought some common sense to our eating habits, turning restaurant food and cooked-at-home food into a healthy diet with a burst of freshness brought by al dente vegetables, lean meats without heavy sauces, and lighter desserts. Less bread, less butter, less cheese.
Dieticians became more and more popular in the 60s and 70s, and most French people understood and accepted the new concept of a healthier diet with “Nouvelle Cuisine”, then “Cuisine Moderne”.
For more information about the differences between “Traditional French Cuisine”, “Nouvelle Cuisine”, and “Cuisine Moderne”, please watch my series of short videos on YouTube. You will find those interesting, and for sure they will make sense to you.
Of course, each region still has its own traditional dishes that have been and will still be passed from generation to generation, but those traditional dishes are usually not part of the daily French diet.
Finally, be prepared… If you go to Paris tomorrow, you will question the accuracy of this blog as soon as you see your first beef burger there, topped with bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions, two layers of brie cheese, avocado, and tartar sauce, served with French fries… I address the issue in an other blog, "America in France... Good or bad?"
Dieticians, doctors, and chefs certainly frown on those, but if you go to Paris tomorrow, you will have many choices, and you will be able to easily avoid the newer, health-disaster burger.
French cooking CAN be healthy, so let's get cooking!