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Facts About French Food
Part 2


1.  Le fromage de tête literally means 'the cheese of the head'.  It contains no cheese though!  It is a form of pâté (or brawn) that is made mainly with a pig's head (tête), tongue (langue) and ears (oreilles).  The meat pieces are held together in a jelly.

2. Le pain perdu literally means 'the lost bread.'  It is similar to what is called 'French toast' in English.  Bread is sliced, dipped in a mixture of beaten egg and milk, then fried or baked. 
Le pain perdu can also be eaten in a sweet version by sprinkling sugar on top.

Originally, it was a dish for poor people who had some left-over bread that they wanted to put to good use. 


6.  La sauce chasseur means 'hunter's sauce' and it usually accompanies chicken or white meat.  Originally, the sauce was used in the cooking of a wild animal killed by a hunter.
The sauce contains white wine - le vin blanc, onions - les oignons, mushrooms - les champignons, tomatoes - les tomates, parsley - le persil and butter - le beurre.

 7.  Le confit is a method for preserving meat, fruit or vegetables.  It is an ancient form of preservation, developed before the invention of refrigerators.  Popular confits are:-
le confit de canard (duck preserve)
le confit d'oie (goose preserve)
le confit d'oignons (onion preserve)

To prepare poultry for un confit, the meat (usually the legs) is covered in salt and herbs, then refrigerated.  Later, the meat is rinsed and cooked in a dish in the oven or on the hob.  It is important that the meat is cooked slowly in its own fat.  The cooked meat is very tender.


Finally, the meat is placed in a container and covered in the liquid fat in which it was cooked.  When it all cools, the fat hardens and seals the meat - preserving it for up to several months.

Photo -  A jar containing pieces of duck (le canard) sealed underneath the cooled, hardened fat.  The duck will keep fresh for several months.

If le confit  is sealed in a can, it can keep for  several years. 

8.  The meat of le confit  (as above) is often used in a stew called le cassoulet.  This stew is a mixture of meat, sausages and white beans - les haricots blancs

Often, the top of the stew is covered by a layer of breadcrumbs known as la chapelure

Le cassoulet  is served warm as a main course (un plat principal).  It is cooked in an earthenware pot called une cassole.  The stew's name cassoulet comes from the name of the pot. 



9.  La confiture is the word for 'jam' in French.  As you can see, the word confit is hidden in the word 'confiture.'     Confit = preserve, and jam (confiture) is a way in which to preserve fruit. 

10.   Une compote is a dish of gently stewed and sweetened fruit.  It can be served warm or cold.

11.  Un sorbet is a frozen mixture of fruit juice, fruit and liqueur.  It has a similar appearance to ice cream (la glace) but it is much lighter and fruitier because it contains no dairy products such as cream.

12.  La mousse au chocolat is a traditional cold dessert.  It is a creamy foam mixture of dark chocolate (du chocolat noir),  egg yolks (des jaunes d'œuf), sugar (du sucre) and butter (du beurre).  Sometimes it will be flavoured with brandy or rum.  It can be served with cold custard.  In French, custard is called la sauce anglaise - meaning 'English sauce.'


13.   A very