We've gobbled our fair share of tacos, and slurped pho with the best of 'em, but when it comes to a special occasion, French cuisine still wins out. Forget the berets and clichéd croissants, this Bastille Day we’re going for all out indulgence.
9 Jul 2014 - 2:05 PM  UPDATED 14 Jul 2014 - 9:53 AM

1. Style is in the subtleties

French fashion icon Coco Chanel instructed: “Less is always more”, and when it comes to dressing – both outfits and oysters – we tend to agree. This seafood starter from Feast magazine is trimmed with champagne sabayon

2. Egality, liberty and onions

Onions are the vegetable kingdom’s answer to Napoleon. Enjoyed by peasants and aristocrats alike, they’re classless culinary crusaders. Honour the layered vegetable in this simple, yet scrumptious, onion soup

3. Prunes are only for eating

Home of French-kissing, the “City of Love” and plenty of saucy movies, France is no place for prunes, unless you’re talking in fruit terms. This prune and raisin tart comes from the region of Pau, where plums are plentiful and commonly dried for desserts. 

4. Cool as a cucumber

Poised, stylish and enviably aloof, French women sure know how to work it. Their secret? Cucumbers. Add them to G&Ts, incorporate into your mud mask regime and serve with smoked trout for terrine with a twist

5. Cheesiness can be chic

Imagine a world where cheesiness was applauded, not relegated to D-grade comedies. Oh wait, such a place exists! It’s called France. Double your fromage fix with Gabriel Gaté’s recipe for morbier and comté cheese salad

6. Cream rises to the top

In the 1950s film Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn studies cookery in Paris and struggles for soufflé success. Need your own incentive? Just take a look at this chocolate variety from Feast, served with hazelnut ganache. Bon appétit. 

Chocolate soufflé with hazelnut ganache

7. Offal isn’t ostracised

Pates and terrines, like this chicken and pistachio version, are edible proof of France’s meat-eating persuasion. The cuisine is heavy on animal products, so vegans, please look away.

Via Feast magazine 

8. Enemies are best buttered up

Snails often receive a bad rap outside French borders. We think it’s time for a mollusc mutiny! Invite the haters over for escargot with herb and walnut butter. The dish is guaranteed to triumph. 

Snails with herb and walnut butter (escargots aux beurre d’herbes et de noix)

9. Wine not?

According to Slate: “In France, having a glass of wine isn’t a luxury. It’s more like a human right.” Follow this wisdom and whip up cherry and Beaujolais syrup with almonds. Santé! 

For more French recipes that rise to the occasion, check out our Bastille Day collection.


Catch Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté every night as part of SBS’ coverage of the 2014 Tour de France, nightly from 10.00pm AEST July 5 – 27. For videos, ingredients guides and recipes from the show, check out the Taste le Tour website.