What Is a Classical French Menu?

What Is a Classical French Menu?

A classical French menu starts with some French bread and a variety of cheeses and patés, and is followed by a complex main course, such as Coquilles St-Jacques. After the hors d'oeuvres and main course, a dessert of mousse au chocolat makes for a perfect end to the meal.

The French enjoy a variety of cheeses, from Brie to Camembert on the milder side, to Roquefort or Cancoillotte, which are both very strong cheeses that are acquired tastes. A classical French menu serves these cheeses with a crusty French bread and fruit on the side.

Along with cheese, the French enjoy many forms of paté, from chicken liver to goose and duck liver patés. Foie gras is the most expensive form of paté, and is made from the liver of a duck or goose that is specially fattened by force feeding the animal corn.

Following the appetizers, known as hors d'oeuvres in French, a classic main dish with complex ingredients is typical. Coquilles St-Jacques are scallops served in the shell. It is made with a combination of spices, cream and Gruyere cheese, then baked in the oven with bread crumbs on top. Another classic French main course is Chicken Dijon, made famous by French chefs like Jacques Pépin.

Following these rich dishes is the even richer dessert of mousse au chocolat, also known as chocolate mousse. It is made with chocolate, butter, egg whites and sugar over a double boiler.