Poultry, beef, veal and lamb are popular meats that are available throughout the year in France, and game meat is often eaten during the hunting season. Fresh apples, berries, grapes, peaches and pears are among the most commonly used produce, while locally grown vegetables include potatoes, carrots, leaks and turnips.
The French are among the biggest consumers of cheese in the world, and a table is not often without wine in all parts of the country. Fine quality eggs are commonly served scrambled or hard-boiled. Locally grown fungi is featured in French cooking, and the truffle and button mushroom are two prominent examples. Seafood is also a staple of French cuisine. Cod, salmon, trout, muscles, shrimp, calamari, and canned and fresh sardines all find their way to French tables.
There is a strong regional influence on French cuisine. While French citizens who live in cities often dine on a multitude of dishes from across the nation, people in rural areas are more likely to eat what is grown and harvested locally. Northern France is renowned for its country-style specialties that feature apples, potatoes, beer and sausage. Southern France is known for sophisticated flavors that result from the influence of Mediterranean cuisine.