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The Burgundian Table

Escargots with garlic butter from Burgundy France
Snails in Garlic Butter

Burgundians are passionate about both their food and their wine. Escargots à la Bourgogne, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Coq au Vin are just three of the famous regional dishes. Hearty meals these, but top chefs have updated their cuisine to appeal to modern day tastes, and as a result, there are 29 restaurants with the renowned Michelin stars, and one with three stars within Burgundy.

Snails and Jambon Persill Burgundy France
Escargots and Jambon Persillé

With prime ingredients – beef from the Charolais cattle seen grazing in the lush pastures throughout the region, esteemed chickens from Bourg-en-Bresse, wild mushrooms, snails, pigeons, quails, boar, venison and freshwater fish, this is nirvana for the gourmet. Small, independent suppliers are carrying on the tradition of excellence with patés, terrines, cheeses and sausages. You only have to go to the local markets to see the variety of the produce available, and the pride with which they are presented. Support for individual artisan food producers is something Burgundy excels in.

Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur, used for the aperitif Kir, and desserts, is a regional speciality. Mustard is synonymous with Dijon. The mustard powder is mixed with ‘verjus’ – the juice of newly pressed grapes – or slightly fermented white wine and is used extensively in cooking, creating the ‘Dijonnaise’ dishes.

The excellence of the cuisine goes back through history and remains at the forefront of life today. With the wide variety of the ingredients available, and the frequent use of red wine, some of the finest food in the world arrives on the Burgundian table.

See the Glossary of Burgundian Specialities

specialities in Franche-ComtE

Think country food, sustaining and well flavoured, focusing on the local ingredients such as milk, pork, chicken, mushrooms, trout and wine.

Sausage from Morteau or from Montbéliard is another speciality. (Paté from Morteau is also to be highly recommended - quite the best we have ever enjoyed.) Cured Jambon de Luxeuil and smoked ham from the Haut Doubs are famous too.

Taking the Vin Jaune, or yellow wine, Poulet de Bresse au Vin Jaune et aux morilles, (Bresse chicken with morel mushrooms in a wine sauce) and Truite au Vin Jaune, (trout cooked in wine) are favourites.

France’s Gastronomic Style Gets the Thumbs Up

The French have always been style gurus when it comes to food. The UN cultural organization has now included the multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and presentation on the ‘world intangible heritage’ list.

At the end of 2010 the UNESCO experts singled out French gastronomy as a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. How wines are paired with dishes, how the table is dressed, the precise placing of glasses, for water, red and white wine, knife blade pointing in and fork tines down, are all seen as part of the rite.’

See: Recipes from our Chef

Get the tastebuds going with our Festive Feast in Images of Burgundy

History of French Food

Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com