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Le Petit-Déjeuner Français

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February 1, 2015 / French / By
Nicola

Aside from the beautiful language and the great fashion, breakfast is the best thing ever to come out of France! The French are well known for their flavoursome cuisine, but in my opinion the best part is the wonderful set of delights that they have on offer at the beginning of each day.

The ‘Continental’ breakfast stems from Europe, and it usually contains delicacies such as pastries, cheeses and cold meats, as well as cereals, fruit and yoghurts. Of course, the French do eat a lot of these for breakfast, but they do also have a whole bunch of specialities that have grown to be popular in their own rights.

‘Croissants’, literally translated, mean ‘crescents’, which is particularly appropriate when you realise that croissants are always shaped into small arcs.

These wonderfully soft pastries are made by layering up very thin squares of pastry with butter. These layers are rolled out, folded up, then rolled out again several times over. This technique is called laminating and is a very important part of the process. The pastry is then rolled up in stages to create the traditional crescent shape that we’re all familiar with. After it’s been cooked, the pastry will be lovely and buttery, so much so that it’ll just melt in your mouth. These babies are best served fresh and warm for optimum satisfaction!

'Croissant' by Glen Scarborough via Flickr

Pains au chocolats are slightly different from croissants in that they contain the added wonders of chocolate! ‘Pain au chocolat’ means ‘chocolate bread’ in French, but this breakfast snack is made in almost exactly the same way as croissants, rather than being doughy like bread.

Pains au chocolats are rectangular, not crescent shaped like traditional croissants; hidden in the middle are small pieces of chocolate. When these pastries are baked, the chocolate melts, oozing through all the layers. As with ordinary croissants, these are absolutely delicious when served warm and oozy!

French toast is sometimes known by the other names of eggy bread or ‘pain perdu’ (‘lost bread’). It consists of bread which is dipped in a mixture of beaten egg and milk or cream. The best French toast includes the addition of vanilla and a small sprinkling of sugar at this point, as well. The bread is then fried very lightly, until it takes on a golden brown colour.

Although any type of bread can be used to make French toast, breads with a more dense dough work somewhat better as they are better suited to soak up all the liquid. Either way, the key to perfect French toast is to use bread that’s just starting to turn stale.


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Country: France

Province/State: Paris

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$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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