The history of French cuisine dates back to the middle ages. During this time French meals where very similar to Moorish Cuisine, and were served in a style called service en confusion, meaning that meals were served all at once. Meals consisted of spiced meats such as pork, beef, poultry, and fish. In many cases meals where determined by the season, and of what food was in abundance. Meats were salted and smoked to preserve, and vegetables were also salted and put in jars to preserve for the winter months.
In the late 19 th century and early 20 th century there began a modernization of haute cuisine. Much of this new cuisine owes its development to Georges Auguste Escoffier. Escoffier was chef and an owner of many restaurants, as well as a culinary writer. Much of Escoffier methods in modernizing haute cuisine were drawn from the recipes of Carême. By simplifying Carême recipes as well as adding his own touches Escoffier was able to develop a new modern French cuisine. In his efforts to modernize French cuisine Escoffier also developed a system to organize and manage a professional kitchen.
The classic port and cheese pairing is vintage port with blue-veined cow’s milk cheeses. Vintage port is also a good match for other full-flavored cheeses, both hard and soft, like a mature cheddar or Pont-l’Évêque. Late bottled vintage ports also work well with soft, creamy cheeses such as Brie. Pair Ten-Year-Old Tawny with hard, mild sheep’s cheese. White port – a fortified wine with a lot of body – goes well with Brie or a hard cheese such as Gruyère. Ruby port works well with full-flavored goat’s milk cheeses.
French soil is suitable for growing grapes, which are used for making some of the finest wines in the world. Food and alcohol play important roles in French society and matching wine with food is a science and an art in France.
White wine: Spring vegetables like artichokes and asparagus can be tricky to be paired because they can make wine taste oddly sweet or even metallic. One wine that works perfectly is a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc and it’s a perfect match with egg dishes, Ile de France Goat Cheese and Ile de France Roquefort.
Chicken and turkey -with White Burgundy or a sweetish Loire White, Alsace Pinot Gris wich is perfect for Pâté de foie gras.
Riesling with hard cheeses like Fol Epi and Etorki
Red wine: snails with Beaujolais-Villages, Fleurie
French Onion Soup – Generic Bourgogne Red
Duck – Canon-Fronsac
Roast beef = with a fine Burgundy or Hermitages,
Blue cheeses with port or mulled wines, Goat and sheep’s milk cheeses with full-bodied reds, Ile de France Brie cheese or the new Normandy Camembert with light-medium reds.
Rosé: Artichokes – Tavel or Côtes de Ventoux Rosé
Salade Niçoise with Côtes du Lubéron
Ile de France Goat Cheese with rosé from the Chateaumeillant region, Cantorel Roquefort with an extra dry rosé wine.
Rabbit Rillette with Dijon Mustard, Onion Tuna Carpaccio, Cornichon Terrine Maison – light, a little bit sweet beer with anbalanced taste as an All Malt Premium Beer.
Sauteed Calamari with Chorizo and Lamb navarin – smooth and balanced bitterness with a crispy dryish taste as an Super Dry beer.
Serving with roasted root vegetables, or cooking with truffles and wild mushrooms, can only help to downplay the alcohol and enhance the earthiness and beauty of the Cognac. The acid is key, and it is the balance of acid to fruit or sweetness that will make or break the match. It is matching with roast beef, stews and marinades, cassoulet, ris de veau, lobsters, langoustines, oysters, clams, mussels, rabbit, caramelized shallots, roasted garlic etc
Champagne is sometimes served with dessert. But only a demi-sec (or equivalent Crémant de Loire) can stand up to a sweet pudding.
Caviar can be paired with a dry champagne while Ile de Brie France cheese with a light and fruity champagne, Ile de France goat cheese with a full-bodied, rich champagne, Fol Epi with a nutty flavored champagne and St. Agur with an ultra sweet and light pink champagne.