Page 0018

18 ơơɖieƒranceFrance, the most famous gastronomic

country in the world, is home to dozens of

much-loved dishes replicated in bistros far

and wide. But where do they come from?

Liz Rowlinson finds the story behind them.Crêpes Suzette

CÔTE D'AZUR

In 1895 at Monte Carlo's Cafe de Paris,

14-year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier

was preparing crêpes for the Prince of Wales,

the future King Edward VII of England, and they

caught fire in the orange liqueur syrup. The

result was so delicious that chefs have been

flambéing sweet pancakes ever since. 'Suzette'

was also a crêpe-serving Parisian actress, but

that's a whole other story!

Cassoulet

TOULOUSE

This humble meat and bean

stew of southwest France almost

certainly appeared after Christopher

Columbus introduced the white

bean to France from the Americas.

The first cassoulet is claimed by

the city of Castelnaudary, during

the Hundred Years War. It's named

after the cassole, the traditional clay

pot in which it is cooked. Whether

it features pork sausages, duck or

goose, it can be delicious.

Lyonnaise potatoes

LYON

Lyon is well known as the centre of French

gastronomy, and the city's bouchons (bistros

serving local dishes) have been influenced

by numerous nearby areas such as the Alps,

the Rhone Valley, Bresse, and Alsace. 'Lyonstyle' potatoes are sliced pan-fried

potatoes

and sliced onions sauted in butter with

parsley. Delicious!

Clafoutis

LIMOUSIN

Clafoutis was created in the nineteenth century using

the fabulous black cherries found in the Limousin.

The fruit is covered by a thick batter and served with

dusted sugar after cooking. The dish's name derives from

the Occitan clafoti s, from the verb clafir, meaning "to

fill" (with cherries). Purists use bigarreau cherries and

call a version made with apple, plum, peach, or pear a

flognarde, not a clafoutis.

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