When you visit us in Paris and enchant us with your wondrous adventures around France zipping from city to city enjoying their regional delicacies, we want to join in on the fun too! At least through the food and drink! This is a new series to help guide you through the gastronomical highlights of the different regions of France laying out the must-eats for your trip - Commençons avec La Lorraine!
The first thing that comes to mind is of course... La Quiche Lorraine! An absolute staple of the region - but did you know that the quiche that we all know and love, seemingly a French creation, is said to actually be German first-and-foremost? Since La Lorraine borders Germany, it's easy to see how this dish made its way to the Lorraine region. Originally baked in a brioche shell by nos voisins allemands (our German neighbors) with a filling of eggs, cream and lardons - our beloved Quiche Lorraine is made with Pâte Brisée ('Broken Dough') known for its buttery flaky goodness and of course fromage was added to the filling for sound of mind.
Mirabelles, oh Mirabelles... If by a stroke of luck you're heading to the Lorraine region by the end of summer, don't miss out on the last pickings of this regional fruit! Mirabelles are a plum variety, bright yellow in color and an absolute treat to snack on. During off-season, you can enjoy them in jams, sweets, syrups and.. brandy! The local brandy known as the Eau-de-Vie de Mirabelle is an aromatic spirit with a deep flavor of plum, baking spices and is slightly sweet - yum!
La Lorraine is also home to the Val d'Ajol Andouillette - a regional favorite that only a handful of artisan bouchers even qualify to certify their sausage under this specific designation. It's a smoked sausage made of pork spare rib, intestines, herbs, pork fat, spices and white wine. Andoille is held in such high regard thay they even hold a yearly festival in February dedicated to this sausage - it's certainly worth a trip in itself!
If fromage is the name of the game, be on the lookout for Munster, also known as minschterkäs in the Lorraine Franconian Language. Made from the milk of the cows that grace the mountains of Les Vosges, Munster is crowned by many as the 'Roi des Fromages' (King of Cheeses). It has a deceptively strong odor but once cut open, it gently delights your senses with a soft creamy taste that pairs well with sweets such as honey. The longer the cheese goes through its aging process, the stronger the odor and yet the softer the taste.
Ask anyone in France what a typical goûter (snack) consists of, and they would be hard-pressed to not include the famous Madeleines. Some say that the legend of this iconic pastry begins all the way back in the 17th century with a humble cook named Madeleine. She worked for the Duke of Lorraine and his wife Maria was so enamored by the delightful little cakes, that she introduced them to the royal court in Versailles... and the rest is history! Try our Madeleine Recipe if you're ready for a snack!
In the spirit of sweets, another famous french delight that comes from la Lorraine region are the Macarons de Nancy! While these treats share a similar base recipe as Macarons de Paris - they are not to be mistaken. These delicate little almond macarons share the same round shape as the macaron shells you make in our class, but are served as-is without making them into a 'sweet sandwich' with filling inside, and are perfect as such! Recognized by their light brown color and cracked top - they are irresistibly soft, crunchy and sticky all at once! Originally created by two Sisters of Les Dames du Sacrement in response to their convent's meatless diet, while there are good imitations of their recipe at many shops, they kept it well guarded over the last two centuries. But that doesn't mean you can't try the authentic recipe! To this day, the only place you can try the original Macarons de Nancy, also known as the Macarons des Soeurs Macarons, is at the Maison des Soeurs Nancy, located in Nancy, Lorraine.
As wine deserves a section all to itself, you can find our beginner guides to French Wines on our blog!
To learn more about wines from the Provence Region, click here.
To learn more about wines from the Sud-Ouest Region, click here.
To learn more about wines from the Bordeaux Region, click here.