French encyclopedia for children

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Add the power of Cambridge Dictionary to your website using our free search box widgets. Browse our dictionary apps today and ensure you are never again lost for words. Follow the link for more information. French wines are usually made to accompany French cuisine. French cuisine consists of the cooking traditions and practices from France.

In the 14th century Guillaume Tirel, a court chef known as “Taillevent”, wrote Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of medieval France. Escoffier, however, left out much of the local culinary character to be found in the regions of France and was considered difficult to execute by home cooks. Knowledge of French cooking has contributed significantly to Western cuisines. Its criteria are used widely in Western cookery school boards and culinary education.

John, Duke of Berry enjoying a grand meal. The Duke is sitting with a cardinal at the high table, under a luxurious baldaquin, in front of the fireplace, tended to by several servants, including a carver. In French medieval cuisine, banquets were common among the aristocracy. Multiple courses would be prepared, but served in a style called service en confusion, or all at once. Food was generally eaten by hand, meats being sliced off in large pieces held between the thumb and two fingers. The sauces were highly seasoned and thick, and heavily flavored mustards were used. The ingredients of the time varied greatly according to the seasons and the church calendar, and many items were preserved with salt, spices, honey, and other preservatives.

Late spring, summer, and autumn afforded abundance, while winter meals were more sparse. Livestock were slaughtered at the beginning of winter. Beef was often salted, while pork was salted and smoked. Brilliant colors were obtained by the addition of, for example, juices from spinach and the green part of leeks. The most well known French chef of the Middle Ages was Guillaume Tirel, also known as Taillevent. Taillevent worked in numerous royal kitchens during the 14th century. His first position was as a kitchen boy in 1326.