While both brie and camembert are cow's milk cheeses, are soft-ripening, and have a white, flowery rind, the two aren't interchangeable. So the next time you are at the store and must choose between brie or camembert, here's what you need to know.
Mast Brothers Chocolate — an artisanal, bean-to-bar chocolate company in New York's Brooklyn borough — released its first cookbook last week, entitled Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook ($40). Flipping through the thick pages and stunning photography, you'll see recipes for rich chocolate desserts like ice cream and soufflé, but prepare to be truly mesmerized by the savory chocolate recipes like chocolate scallops and cocoa coq au vin.
Coq au vin, or chicken with wine, is a classic French dish, where a whole chicken or rooster is braised in a red wine sauce. This particular recipe calls for the addition of cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate.
Cheeses of France visited us to promote its Everyday Perfect campaign, an effort to empower Americans to use French cheeses in everyday recipes. As we made our way around the cutting board of foreign treats, we finally landed upon a blue cheese called Saint Agur.
To our complete amazement, we learned that the French often slather a baguette with cultured butter, then top it with creamy blue cheese. It sweetens and mellows out the funkiness. Though butter and cheese sound like an odd enough pairing, we skeptically followed the suit of our French-born cheese representative.
Sure enough, our eyes lit up to discover a brilliant new way of eating blue cheese. The butter softens the stinky blue cheese's edge and even sweetens the flavor. We are forever converts, and we think you will be too.
It's fun to keep up with the latest trends, but I like to think that classic dishes are just that for a reason: they're always in fashion. To many, it doesn't get more classic than the grand dame of French cookery, Julia Child. So it only seems fitting to crack the spine on her seminal masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and get searching to find a recipe of hers to make time and time again.
Not too surprisingly, flipping through the pages of pithy prose and detailed instructions provided ample inspiration — one could easily spend a year devoted to cooking from the hefty tome — but my penchant for anything and everything soup eventually led me to settle on her classic recipe for potage parmentier (otherwise known as potato leek soup).
Never experimented with fleur de sel, herbes de Provence, or French lentils? That's OK, because we're going to share our favorite products to bring that much-needed je nais se quoi to your table. For those not too familiar with French cuisine, it relies heavily on ingredients like butter, fresh fines herbes (translation: fine herbs), and citrus like lemon, but despite the use of predominantly perishable items, there are a number of pantry staples each Francophile should keep in the kitchen. Store the best of France in your cupboard with these 10 essentials.
If legendary television chef and author Julia Child were still standing, she'd be turning 101 years old today. Should you find yourself craving one of the culinary matron's masterpieces, flip on some reruns of The French Chef or In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs, then make yourself an authentic French recipe from scratch, courtesy of JC. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Why This Recipe Works
For an impressive yet effortless French apple tart, we started with two supermarket staples: store-bought pie dough and jarred caramel sauce. The pie dough gave us a light, flaky tart shell, while the caramel sauce provided a sweet, glazy coating for our apple slices. For complexity, we added a bit of vanilla, plus a rather unexpected ingredient: garam masala. Microwaving the apples drove off moisture that would have made the bottom of the crust soggy. Glazing our baked tart with more caramel gave it an elegant shine, and vanilla ice cream made the perfect garnish.
Garam masala comes in many variations but consistently includes black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, and dried chiles; it may also have cumin, cloves, fennel, mace, or nutmeg. It's commonly used in curries and stews, but we found it also added warm spice notes and complexity to our French Caramel Apple Tart. Our favorite brand is McCormick Gourmet Collection Garam Masala, which tasters praised for its "mellow," "well- balanced" aroma.
If you're daydreaming of a French getaway in honor of Bastille Day, then these reads are sure to satisfy that feeling of wanderlust — at least while you're reading. Classic novels, travel memoirs, beach reads, fashion biographies, and more create a fun reading list for every kind of Francophile. Before you stock up on books for your next vacation, take a look at our favorite must reads for people who love all things French!
Today commemorates the storming of the Bastille, so celebrate La Fete Nationale with some wonderful French cuisine. What better way to pay tribute than to cook up a storm in your kitchen? Here are 17 Franco-influenced recipes full of bold flavors that are sure to prepare you for Bastille Day.
— Additional reporting by Lisette Mejia