When it comes to classical cooking and decadent flavors, look no further than France. With centuries of tradition and innovation, excellent French cuisine is some of the most celebrated and sought after.
Flavor giant McCormick has released the 23rd edition of its flavor forecast, in which the company predicts a rise in popularity for French cooking. The timeless flavors of France are almost universally desired.
Serge Krikorian is an Arkansas-based chef specializing in international and international-fusion cuisine, and he understands the growing popularity of French cooking.
“Modern French cuisine focuses on using fresh ingredients along with lighter sauces that enhance the natural flavors of food. By focusing on the flavors of the ingredients and letting them shine through, French cooking is a natural fit for trendy farm to fork cuisine,” Krikorian told The Food Institute.
The beauty in French cooking is that it relies on tried-and-true practices that many chefs and home cooks are privy to. From sautéed mushrooms to julienned carrots, many of the common preparation and cooking techniques used originate from French culture, and flavors in French cooking are not unlike other Western cuisines.
Any cook looking to amp up their flavor can take a note from the French. Many French dishes utilize fresh and natural ingredients with bold flavors. One of the staples of French cuisine are the rich sauces typically made from scratch, like béchamel and hollandaise. These provide a smooth and savory base to a seasoned protein, or make an excellent dipping sauce for sandwiches.
French dishes get a lot of their taste from full flavored fats. Poultry, beef, pork, and other meats are often highlighted in French cuisine, offering fatty flavors to otherwise bland dishes.
Full flavored fats can be utilized in various sweet and savory dishes, like browned butter chocolate chip cookies. These are food items that take advantage of naturally rich flavors coupled with naturally fresh ingredients.
French cooking goes far beyond fancy restaurant dining, too. Everyday French cuisine, or cuisine bourgeoise, incorporates basic spices and seasonings to achieve maximum flavor. Whether it be store-bought or farm-fresh herbs, French dishes regularly call for these added flavors to make the meal a stand out.
With these trends in mind, McCormick’s first-ever flavor of the year is a delectable Vietnamese & Cajun Style Seasoning. The unique flavor traces back to some of France’s history, and has its roots in southern Louisiana, as well as greater Houston. The mixing of these two international flavor palettes creates a wonderful combination using heat and savory flavors that can be applied to dozens of different dishes.
As home cooking continues to be a popular alternative to eating out and take-away, the practices of French cooking shall continue to play an important role in kitchens everywhere.