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6 Dishes You Need to Try When in Paris
With classic recipes that have been handed down for hundreds of years and a cuisine represented all over the world for its original cooking techniques and fine dining, France holds a strong place in the hearts of most food lovers. For those without time to eat their way around the whole country, Paris offers some decent renditions of the country's regional fare, strongly rooted throughout history as one of Europe's most reputed dining scenes. Avoid the restaurants aimed at tourists and you'll be well on the way to gaining gastronomical ecstasy.
While this list focuses on the savory delights of the French capital, click here for some of the pastries and sweets you have to eat when you're in Paris.
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6 Dishes You Need to Try When in Paris
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Sometimes simple is just best, which shows clearly when snacking on one of the city's best jambon-beurres. A beautiful marriage of just three ingredients, a fresh, crispy baguette, quality butter and a good handful of Parisian jambon (ham), this classic sandwich is a perfect example of why some things just shouldn't be overdone. At usually less than five euros, it's a great way of saving a little while touring one of Europe's most expensive cities. It's also the perfect way to appreciate the French baguette, they just make them better here, period.
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Pastry, cream, bacon and eggs, it doesn't get any more comforting than this classic French dish. Quiche Lorraine originated from the region of eastern France but you'll find it all over the country, especially on the streets of Paris. If you've never tried it before, be warned, it can get quite addictive.
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Skip the steak frites when perusing the menu at a French bistro and order a duck confit (confit de canard) instead. It's more quintessentially French and unique compared to the aforementioned dish that seems to be eaten by tourists in every city in Western Europe. Duck confit is a dish made with love and usually a lot of time. Traditionally marinated with salt, garlic and herbs for over a day, it's then slow cooked for hours until beautifully tender. Most places will then fry the leg in duck fat briefly afterwards to get the skin crispy and brown.
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It might not exactly seem like much of a classic French dish but Paris is famous for offering some of the best falafel sandwiches in the world. Institutes such as L'As du Fallafel have become so famous in the city that it's almost a crime not to delve into Paris' multicultural offerings, many of which are brought from the influx of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East.
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The classic Parisian cafe staple, if you've managed to tour the city without seeing a croque monsieur or madame on the menu then you've been doing something very wrong. Like a French grilled cheese, with ham inside and more cheese (or bechamel sauce) grilled on the outside, the madame version features an egg on the top. It's comforting, classic and a perfect representation of how good French cheese reigns supreme.
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A hearty French stew that's perfect for if you're spending the winter months in the city, if you're looking for an all-round dish to represent the flavor of classic French food boeuf bourguignon is a strong contender. As a jambon-beurre showcases simple French cuisine, this dish lies at the other end of the spectrum, with intense rich flavors born from the use of quality French red wine, butter and beef or sometimes rabbit or other meats, accompanying herbs and vegetables such as carrots, onions and mushrooms.
With a cuisine deeply rooted in tradition that has spread all over the globe, it's no surprise the French capital offers an endless list of dishes to try, you could spend a lifetime in the city and still find things to taste.