Are all French foods actually French?

French foods are famous worldwide, but are all French foods actually French? Take a look at these 5 foods and be honest, did you think they were all classic French dishes?

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Living in France made me realise French cuisine is more than meat dishes and patisserie. There are endless variations, and vegetables are an essential part of the meal. Served in a quiche, as a side dish or as a starter, there are many vegetable dishes to choose from.

There's a difference in French cuisine in restaurants and at people's houses. The main difference is that France has many simple dishes with few ingredients, but they mostly take some time to stew. The French love their dishes to simmer to absorb as many flavours as possible.  

French cuisine in restaurants is mostly a bit fancier compared to a home-cooked meal, but there are many different types of French restaurants. Some restaurants are costly (haute cuisine), others are almost as simple as a home-cooked meal and everything in between.

Cordon bleu

There are a lot of restaurants that use some variation of cordon bleu in their name. Therefore, you would think a cordon bleu is a French dish because it translates to "blue ribbon". 

Actually, a cordon bleu isn't even a French dish. It has Swiss origins, but the name comes from Le Cordon Bleu, a culinary institute in Paris, France. Besides a lovely classic piece of meat stuffed with cheese, you can also create a chicken cordon bleu casserole recipe to mix it up.


A quiche is known to be a classic French dish, but you're in for a shock. Quiche originates in Germany's Kingdom of Lothringen, then occupied by the French and renamed Lorraine.

Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine

French fries

French fries, frites or chips, whatever you like to call them, did you know they aren't French at all? Fries are actually from Belgium; French fries only refer to the language half of the Belgians speak.


You would think anything cheese with a French name comes from France, but that is not true for Fondue, a pot filled with wine and melted cheese. Fondue has his name because fondre in French means 'to melt'. 

In 1930 the Swiss Cheese Union declared fondue Switzerland's national dish. It has been a Swiss dish since the 1800s.

French toast

French toast is an old-fashioned way to use stale bread. In French, it's called pain perdu, which translates to 'lost bread’. 

French toast comes from Rome; it was called Roman bread back then. Nowadays, it's called French toast because a man named Joseph French replicated the dish in America in 1724.

French vanilla

On packages, websites or in print, you can sometimes read the ingredient French vanilla. Did you know vanilla beans are grown in countries like Madagascar and not even in France? The name ‘French vanilla’ is purely marketing and has nothing to do with France.

French press coffee

A French press is used a lot in America, but this device was actually designed in Italy by a man called Attilio Calimani, who worked in Milan, Italy.

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