If Only They Were French: 5 Well-Known Dishes That The French Can’t Be Thanked For!
Image Credit: The French-ness of these famous dishes revealed!

As a child of four or five years of age, I used to believe that the french fries that I love eating in the evening are actually from France. Growing up, for the longest time, this belief was sustained. After all, the name says it all and there aren’t a lot many dishes that associate themselves with a place in the naming itself. However, it was during my learning as a food writer that made me realise that the etymology of a dish often has a far deeper tale connected to it. Take the french fries for instance. As much as I would like to believe that they are French in origin, it is far from the truth. 

French cuisine is unapologetically, one of the most sophisticated and classy cuisines of the world. Artisanal food like wine and cheese are the most popular facets of this fare. Focused primarily on local produce and regional dishes, French cuisine has remained a rather inflexible culinary spread for decades until the late 20th century. From the grande cuisine to nouvelle cuisine, the journey has been that of evolution and adaptability. The French love their meats and vegetables as much as they love the wide array of cheese. Their exemplary cooking techniques and presentation styles still continue to rule the world of aesthetic culinaire. 

The elegance and flair of French food has served as a precursor for several cuisines of the Western world, inspiring and getting inspired from culinary master pieces around the world. Now that we know how artistic French food is, it can rightfully deemed that gaining expertise in this cuisine is no joke. However, we chanced upon certain popular French foods that are quite far from having French roots. 

Here are some of them which blow your minds away. 

1.  French Toast 

The origins of the French toast can be traced back to the Roman empire of 5th century A.D. It is believed that what is eaten as pain perdu in France today was actually a method devised by the Romans to utilize stale and old bread that hardened over time. Initially, it was treated as a warm and comforting sweet meat made without eggs. However, it later went on to include eggs in the milk, sugar and butter mixture. Interestingly, there’s another theory which states that a man named Joseph French sold the French toast in 1724, taking inspiration from his surname but forgetting the apostrophe. 

2.  Quiche Lorraine 

Quiche, for the uninitiated, is a special type of open pie which bears resemblance to the English pie as well as the French puff pastries. Quiche Lorraine is considered to be a classic French entrée which is stuffed with eggs, cream custard and smoked bacon. Although it is fancied as a French dish today, the origins of this quiche fall back in Germany. The historical traces of Quiche Lorraine can be found in Kingdom of Lothringem, which was a German kingdom in the Middle Ages. Renamed by the French as Lorraine in the latter years, this dish can be positioned on the borders of the French region of Lorraine and the German region of Alsace. 

3.  Croissants 

A typical day in France is incomplete without a hearty breakfast consisting of croissants. Flaky, rolled pastries, generally eaten with butter, croissants are usually deemed as a classic French dish however it isn’t the truth. These croissants have an Austrian ancestor called kipfel whose origins date back to 1227. Less flaky than the present-day croissants, the kipfels were usually filled with nuts or simply plain. It was when an Austrian artillery officer opened up his bakery in Paris under the name Boulangerie Viennoise that croissants were introduced to the French. 

4.  French Fries 

The crispy and crunchy potato snacks that most of us love eating today were actually a Belgian idea. Invented in Belgium by the villagers living near River Muese, the lack of fish during winters made them resort to fried potatoes instead. The period of World War I brought Americans in contact with this snack and the Belgians named it french fries since French was the dominant language in the southern parts of the country. 

5.  Macaroons 

The soft, round and colourful sweet treats of today that are relished as a French specialty should actually be credited to Italy. When Catherine de’ Medici acquired the role of a queen in 1533, she brought macaroons from Italy to France with her pastry chefs. However, today, no one can say that the macaroons are anything but French.