PARTY LIKE FRENCH!
Here is the ultimate guide of food and drinks to celebrate Christmas like French. Although menu from region to region differs a bit, there are dishes that make part of a traditional Christmas dinner in France and that you won’t eat on other occasions or time of the year.
Of course, like almost every dinner, the evening starts with an apéritif or apéro or pre-dinner appetizers. Foie Gras and Oysters are probably the first things coming to our mind as they really represent Christmas in France.
The foie gras (duck or goose liver), which is often home-made, is eaten on different kinds of bread, toasts or brioche with fig spread or onion confit. At LPB Market we do our own foie gras with 3 different flavours: traditional, winter spices and truffle.
Oysters are normally served with lemon wedges to squeeze or a mignonette sauce, made with red wine vinegar and chopped shallots with a pinch of black pepper. We love French Marennes d'Oleron oysters for their chewy and crunchy texture with the scent of the sea, soft nutty taste and light saltiness. For those who don’t eat shells, shrimps with home-made mayonnaise can be a replacement.
Champagne is a must-serve for the Christmas apéritif. You may want to pour a bit of Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant liquor) in it to make a Kir Royal. But if champagne is of good quality, no need to spoil it.
To pair with the foie gras you may consider a sweet wine, such as Sauterne from Bordeaux or Gewurztraminer from Alsace (available at LPB Christmas Market, just in case 😊)
STARTERS (LES ENTREES)
One can often find scallops, sea urchin, langoustines and salmon on a festive French table. Recently scallop tartar is getting very popular. Salmon can be smoked or gravlax-style - a delicious recipe where you live a piece of fresh salmon fillet marinate in salt, pepper and spices for 1 night in a fridge.
Seafood is normally accompanied by white wine such as Chablis or Chardonnay from from Burgundy or Sauvignon.
MAIN DISH (LE PLAT PRINCIPAL)
Roasted Capon or Turkey is one of the most popular and classic Christmas mains. They are roasted in the oven with a generous chestnut stuffing. The sides can vary from green beans wrapped in a bacon, truffle mushed potatoes or roasted baby potatoes.
Wild game is also often on a Christmas table, be it venison, wild boar or pheasant, served with red wine or red berries sauce (cranberries, for example).
Different kinds of fancy fish can also be part of the Christmas menu. French people enjoy turbot, monkfish or St. Pierre with sophisticated preparations, such as “monkfish blanket with morels”.
SALAD (LES SALADES)
Yes, green salad leaves with sauce called vinaigrette, comes after the main course and the reasons for this vary: some believe salad leaves clean the palate, others claim they help digestion.
CHEESE PLATTER (LE PLATEAU DE FROMAGES)
No traditional French dinner finishes without a cheese platter, and Christmas is not an exception. Normally a huge cheese platter with lots of different cheeses is offered just before the dessert. Some cheeses have also festive presentation, like truffle brie, for example. At LPB Market we have our own home made truffle brie, which is to die for!
Cheese is often served with red wine. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Côte du Rhone, Beaujolais – luckily the choice of French wines is enormous (do check on LPB Christmas Market 😊), champagne is also a great pairing with creamy cheese such as Brillat Savarin or Chaource.
DESSERT (LE DESSERT)
And the last traditional speciality is log cake or Bûche de Noël in French. It’s really one and only Christmas dessert. It’s shaped to present the wood log placed in the fireplace on the Christmas eve. Historical pastry cake has been more and more replaced by ice cream version and flavours do not limit to chocolate or chestnut any more nowadays.
If you are excited to celebrate Christmas à-la française, LPB Market offers attractive Early Bird promotions for both in-store and online purchases. Orders made till December 4th will enjoy a 5% discount on all items. Last order is December 12th, 2022.
LPB Market Team