On French river cruises you are never far from fine wine and wonderful food. After all, France remains one of the most famous countries on the world gastronomic stage, and there is really no better way to enjoy the many regional delights than on a barge holiday. Fine dining and luxury accommodation go hand in hand on French river cruises and the companies that run them aim to provide both in abundance. |
France’s lengthy waterways weave their way through many culinary rich areas; all are proud of their history, culture and traditions that are intrinsically linked to the way the locals eat. Burgundy is no exception, and if you choose any of the French river cruises that take in the rolling hills and tranquil countryside of this stunning region, you’re in for a treat.
Burgundy’s Beautiful Flavours
Justly famous for its world class wines, this region holds great acclaim when it comes to food as well. Perhaps because of the rich and fruity wines produced, the dishes that have given Burgundy its name on the international food stage have had a good head start. Indeed, wine features heavily in many recipes, but so does beef. The region is also well known as the producer of one of the world’s finest cattle breeds, the Charolais.
Beef and wine are two very rich ingredients and, together, if cooked correctly, they produce incredible flavours. The famous Boeuf Bourguignon brings them together perfectly, showcasing their depth of flavour and making the most of their attributes. The dish has peasant origins and uses just a few other ingredients: white baby onions, bacon, mushrooms and stock.
Meurette is another typical Burgundian recipe and a dish you will undoubtedly be treated to on French river cruises in the region . Again, red wine takes centre stage, but the sauce is made with mushrooms and flambéed with marc brandy. Commonly served with soft boiled eggs, you may also find it with fish or chicken.
Snails feature frequently on Burgundy menus and, despite being a delicacy, also have peasant roots. First they are stewed for many hours with white wine, shallots, carrots and onions, then they are then copiously stuffed with garlic, butter and parsley before being finished in the oven.
Other delicious dishes to look out for in the region include jambon persillé, which is a succulent ham flavoured with parsley, and tête de veau, known in English as calf’s head.
If you’re not big on your red meat and rich sauces, you can instead delight in the fabulous cheeses of this region. The Chaource is tangy and creamy, while the orange-skinned Époisses offers a more mature (although still soft) flavour. The goat’s cheeses from the Morvan are exceptional and the St-Florentin from the Yonne Valley is another wonderful soft offering. Eaten with a glass of red Pinot Noir after a meal, or enjoyed as a light lunch with a refreshing glass of Chablis, these cheeses are world class.
If you’re planning to visit Burgundy on one of the luxury French river cruises on offer, it is recommended that you book with a specialist travel operator. Let the experts take care of the finer details while you sit back, get the food and drink guide out and look forward to getting to the heart of Burgundy’s culinary heritage.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive luxury barge holidays. If you're looking for the best French river cruises or cruises to other great destinations they are the go-to experts. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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