French Food Lesson for Kids: Facts & History

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Have you ever eaten French food? Chances are good that you have! In this lesson, discover the history of French food and the chefs that modernized it. Discover how many ways an egg can be cooked and what bouillabaisse is.

Cheese and Crepes

Do you like to eat cheese or French bread? How about chocolate mousse or crepes, also known as French pancakes? If so, you're already familiar with French food. French cuisine (pronounced 'kwu ZEEN') has influenced what people eat all over the world. Cuisine is a style of cooking that is specific to a certain country or region.

Crepe Suzette
suzette

France is well-known for its cuisine. French food can be light or heavy, buttery or spicy. Let's discover more about French food, its history, and the chefs that have made it famous.

High Cuisine

Would you ever consider eating a peacock or roasted swan? During Medieval times in France, these dishes were considered yummy. Cooks would even sew the bird's skin back in place, along with its nose and feet.

Moving ahead to the 1400s and 1500s, food in France got better. An Italian princess named Catherine de' Medici married Henry II of France and she brought her Italian cooks with her when she moved to France. Back then, Italy was way ahead of France in the culinary arts, which is the art of preparing, cooking, and presenting food. France learned a lot from the inventive Italians.

By the 1800s, French chefs were getting creative. There was a modernizing of Haute Cuisine, also called High Cuisine, which used high-quality food and was considered fancy.

Artistry

Did you know that prior to the 1700s, people didn't go out to eat unless they were traveling? They always ate at home. But this started to change thanks to French culinary artist Auguste Escoffier, who was born in 1846.

Auguste changed the way restaurants were run. Not only did he treat his kitchen staff like family, he also believed that anybody could be a cook, but a chef was a true artist.

Auguste Escoffier, 1914
Auguste

Believe it or not, Auguste knew 600 different ways to cook an egg and perfected the French fries we love today. He wrote cookbooks and helped modernize French cuisine.

The French Chef

Have you ever watched a cooking show on television? In the 1960s, there was only one well-known cooking show. It was called The French Chef and it starred a woman named Julia Childs. Julia was American, but she had mastered the art of French cooking after attending Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, France.

Julia Childs
Childs

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