Behind the French Menu gives a tasty background to French cuisine, French dishes, how they are made and how they should be served.
Where there is a story behind a dish's creation and
that story may aid the diner's enjoyment then that will also be included. Bon appétit!
Charcuterie-Traiteurs in France. The Ultimate Full Service Delicatessen?
Behind the French Menu
courtesy of Stijn Nieuwendijk.
Few charcuteries hold to their original trade of only selling
cured or pre-cooked meats, and few traiteurs keep to their trade of only
selling cooked products.Most have
become charcuterie-traiteurs and offer the full services of delicatessen
with the larger companies also offering catering services for hundreds. Many charcuterie-traiteurs
have expanded further by offering the services of a fromagerie, a cheese
shop, and others a boucherie, a butcher’s shop; many also offer a
limited but acceptable selection of wines and liqueurs.
Charcuterie- Traiteurin Lyon
Photograph courtesy of z_aurelie
In France, especially in
upscale areas, you will be absolutely staggered by some of the window displays;
one look in the windows of a leading charcuterie-traiteur and you will
realize that not only in the kitchens are exceptionally well-trained chefs, but
the staff in charge of food presentation are undoubtedly among the best in the
Photograph courtesy of jean-louis zimmermann
provide office or home delivery, and for visitors to France they are delightful
places to choose picnic lunches.French
families will order a take-away dinner with a soup or a salad and a main course
on days when no one feels like cooking.Others, with no prior advice may walk into a high-end charcuterie-traiteur and order a 5 star 7-course dinner
for 12 guests who will be served on the host’s best china. I have been invited
to a few charcuterie-traiteur
home catered dinners, and have enjoyed seriously well-prepared French cuisine
served together with fine wines, and at the end there were perfectly aged
cheeses, and fabulous desserts.
One page from a charcuterie- traiteur take out menu.
Photograph courtesy of jakez29120
The trade of traiteurs,
before the coming of restaurants was to provide cooked meals in their own
homes; when restaurants with large menus took away their business they opened
shops offering prepared soups, salads, stews, cooked meat and fish dishes.Today as combined charcuterie-traiteurs there are few prepared food
products that they do not sell. To compete with these high-end French
delicatessens, who are taking away a great deal of the upscale food business;
the larger supermarkets have added cooked-food departments, together with the
requisite mouth-watering displays. For a brown-bag lunch in the parkcharcuterie-traiteursare the place to go to.Few charcuterie-traiteurs offer any seating, though some, in
the summer may place tables and chairs outside.
Meats, pates and sausages on offer in a charcuterie-traiteur.
Photograph by cynoclub through Yay Micro
Traiteur Asiatic – An Asian delicatessen.The popularity of Asian cuisine has created a
demand for traiteurs specializing, in France, in Chinese and or
Vietnamese dishes. To keep up with the changing tastes of their clientele, many
of these traiteurshave
added sushi and other Asian specialties. When you want Asian cuisine as take-away
dinner then a traiteur Asiatique will offer a wider choice of cuisines
than a regular restaurant take-away.
Prepared foods in a TraiteurAsiatique
Photograph courtesy of livatlantis
For more about buying cheese in France and bringing it home read