Bourgogne-Franche-Comté: delicious food and fine wines19-06-2017
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a sumptuous culinary smorgasboard, showcasing signature dishes and cooking skills achieving worldwide acclaim, just like its famous wines.
Stay tuned for a whistle-stop tour of the region’s famed gastronomic delights.
Introducing regional specialities from Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Here two regional cooking styles reflect huge diversity. The traditional recipes from Franche-Comté are fairly substantial, with cheese making a regular appearance in the most well-known dishes. This can be explained by the practically self-sufficient lifestyle led by local residents back in the day. During long winter months spent in the mountains, the peasants had to produce almost all their food themselves. They raised cattle and made their own dried meats and dairy products. These traditional foods are still in existence today, with a few minor tweaks. The culture of winemaking in the Burgundy region has also had a major influence on the local Burgundian gastronomy. Dijon is the region’s gastronomic capital, and holds the coveted title of “city of gastronomy” awarded by the French Government, joining other gastro sites of excellence such as Lyon, Tours and Paris-Rungis. A number of key gastronomic events, including the Dijon International Gastronomy Fair and the international biennale of culinary arts (BIAC), not forgetting the vast treasury of cookery books held at the city library, have all helped fuel the gastronomic image of this administrative capital of one of the world’s most famous wine regions: Burgundy.
The ultimate French aperitif
Kir is the famous French aperitif originating in the Burgundy region, originally made from “Crème de Cassis” blackcurrant liqueur from Dijon and topped up with “aligoté” dry, white local wine from Burgundy. Dating back to the 20th century, it was popularised by Dijon’s Deputy Mayor and namesake, Felix Kir. Kir is a well-known cocktail in France, and depending on the region, has a number of variants: Kir Breton made with cider or Kir royal made with Champagne to name but a few. Kir is traditionally enjoyed with “gougeres”, bite-size airy cheese choux puffs.
Starters: anyone for charcuterie?
Charcuterie occupies a very special place in the foods originating from the regions of Franche-Comté and Burgundy. And the best way to enjoy this diverse spread of dried and cured meats is with a good salad. Franche-Comté salad is an ideal choice – a melange of local “saucisse” from Morteau or Montbeliard, lardons, sauteed potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and some diced Comté cheese thrown in for good measure. Savour this salad with a wine from the Jura region, preferably a young, red wine such as Arbois, Cotes du Jura, Franche-Comté or even Arbois Pupillon. Burgundy is certainly not lacking either in pork-based meats, and the reigning champion is the famous “jambon persillé”. Originally from the Saone-et-Loire region, this variation on potted meat is made using chopped ham and parsley in jelly, and is an excellent accompaniment to a glass of Burgundy aligoté.
Main course: fattened chicken, beef and those famous snails
It would be difficult to single out one dish when faced with so many. But if you are already feeling full after the salad, the simplest choice would be to try a few of the famous Burgundy snails. And there’s no denying that the French love their molluscs, especially when cooked to perfection with lashings of garlic butter and chopped parsley. Usually served warm, the snails are even more delicious accompanied with a dry red wine such as Côte de Beaune-Villages. But for those in search of meatier menus, there is always the traditional “boeuf bourguignon”, beef prepared in Burgundy red wine and garnished with mushrooms, baby onions and lardons. Another hit from the Franche-Comté region is fattened chicken with morels, which allies the classic regional specialities of Franche-Comté – Bresse chicken and morel mushrooms – with “vin jaune” from the Jura. A mature, dry white wine would make an excellent match to this dish, such as a majestic Batard-Montrachet.
Cheese: the prestigious Comté
The region’s most famous and acclaimed cheese has to be Comté. Originally from Ain, Doubs and the Jura, Comté is a cow’s milk cheese characterised by its washed and brushed rind. With its quality AOC and AOP labels, it is best enjoyed with a “vin jaune” from Jura, such as L’Etoile vin jaune. Epoisses and Morbier are also famous cheeses from the region.
An honorary gateau for dessert
The “Temeraire” is a cake from Franche-comté made from apples, pears, grapes, hazelnuts and nuts. A regional speciality of Salins-les-Bains in the Jura, it celebrates Charles le Temeraire and his legendary visit to the town.
Hot of the press: mustard enhances food flavours
Dijon mustard is a stalwart of Burgundian cuisine. The appellation “Dijon mustard” was defined by a decree in 1937. It goes particularly well with sauce-based dishes.
A diversity of tastes expected with this Bourgogne-franche-comté menu, and you can expect also a successful appetizer with this matching recipe.