If you've ever been lucky enough to take a trip to France or even if you've just popped into a local French bakery in your neighborhood, you know that the French eat incredibly well. So if there is ever a culture we'd like to learn from in terms of how to cook and eat, it's the French. Here are just five of many things they've taught us about the pleasures of cooking and eating.
1. Stock your fridge with these 7 things and you're set to cook almost anything.
Keep your fridge stocked with a handful of essentials and you'll be able to pull together a meal without fuss. Eggs, cheese, butter, milk, mustard, jam, and white wine can be found in nearly every French cook's fridge. In a variety of ways, they make getting breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack on the table a whole lot easier.
2. More butter is always better.
Speaking of butter, there really is never too much of it, as far as the French are concerned. Julia Child taught us to not be afraid of butter, and we are forever grateful to her for it. Using butter to sauté vegetables or roast chicken always gives us more delicious results.
3. The best meals are often the ones you don't cook at all.
The French also taught us that you don't actually have to cook to have a successful meal. Some of the best meals are the ones that are assembled from simple, no-cook items like cheese, cured meat, crudité, good bread, olives, and fruit. Beyond that, all you really need is a bottle of wine to wash it all down.
4. When making salads, assemble the dressing right in the bowl.
Simple salads are a staple at the French table. There's no need to pull out a separate bowl to whisk the dressing in, though. Instead, make the dressing right in the bottom of your large salad bowl, then add the greens and toss everything together. It's less fussy, less messy, and, therefore, more French.
5. Loosen up your dinner parties and they're instantly more fun.
A dinner party shouldn't be a stressful event. Once you've embraced this mentality, you're sure to host them more often and truly enjoy them. Stop overcomplicating things and cook a one-pot dish, buy dessert, and even reach for paper plates if that makes cleaning up easier after the crew comes over to eat.
Read more: What France Taught Me About Dinner Parties
How has France changed the way you eat?