French Cuisine At its Finest
Each stop or “port” on a France river cruise is a step into the local culture and magic of the area, and each area has its own uniqueness. Lyon is a beautiful city, a cultural draw, a UNESCO World Heritage site as mentioned and therefore an historical attraction too – but it is for its food for which Lyon has become famous. Many areas in France offer delightful cuisine but it is the simple fare here elevated to gastronomical genius that has put Lyon on the map for gastronomes.
Paris immediately comes to mind when one thinks French cuisine but those in the know will tell you: no, go to Lyon, it has the reputation of being the capital of French gastronomy. The city boasts in excess of two thousand restaurants, and over twenty Michelin stars. Remarkable is it not! Famous chefs follow in the footsteps of a long succession of the Meres Lyonnaises, women from the 18th century to the 20th, who left their employ in the kitchens of wealthy homes to offer their recipes, made with local ingredients in original, tasty combinations, to the local workers and later, as their fame spread, to the upper class wealthy in the Mere’s restaurants of Lyon. Even most regular folk the world over have heard of Sauce Lyonnaise, Potatoes Lyonnaise and Coq au Vin, all traditional dishes. Consider sampling these dishes as well:
- Quenelles de brochet: These are dumplings made from pike and served in a creamy sauce.
- Gratons: These are bits of fried pork fat, usually served as a topping for salads or as a snack on their own.
- Cervelle de canut: This is a spread made from cheese, herbs, and shallots. It’s typically served on toast or bread.
But it’s not just traditional French food that you’ll find in Lyon. The city is also home to a number of excellent ethnic restaurants, so you can find just about any type of cuisine you’re in the mood for.