The French Ministry of Agriculture is on a mission to persuade people to eat seasonally which is a great way to help local farmers and other producers. So grab your panier and let’s see what’s best to buy in March…

VEGETABLES

Curly chicory is part of the salad family in the same way as lettuces such as Batavia and oak leaf are, and leaves such as watercress. It’s just perfect served charred with slices of warm duck breast and a sweet mustard sauce.

To elevate cauliflower, which in France is mainly grown in Brittany, to the next level, slowly caramelise it in butter – the sweet, nutty and buttery goodness makes a dish in its own right.

Yellow, white, red… onions are one of the most consumed vegetables in France with 660,179 tonnes harvested in 2019. Often used as a base ingredient, it can take more of a starring role in a gratin, with Parmesan cheese and a few drops of Menton lemon. Use the sweet onion of the Cévennes PDO or the pink onion of Roscoff PDO if possible.

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

FISH

Cockles and sea eels are great right now – why not use them to make a hearty bouillabaisse or matelote fish stew?

MEAT

When it comes to beef, you’re spoilt for choice in France, with more than 40 breeds – Limousin, Salers, Bazas, Parthenaise, to name but a few. For a mark of quality, keep your eyes peeled for Label rouge beef, which guarantees product quality and respect for animals. Aubrac Label rouge farm beef is particularly good and is the meat is characterised by the floral mountain pastures on which the animals graze in the summer months. Or look out for Parthenaise Label rouge, which has a very fine and marbled grain meat.

FRUIT

Winter pears are still packing plenty of punch. The Passe-crassane, easily recognisable from its stalk covered with red wax, is slightly tart; while the Doyenne du Comice IGP Savoie is juicy and sweet.

The pomelo – a cross between a grapefruit and an orange – is harvested in Corsica from February so should be in plenty supply on the market stalls now.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Why suggest items that are unknown and unavailable in the U.S.A…………It just does not make any sense…..!
    Suggest something that is locally grown and available……..
    Merci beaucoup……..!!!!!

    P.S. I am not referring to items like cauliflower but all the different names of good beef for instance…….

    • It is supposed to be a taste of “France”. I would have thought that a good butcher or meat supplier would be able to suggest suitable alternative cuts or types of beef.

    • Understand your frustration Peter, but not all of us live in the USA . For those of us in the SW of England for instance these are great suggestions.

    • Hi Peter,
      Our readers come from all over the world – aren’t we lucky? This article may be somewhat better suited to those already living in France, but you could always ask your butcher whether they can suggest an alternative to the cuts listed here!
      All the best,
      Elena

  2. This is beautiful French cuisine! A French magazine, using French names for types of beef etc. Youre in the USA so if you want to try a recipe exchange for USA breeds beef as i do in the UK. Its so wonderful to keep a counties identity, it makes it much more exciting!

  3. Reading Peter’s comment has just given me a clue… I have just posted a grumble on the French Onion Soup recipe that it was nonsense as it listed maple syrup as an ingredient and that is certainly not part of French cuisine. BUT is Taste of France actually written for the American market? If so, I withdraw my comments. I read this as a new resident of France (from Australia) so I find the what’s in season” articles very helpful. But appreciate not so good for overseas readers!

    • Hi Lorna,
      We have the privilege of having readers from all over the world! While our food news is sometimes more relevant to those of you lucky enough to be living in France, our recipes are for everyone. While they aren’t always strictly traditional they are twists on French dishes, or other cuisines reimagined with French flair!
      All the best,
      Elena

  4. What makes Taste of France so great is that it is French.
    I live in Northern Canada.
    The recipes and articles provide me with incentive to look for substitutes which can be found on the internet.
    I have learned a lot. Thank you.

  5. Okay Lorna. I too am from Australia. Are you aware that Canada also has French speaking provinces? Thus surely maple syrup can be considered French.
    I use the taste of France recipes and convert unknowns ino similar.
    I just love the simplicity of the recipes.
    And Peter, take note the world is bigger than only France and the USA

  6. Indigenous Peoples of North America taught the French in Quebec about maple sugar. Hundreds of pounds of it were exported to the French court in the 1700’s so there has been plenty of time for French cooks to have included maple into their repertoire!

  7. I read Taste of France as a resource for those of us living in France and certainly appreciate the Eating Locally column. It is a big help in planning what to buy at the market. Merci.p

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