France’s ‘Comfort Foods’

If ‘comfort food’ means a dish associated with a sense of home or contentment, then it could be argued that most foods in France fit that label. Indeed, following the stereotype, French people regard food as altogether convivial, pleasurable and nourishing. In winter however, an emphasis is on warm, filling foods. Below are some classic examples (with links to recipes):

Fondue Bourquignonne

Fondue Bourquignonne: Swiss in origin, this dish involves a caquelon (name for the cooking vessel used for fondue) in which bite size pieces of beef (especially Charolaise, a breed of cattle from Burgundy) are plunged into hot oil by each guest. Once the meat is cooked, an assortment of sauces is used to accompany it, mainly mayonnaise, sauce béarnaise, and sauce tartare.


Gratin Dauphinois: An oven-dish made with thinly sliced and layered potatoes and cream, with a thick browned crust of gruyère cheese. The Gratin Dauphinois is a speciality of the Dauphiné region.

Raclette: Like Fondue, people gather, this time around a four à raclette (little electric table-top grill) placed on the table. Each guest puts some semi-firm cow’s milk cheese (known as fromage à raclette) in small pans called coupelles inside the grill. Once melted, the cheese is poured over boiled potatoes, vegetables and charcuterie (deli meats).