Behind the French Menu gives a tasty background to French cuisine, French dishes, how they are made and how they should be served.
Where there is a story behind a dish's creation and
that story may aid the diner's enjoyment then that will also be included. Bon appétit!
An Agneau de Pré- Salé lamb from the fields of St-Valery, Picardie.
Lamb will be on many more restaurant menus in France than those of North America or the UK; French menus will also offer a far wider variety of recipes. If you enjoy roast lamb or grilled lamb, which the French prepare very well, they will expect that you prefer lamb slightly rare, roséin French.When roast lamb or grilled lamb dishes are on the menu, French waiters, unlike with beef, will rarely ask how you want your lamb cooked. If you have ideas that do not include lamb rosé,then advise and discuss your preferences with your waiter when ordering.
Agneau de Pré- Salé - Most agneau de pré-
salé lamb may be
sold when 5 - 9 months old; they will all have been raised by their
mothers. Then, for at least 60 days they must be allowed to graze in the salt meadows on France’s Atlantic shores.
On the coast of Bretagne, Brittany and Normandie, Normandy, and elsewhere along the
Atlantic coast, each village and farm where these lambs are raised, claims
their pré- salé lambs are the best.
Agneau de Pré- Salé lambsAOC with the island of Mont-Saint-Michel in the backround.
Pré- salé lambs will have been free to roam
and eat in the open pastures, close to the sea. The sea-air and the sea salt
flavors the grasses that the lambs feed on;
that creates a wonderful and unique, but certainly not even a slightly salty taste. Groups of agneau
de pré- salé
lamb farmers are now giving their lambs brand names, and more French menus are noting the
specific village or the area around the town where the lamb are raised. For lamb, succesful branding and recognition means higher prices for the farmer, and hopefully a better
product for the consumer.
Carré d’Agneau des Prés Salés Rôti aux
– A rack of pré-
roasted with the herb group called Fine
Do not let every French
title impress you, Pré-
Salé Agneau Gallois, may be on your menu, however, these are a tasty Gaelic
import from Wales in the UK. Wales in French is Pays de Galles, and
their fine pré- salé lambs are an important Welsh export; they will be excellent,
even if they are not from France.
Agneau de Pré- Salé lambsAOC in the fields below the island of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Two pré- salé lamb brands have been awarded AOC ratings
for their unique and consistent quality. In alphabetical order the first is
the prés-salés de la Baie de Somme AOC, named after the Bay of the Somme in Picardie, and the
second is the prés-salés du Mont-Saint-Michel AOC, pictured above, from the island of Mont-Saint-Michel
off the Normandie coast. Both these pré-
salé lambs must be raised by their mother’s for 60-90 days,
and then when naturally weaned allowed to graze freely in the salt meadows for at least
75 days. These lambs will be on French menus between July and February. Mont-Saint-Michel is also famous for
its unique and also AOC rated Moules de Bouchot, small mussels.