Are you looking for the most popular French snacks?
We have heard about how the French prefers light breakfasts and how there are multiple courses when it comes to lunch or dinner meals. But what about snacks? These light, easy-to-prepare or readily available meals are convenient when you travel from one city to another.
They are often served on a train. They are available in market stalls or small shops, easily accessible as you stop for a quick bite in between exploring a neighborhood or city.
With France being a hotspot for good food, you may want to consider a little food tour featuring snacks during your vacation. What do the French have to offer when it comes to these light yet filling meals? Here’s our list of the best French snacks to try. Bon appetit!
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French Snacks: 15 Popular Snacks To Try When You Visit France
1. Biscuits de Reims
It was bakers in Reims who invented these snacks as a way to utilize the bread oven’s heat for baking purposes. They also came up with the brilliant idea of dyeing the black vanilla seeds a bright red.
A glass of champagne is the perfect accompaniment to this cake, which has taken France by storm since 1960. The tiramisu can be made with these delicious treats in place of traditional biscuits.
Flour, sugar, white wine, and flavorings like anise or lemon zest go into making these traditional Corsican shortbread cookies. Canistrelli is baked twice, making them extremely crispy and long-lasting.
It’s common to have canistrelli for breakfast with hot beverages, but they’re also a great sweet snack to enjoy with a glass of white wine.
3. Chaussons aux pommes
A delicious apple compote fills the French turnovers known as Chaussons aux Pommes. The turnovers are made with apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, puff pastry, and beaten eggs.
Chunky pieces of apple are added to a bowl along with flour, sugar, and cinnamon, and stirred to combine.
Frozen custard is layered inside a round of puff pastry that has been folded in half and egg-washed on both sides. The egg wash is also used to brush the pastry’s top, which is then baked until golden brown and puffy. This is a tasty and filling snack best paired with coffee or tea.
Choquettes are airy pâte à choux pastry puffs studded with the so-called “sucré perlé” (lit. pearl sugar). They are incredibly tender and extremely light. When baked, the sucre perlé maintains its shape and crunch.
Chouquettes are essentially profiterole shells and are classified as viennoiseries or, more precisely, pâtisseries viennoises.
These baked goods can be found in bakeries across the country and are traditionally eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack known as “le goûter.”
The thin pa cakes called crêpe originally became popular in the northwestern French region of Brittany.
It is traditionally filled with sugar and salted butter, but if you’re looking for something a little different, you can experiment with berries, caramel, and, yes, Nutella.
While a crêpe is usually savory, it shouldn’t be confused with a galette (also in this list). The gallete is usually sweet because it is made with buckwheat flour and often filled with meats, vegetables, and other savory ingredients (think cheese, eggs, ham).
Custard-filled eclairs, which originated in France in the 19th century, are a delectable snack. This treat was known in France as Pain La Duchesse or Miniature Duchess before it was renamed Eclairs in the 1850s.
Eclairs’ exteriors are made of puffy, choux-based dough. Once the pastry shells have cooled, the chefs will fill them with custard or whipped cream and then decorate them, usually with sugar swirls or flowers.
Galette-Saucisse is a French pastry that originated in Upper Brittany and has since spread throughout this beautiful country. Basic ingredients for a Galette-Saucisse include grilled pork sausages, an outer layer of crepes wrapped in mustard, and additional mustard to taste.
The buckwheat crepes portions are usually prepared ahead of time by the vendors/cooks so that they can be served alongside the freshly made and sizzling hot sausages.
Puffs of choux pastry filled with grated Comté, Emmentaler, or Gruyère cheese are known as gougères. When served cold or at room temperature, these cheese puffs go well with sparkling wine or champagne, but they can also be heated up and served as an appetizer.
Le Ramequin de Bourgogne, a store in Burgundy, was where the snacks were invented in the 17th century. There are a variety of fruit jams that can be served alongside gougères if you prefer a sweet version instead.
9. Marrons Glacé
Marrons Glacés as they are known in France and Italy, are candied chestnuts. There is a long tradition of making this glazed chestnut delicacy, which dates back to the 16th century.
The sweet chestnut variety known as “marrons” is larger than other types of regular chestnuts. This means that the Marrons Glacé may be a bit pricey, but its flavor is worth every penny.
To counteract the overpowering sweetness of the chestnut’s exterior, its interior has a delicate, rich flavor. These sugar-coated chestnuts are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.
10. Pain Au Chocolat
The appearance of Pain au Chocolat and the croissant are very similar. Actually, the ingredients in both are essentially the same, as well. The main distinction is the filling, which the French refer to as “Pain au Chocolat” (literally “Chocolate Bread”) more frequently than any other name.
“Chocolatine” is the name for this dessert in southern France. It’s best to eat Pain au Chocolat as soon as it’s taken out of the oven, or even better, while it’s still hot. This snack is best served with hot beverages.
11. Pain aux raisins
In making the French snack known as Pain aux Raisins, pastry chefs use a mixture of leavened buttery dough, raisins, and crème pâtissière. After it’s been stuffed, this dessert is baked until the edges are a little golden brown.
When served for breakfast, pain au raisins are usually accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea, but they can also be enjoyed at any time of day.
12. Palets De Dames
The palets de dames are a common pastry in patisseries throughout northern France and Belgium. Typical flavors include apricot jam and lemon-sugar icing, but other flavors include rum, vanilla, or aniseed.
Palets may even be adorned with currants, raisins, or other types of nuts. It is customary to serve these delicate cookies as an afternoon tea snack, served with other types of pastries, cookies, and cake.
13. Pommes Frites
It is rare to find a dish as popular as pommes frites in the world. To prepare, potatoes are cut into long strips, seasoned with salt and pepper then fried in hot oil.
Aside from the French, the Belgians are the only people in the world who truly appreciate and celebrate the dish known as pommes frites, despite some rivalry with France over its exact origins.
A snack or a side dish, pommes frites can be found all over the country in establishments known as frietkots or fritures. These are always served hot and fresh, deep-fried only when you order.
The Socca cake is one of the best things to eat while visiting Nice. Near tourist attractions in Nice, you’ll often find this type of cake for sale. Originally from Genoa, Italy, this cake has become a popular French delicacy.
Chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and pepper are used to make socca, which has a round shape. Slice it into triangles, and you’ll get a taste of pizza. This is best enjoyed as an appetizer or snack, often accompanied by some rose wine.
In the early 1800s, Antonin Carême’s pastry shop in Paris created this snack. They are round light and airy puff pastries that have been baked so that the center part can be removed and stuffed with a sweet or savory filling.
A must-try is the trademark vol au vent by Carême, called financière. It is made with a filling of minced chicken, breadcrumbs, and mushrooms in a Madeira sauce. These days, the chicken or fish-filled vol au vent is popularly served as a snack or appetizer, often served with hot drinks or sweet wine.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries and lived in 4 continents in the last 10 years, including France. A self-proclaimed Francophile, I love everything France.