French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (2023)

It’s always crucial to research the local cuisine before visiting a new place. Food tells us stories about the culture and traditions of a specific country. It gives us information about what people have been eating for centuries. France is well-known for its candy, cheese, baguettes, and wine, but what about French snacks?

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In this article, we will discuss some of the traditional French snacks that are available around the nation. Everyone can find something they like here, from sweet to salty to savory. So, let’s start exploring the unique French snacks and their characteristics.

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (1)


  • 1 Salty French Snacks
    • 1.1 Pommes Frites
    • 1.2 2. Panisses
    • 1.3 3. Vol-au-vent
    • 1.4 4. Pissaladière
    • 1.5 5. Galette-Saucisse
    • 1.6 6. Gougères
  • 2 Sweet French Snacks
    • 2.1 Chaussons aux Pommes
    • 2.2 2. Palets de Dames
    • 2.3 3. Chouquettes
    • 2.4 4. Macarons
    • 2.5 5. Canistrelli
  • 3 Bottom Line

Salty French Snacks

Pommes Frites

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (2)

Few foods have achieved the same level of global recognition as Pommes Frites. This French snack is made of potatoes sliced lengthwise and deep-fried in hot oil. Belgium considers itself to be the creator of this particular treat. So, there is pretty big competition between Belgium and France about the precise origin of Pommes Frites.

French people consume it often as a side dish or a snack, and there are even Pommes Frites shops, also known as frietkots or fritures, all across the nation. Pommes Frites in the Belgian style is made from scratch, sliced into thicker strips, and immediately cooked.

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French fries known as Pommes Frites are frequently offered with a number of dipping sauces, including ketchup, mayonnaise, and aioli. They frequently go with French cuisines, like steak frites or poulet frites, and can be eaten as a side dish or even as a main course.

2. Panisses

Chickpea cakes that are deep-fried are called panisses. These savory French snacks are native to the Provence and Côte d’Azur areas of France. They are made of chickpea oil, flour batter, salt, and boiling water, and may be eaten as a snack or as a side dish. They have a creamy, crispy, and savory flavor all at once. Some people have compared them to a cross between hummus and French fries.
The greatest accompaniment to Panisses is rosé wine, and the kids’ version of these treats may also be coated with confectioners’ sugar. Panisses gained popularity in Marseille’s Old Port during the 1930s when they were served as a full dinner with a variety of salads.

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3. Vol-au-vent

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (4)

These spherical, light, airy puff pastries were created in Paris’s Antonin Carême’s pastry shop in the early 1800s. They are baked so that the center can be removed, revealing a hollow where the delicious mixture is placed. The term “vol-au-vent” is French for “flight of the wind.” The name matched the snack perfectly, and it resembles the vol au vent pastry that is up in the oven as it bakes.
The vol-au-vent made famous by Carême included either chicken mince, shrimp, bread crumbs, and mushrooms in a Madeira sauce as its filling. Vol-au-vent is now frequently served as a snack.

4. Pissaladière

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (5)

The southern French city of Nice is the homeland of the delicious snack pissaladière. The snack is made using a special kind of dough that has been stuffed with black olives, onions, and anchovies. It kind of resembles pizza, but is much thicker and is eaten as a snack or appetizer. After that, the dough is fried in an oven until golden brown.

In the past, it was typically prepared and sold every morning. The term “pèi salat,” which translates to “salted fish,” is the source of the dish’s name. Fish is one of the main components used to make pissaladière. The dish is said to have been created between the years 1305 and 1377.

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The interior of a pizzadière is soft and chewy with a crispy crust. The onions donate sweetness and depth of taste, while the anchovies and olives give it a salty flavor. This treat is one of the most delicious and loved French snacks that every visitor has to try.

5. Galette-Saucisse

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (6)

Galette-Saucisse is one of the most famous French snacks. It is generally a sausage wrapped in dough. The sausage has a savory taste, and when wrapped with the dough, it resembles crepes. The dough can be seasoned with pepper, salt, and herbs and is commonly made with whole milk, flour, and eggs. The sausage can be any variety of beef or pig sausage, although it is most frequently grilled or smoked. Typically, mustard is offered with galette-saucisse so that it may be dipped.
Although this food is popular throughout France, Lyon is where it is most prevalent. Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, is where many well-known chefs call home. The city has a rich culinary heritage and is well-known for its wide variety of classic French meals.

6. Gougères

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (7)

Gougères are little, hollow pastries made with choux dough that have Emmentaler, shredded Comté, or Gruyère cheese added. Gougères are like cheese puffs that can be eaten both cold, and hot. As an appetizer and as a snack, the Gougères are often eaten while drinking champagne or wine.
These delicious treats were created in the 17th century in the area of Burgundy. The creator was a business named Le Ramequin de Bourgogne. Additionally, gougères can be served sweet with a variety of fruit preserves on the side.

Sweet French Snacks

Chaussons aux Pommes

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (8)

Choussons aux pommes is a traditional French snack with apples as the main ingredient. This delicious treat is made with pastry dough, and the apples are spiced and then stuffed. The glaze is composed of sugar and cinnamon. The turnover of Chaussons aux Pommes is made with apples that have been peeled and cored, sugar, flour, puff pastry, cinnamon, and beaten eggs.
The middle part of the puff pastry circle is filled with a delicious sweet mixture. Then, it is folded like a semicircle. The pastry is cooked until the dough puffs up and turns golden brown. The sweet and savory Chaussons aux Pommes are often served warm. They may be found all across France, but the Brittany area is where they are most widely baked.

2. Palets de Dames

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (9)
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The name of these very famous French creations comes from the French term “Les dames blanches,” which translates to “the white women.” These circular French snacks are made with wheat, sugar, and eggs. They are frequently cooked until they are a light golden brown and often have flavors such as vanilla and lemon.

Additionally, sugar frosting is typically applied to these cookies to add taste and provide a sophisticated white appearance. Those popular French snacks are offered with afternoon tea.

3. Chouquettes

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (10)

Chouquettes are the ideal French snack that is both tasty and simple. These little pastries have a crisp, airy texture and a somewhat sweet flavor. They are produced from the same choux dough that is used in many French pastries, such as cream puffs and éclairs. The dough is then adorned with the Surce Perlé which is the sugar crystals that keep the beauty and crunchiness of the treat.
They may be found all across France, but the Alsace area in the northeast is where they are most well-known.

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4. Macarons

Macarons are one of the most popular French snacks that have especially become loved and famous worldwide in recent years. The legend has it that the macaron was first served in France in 1533. The era of macaron making in France started after Queen Catherine de Medici married king Henry II. She was from Italy and brought the original recipe with her.

French pastries called macarons are created with a mix of sugar, almond flour, and egg whites, using almond flour and sugar. After being shaped into little circles, the dough is cooked in an oven. After they are ready, the macarons are filled with various delicious fillings. Traditionally, ganache, buttercream, or jam are used to fill macarons.

Macarons have a crunchy crust and are soft inside, making them light and airy. They are made even more delicious and luscious with the addition of the filling. These little French snacks are ideal as an afternoon treat or a morning snack.

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5. Canistrelli

French Snacks - Popular Sweet and Savory Treats From France - Snack History (12)

The Canistrelli is a well-known French snack native to the Corsican region. These cookies are sold in specialty areas of supermarkets in southern France as well as all around the island. To make Canistrelli, the following ingredients are used: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and almonds. The dough is made with those ingredients, and once it is ready, it is then divided into little squares after being flattened out onto a thin sheet. After that, the cookies are fried in an oven until they get a golden color.

With a hint of sweet almond taste, Canistrelli has a flaky and very soft texture. This delightful French snack pairs wonderfully with white wine, in addition to coffee or tea.

Bottom Line

French snacks are among the tastiest in the world. The treats that we explored above are just a small sample of the numerous wonderful French snacks that you may taste. One thing that is very distinctive to this nation is that there are a lot of treats made from pastry.

Those people have mastered making variations of pastries and have many different versions of snacks to offer. In the French Snacks list, you can definitely find something to enjoy, whether you prefer sweet or savory foods.

Which French snacks have you tasted? Or which one do you want to try? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.


What do French people eat for afternoon snack? ›

While it traditionally consisted of a slice of bread with butter and jam, or sometimes even a pain au chocolat, nowadays, many children are eating biscuits and cakes, or industrial pastries.

What is the name of the snack or 4th meal that the French take in the middle of the afternoon? ›

Eating between meals is discouraged in France, yet there is one snack which is never passed up, a beloved tradition known as 'le goûter' (also called 'le quatre-heures' or 'la pause gourmande') and an integral part of French culture.

What is snack time called in France? ›

What does le goûter mean? Goûter is the French verb for “to taste”. But its noun form, le goûter, refers to snack time for children. Le goûter usually falls around 4pm, and can be served to kids at home, at school, or during after school activities.

What is a normal French snack? ›

Yogurt, fromage blanc, fruits, and cereal bars are all popular snacks in France. However, not all French kids eat a healthy goûter. Nutella or chocolate with bread is a common snack which isn't the most healthy. And then there are les danettes, the most popular crème dessert in France.

What are 3 popular foods in France? ›

Top 5 foods in France
  • Cassoulet. One particular dish that gained popularity in southern France is Cassoulet. ...
  • Oeufs en meurette. If you ever find yourself in Burgundy mid-morning then stop off for brunch and try this French version of poached eggs. ...
  • Religieuse au chocolat. ...
  • Baguette au fromage. ...
  • Bouillabaisse.
22 Jul 2017

What do French like to snack on? ›

French people usually eat a smaller meal for dinner, such as a soup or salad with bread and a dessert (often a yoghurt or a slice of cheese). Considering French people famously don't snack, they must survive a long break between lunch and dinner.

What do French eat in evening snacks? ›

  • Sweet Pastry. Brasillé Calvados. France. eatlivetravelwrite. ...
  • Snack. Panisses. Provence. France. ...
  • Cookie. Canistrelli. Corsica. France. ...
  • Cookie. Palets de dames. Nord. France. ...
  • Sweet Pastry. Chaussons aux pommes. Saint-Calais. France. ...
  • Savory Pie. Pissaladière. Nice. France. ...
  • Savory Pastry. Gougère. Yonne. France. ...
  • Snack. Vol-au-vent. Paris. France.
24 Oct 2022

What French kids eat in a day? ›

French children have three meals a day, and one snack (yes, even the teenage boys): breakfast, lunch, goûter (late-afternoon snack) and dinner.

What is eaten first in a French meal? ›

L'Aperitif: In America, appetizers are the start of the meal; in France, it's l'aperitif, which are small bites typically served with an alcoholic drink. These light snacks might include olives, peanuts, or some sort of canape, or a small piece of toast with a flavorful topping.

What do the French eat every day? ›

Foods that are a staple of the French diet include full-fat cheese and yogurt, butter, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables (often grilled or sautéed), small portions of meat (more often fish or chicken than red meat), wine, and dark chocolate. Make meals a priority.

What does France Call Candy? ›

1. (= confectionery) bonbons mpl. 2. (= sweet) bonbon m. Collins French-English Dictionary © by HarperCollins Publishers.

What do they call biscuits in France? ›

The French usually consider themselves very different from the English, but when it comes to the word for cookie, both say biscuit. Like a cookie itself, the word can be broken into two parts: bis,a way to say “two” or “twice”, and cuit – “cooked”.

What are biscuits called in France? ›

In terms of traditional French biscuits, the list which contains cakes, dry cakes and other similar pastries is long.
Here are the most famous ones.
  • The palets bretons. ...
  • The Petit-Beurre. ...
  • The lunette de Romans. ...
  • The Palmier. ...
  • The boudoirs. ...
  • The crêpes dentelle. ...
  • Macaroons. ...
  • Canistrelli.
13 Mar 2022

What kind of candy do the French eat? ›

One of the most delicious candies hailing from France is Nougat. This delectable candy is contrived of a mixture of egg whites, sugar, honey, almonds, and sometimes, fruit pieces. As long as the concoction contains 30% almonds and 30% honey, it can be classified as “Nougat.”

What is the most popular candy in France? ›

7 Candies popular in France which you can get in French supermarkets
  • French Tagada Strawberry Haribo Candy. ...
  • Tagada Candy Recipe Cookbook (French edition) ...
  • Haribo Gummi Candy, Goldbears, 5 oz Bags (Pack of 12) ...
  • Haribo Pink and White Marshmallows, Chamallows Bulk Sweets, 140g, Pack of 12. ...
  • Haribo Dragibus Soft 300g.

What are 10 famous French foods? ›

The 10 most famous french foods over the world are:
  • The croissant.
  • The baguette.
  • The coq au vin.
  • The ratatouille.
  • The boeuf bourguignon.
  • The quiche Lorraine.
  • The escargots de Bourgogne.
  • The onion soup.
3 Jul 2021

What do the French eat the most? ›

Top 10 of Commonly Consumed Food
  • Bread. Read more about our Cooking Classes here. ...
  • Pastries. Read more about our Cooking Classes here. ...
  • Cheese. Read more about our Cooking Classes here. ...
  • Soup and Potage. Read more about our Cooking Classes here. ...
  • Magret de Canard. Read more about our Cooking Classes here. ...
  • Desserts. ...
  • Salads. ...
  • Seafood.

Do the French eat popcorn? ›

Yes, popcorn exists in France. Still, it is not as cherished as it is in the U.S. I remember being shocked to find that most French people don't even put butter on their popcorn while suggesting it to a group of my French friends. I love popcorn.

What is French favorite food? ›

Le bœuf bourguignon

Also called beef Burgundy, this is one of the most classic French dishes, and usually ranks as France's favourite food.

How much sugar do the French eat? ›

The average American consumes about 126g of sugar a day, while the average French person consumes about 68g of sugar.

What do the French eat at 4pm? ›

Definition: Goûter v. to taste, n. a light meal in the afternoon. Goûter is an institution in France without a real equivalent in British culture. It's tea-time, almost religiously eaten at 4.30 pm, almost exclusively by children as they come out of school, consisting solely of sweet treats.

What is the famous sweet of France? ›

1. Crème brûlée. This custard based dessert is topped with a layer of crunchy caramel. The dessert is popular all over the world, but it originated in France, making it a must-try for anyone who's traveling through.

What desserts were invented in France? ›

  • Crème caramel – Custard dessert with soft caramel on top.
  • Crêpe Suzette.
  • Croissant – French pastry.
  • Croquembouche – French dessert.
  • Custard tart – Baked dessert consisting of an egg custard-filled pastry crust.
  • Dariole – French pastry and dessert mold.
  • Dame blanche – Ice cream dessert.
  • Éclair – Cream-filled pastry.

Do French kids drink milk? ›

Another thing is that French kids don't drink milk. Babies get formula in bottles, but when they get bigger, they might have hot chocolate with milk for breakfast and that's it. In France, McDonald's Happy Meals don't have milk among the drink choices, but it's typical in the U.S., even in school lunches.

What do French parents feed their babies? ›

Pediatrician-recommended first foods for French babies are leek soup, endive, spinach and beets. (Not bland rice cereal — have you ever tasted that stuff?) They teach their children that “good for you foods” taste good (broccoli – yum!), whereas we often do the opposite.

Do French schools have Wednesdays off? ›

As a general rule, in maternity and primary schools, each week comprises 4.5 days of schooling, with the half-day each Wednesday (in a small number of cases, Saturday morning).

What is the French name of appetizer? ›

An hors d'oeuvre (/ɔːr ˈdɜːrv(rə)/ or DURV(-rə); French: hors-d'œuvre [ɔʁ dœvʁ] ( listen)), appetizer or starter is a small dish served before a meal in European cuisine. Some hors d'oeuvres are served cold, others hot.

What is in a 7 course meal? ›

7 course meal: A 7 course dinner menu includes an hors d'oeuvre, soup, appetizer, salad, main course, dessert, and mignardise.

How much does the average French woman weight? ›

The average French woman today is just over 5 feet 3 inches tall and 137.6 pounds, compared to 5 feet 2 1/2 inches tall and 133.6 pounds in 1970.

What time is breakfast in France? ›

People have breakfast between 6 and 8 am on weekdays. It is rather short. In France, it consists of a hot drink (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and bread (baguette) or a pastry (croissant, brioche). There can also be jam, honey, etc.

What time is dinner in France? ›

The French typically eat dinner between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., but later evening meals aren't uncommon in major metropolitan areas like Paris. Thanks to its vibrant cafe culture, long lunch breaks are a popular concept in France, and the French tend to enjoy a substantial meal in the middle of the day.

What does France call potato chips? ›

In UK English, potato chips are called crisps (maybe for the sound they make when we eat them), so croustilles sounds like a good alternative. The french word people use in France is also "tuiles". I read it often on packages and use it myself.

What is French chocolate called? ›

In France, the name of the pain au chocolat varies by region: In the Hauts-de-France and in Alsace, the words petit pain au chocolat or petit pain are used. In central France, in southern France and in Paris, pain au chocolat is used.

What chocolates are French? ›

When you shop World Wide Chocolate, you have access to many brands, such as Michel Cluizel, Pralus Chocolate, Valrhona, Bonnat & Pralus.
  • Valrhona Chocolate. Premium French Couverture and Chocolate Products. ...
  • Cacao Barry Chocolate. French Baking Chocolate, Couverture & Convenience Products. ...
  • François Pralus Chocolate.

What do they call brownies in France? ›

Brownies in France are called Jeannettes.

What is twice cooked in French? ›

The Middle French word bescuit is derived from the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere, coctus (to cook, cooked), and, hence, means "twice-cooked". This is because biscuits were originally cooked in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven.

What is the most popular pastry in France? ›

Eclair. Like the croissant, the eclair is among the most popular French pastries. It refers to an oblong-shaped choux pastry filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. The eclair is one of my favorite French pastries but I never knew that its name literally means “flash of lightning”.

What are French cakes called? ›

Dacquoise (pronounced [dakwaz]) is a French cake or a dessert similar to a cake, made with layers of almond meringue and whipped cream, buttercream, or ganache. Dacquoise can be prepared with hazelnut meringue as well. The name derives from the Occitan word Dacqüosa meaning "something baked in the oven."

What do they call ice cream in France? ›

In France, ice cream is glace or crème glacée and the person who makes it is a glacier or glaciere.

What is toast called in France? ›

The French roots

In France, French toast is actually called “pain perdu”, which means “lost bread”.

What is the number 1 most popular food in France? ›

What is the most famous food in France? It's the humble, staple, French food—the Baguette! It's also one of the most famous French foods in America. The French take their Baguettes very seriously.

What is the most famous snack? ›

As this infographic shows, Cookies are the most popular snack food, with 59 percent of snackers saying they eat the sugary comfort food regularly. Potato chips came in a close second (58 percent), far ahead of their healthier vegetable cousins at just 24 percent.

What is the most eaten thing in France? ›

The 10 most famous french foods over the world are:
  • The croissant.
  • The baguette.
  • The coq au vin.
  • The ratatouille.
  • The boeuf bourguignon.
  • The quiche Lorraine.
  • The escargots de Bourgogne.
  • The onion soup.
3 Jul 2021

What dessert is France known for? ›


Crème brûlée is one of the most popular French desserts of all time, and for good reason. The two contrasting layers of luscious vanilla cream under a layer of crunchy caramelized sugar are a perfect marriage. This dessert stands out from all the rest.

What do French eat everyday? ›

Foods that are a staple of the French diet include full-fat cheese and yogurt, butter, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables (often grilled or sautéed), small portions of meat (more often fish or chicken than red meat), wine, and dark chocolate. Make meals a priority.

What foods are unique to France? ›

French Foods
  • 1 – Tapenade (Provençal Olive Spread) ...
  • 2 – Salade Niçoise (Salad from the French city of Nice)
  • 3 – Tourtons du Champsaur (Fried Pastry Filled with Sweet or Savory Purée) ...
  • 4 – Ratatouille (Provençal Vegetable Stew) ...
  • 5 – Quiche Lorraine (Savory Tart Named after the Lorraine Region) ...
  • 6 – Bouillabaisse (Fish Stew)
17 May 2022

What is the oldest snack? ›

Popcorn is perhaps the oldest of all. Archaeological sites in Peru and Mexico recently yielded 7,000 year old maize husks said to be evidence of popcorn preparation and consumption by ancient indigenous peoples.

What was the first snack ever? ›

1. Popcorn. There's debate on which snack food pre-empted them all, but since archeologists have dated popcorn back to 6,700 years ago, we're putting this fibrous dish first on the list.

What is the most addictive snack? ›

Whether it's the stringy salty mozzarella cheese, the fluffy dough or the sugar in the tomato sauce, pizza ranks first in food addiction, according to a recent University of Michigan study. That's because when you eat it, your blood sugar zip up quickly and then when it drops, you feel hungry again and want more.

What are the 4 meals in France? ›

Main meals of France
  • Breakfast – le petit déjeuner.
  • Lunch – le déjeuner.
  • Dinner – diner.
  • Eating “en famille” Family meals.

What do French people eat at home? ›

Potatoes, salad, beans, asparagus or a plain pasta are common sides in a French dinner experience. Make no mistake, while the items in the meals might appear extremely basic, the French know how to season and spice each dish so that every bite is a worthwhile experience.


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