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Italian vs. French Gastronomy: Which is Better?

Every so often the dispute will arise: Which is the better city, Rome or Paris? And the question of food is never far behind: namely, which gastronomy is more delicious, Italian or French?


Both countries are world-renowned for their amazing gastronomy. It’s no secret that the French are known for deliciously baked baguettes, cheeses, and wines. 


But it’s also not a secret that Italians take their gastronomy seriously. They also have an array of delicious dishes, from cheeses to wines and pasta and more! 


It can give you a headache trying to choose between the two. At the end of the day, the gastronomy you choose will be whatever type of cooking you connect to the most!


We hope that this article will give you a little more insight into Italian and French gastronomy to make your decision a little easier. No matter which one you choose, you’ll undoubtedly have a blast! 


In this article, we’ll try to settle this issue once and for all, comparing a typical Rome food tour with one through the city of Paris in order to compare one cuisine with the other and draw our conclusions.


So without further ado, let’s dive into this exciting debate.


2 Types of Gastronomy, Which is Better? You Decide


Let us preface this article by saying that choosing between Italian and French gastronomy is practically impossible, as both have a lot to offer and a lot depends on each person’s taste.


As a result, we’ve chosen to focus on the main characteristics of each and try to compare them.


We’ll talk about the main dishes that the countries are known for, as well as their eating schedules. You might find that you prefer the Italian dessert over the French, for example. 


You may prefer to start your meal with soup or a salad instead of cocktails and charcuterie. It all depends on your tastes!


French Gastronomy

A Paris food tour is one of the best ways to get to know French gastronomy in depth.


French food is very diverse and steeped in history, not to mention named by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – so there’s no straightforward way to describe it.


The main ingredients used in traditional French cuisine are fruit and vegetables (carrots, turnips, leeks, eggplants, and mushrooms are the most common elements); an immense variety of cheeses and meats; and many wines, liquors, and other alcoholic beverages.


French meat is high in quality and variety; recipes include beef, sheep, goat, and poultry, as well as bull or horse meat. Many dishes contain wild game animals, such as pheasants, wild boar, and partridges.


Iconic staples of French cuisine include foie gras, sausages, and bread, always delicious and often mixed with olives, raisins, or sesame seeds.


Cheese is another pillar of French gastronomy, which we could write a whole book about in itself.


In summary, the variety in this country is immense, and the French consume large quantities of cheese of all kinds, made with cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk; with solid and mild flavors; with creamy or complex textures.


Such is the fanaticism in French culture that some form of cheese is always served between the main course and dessert.


Wines and liqueurs are also an essential part of French gastronomic culture.


France is the number 1 producer of wine worldwide, with vineyards all over the country and an enormous variety available: red, white, rosé, fruity, sweet, dry, different types of liqueurs, Champagne, etc.


As for the typical French menu, dishes are usually served in order. First, you have the aperitif, consisting of cocktails or sweet and pickled wines, canapés, dried fruit, charcuterie, olives, etc.


Second, you have the entrée or hors d’oeuvre, which can include salads, raw vegetables, soups, pâtés, or charcuterie, among other things.


The third is the Plat de résistance or main course, which consists of fish or meat, but can also include pasta, rice, or legumes. Next, a selection of cheeses is served between the main course and dessert.


Then, dessert can be something as simple as fruit, to a more elaborate sweet dish. Lastly, you will enjoy a glass of liqueur or coffee.


Having summarized everything we’ve learned on our Paris food tour, let’s take a look at the most distinctive aspects of Italian cuisine.


Italian Gastronomy

Italian cuisine is also extremely varied and rooted in history. Each region of Italy has its own distinctive characteristics, all of which can be sampled on our Rome food tour.


Although Italian dishes are reproduced worldwide, nothing compares to the original article, whose smells and flavors are much more intense in Italy.


Essential ingredients in Italian cuisine are tomatoes, garlic, cheese, olive oil, seafood, and pasta.


Vegetables and fruits play a huge part in Italian cuisine, often grown in the country itself.


Italian fish is very varied, while the meat is traditionally cooked in stews. Italy’s classic sausage, prosciutto (ham), salami and mortadella are very popular.


The country’s cuisine is known for its rice dishes, cheeses, and pasta. Typical pasta formats include lasagna, ravioli, gnocchi, and macaroni, among many others.


Accompanied by delicious sauces, pasta is one of Italy’s main dishes. Risotto is another rice-based Italian classic that can be prepared and flavored with a wide range of herbs.


Like France, Italy has a wide variety of cheeses; the most popular are mozzarella, grana Padano, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Finally, the reputation of Italian pizza and bread precedes it around the world.


Italy is also a great producer of wine and is well known for its products’ high quality and aroma. 


The country’s liqueurs are many and varied; the most classic are Limoncello (made from lemon) and Amaretto (made from almonds), as well as Sambuca, Vermouth, and Grappa.


Coffee is one of the most characteristic beverages of this Mediterranean country. Italy stands out for its intense espresso, but this is just one of many traditional coffees, including some very extravagant versions.


We went over the typical food menu in France, but the dishes in Italy are served a little bit differently. First is the antipasto, or the starter, which usually consists of salads, cold meats, or vegetables.


Il Primo, or the first course, consists of soup or pasta. Then you have Il Secondo, or the main course, which is usually fish or meat. Then there is Il Contorno, a side dish served after the main course and prepared with vegetables or salad.


Lastly, we have Il Dolce, which is dessert – usually ice cream, fruit, or cake. Have you ever tasted a cannoli? They are simply delicious! 



Many similarities exist between French and Italian cuisine, as so do many particularities.


In the end, there are many things about both French and Italian cuisine that make it unique. When you travel to either of these countries, you can certainly expect to be wined and dined. 


Both countries are world-renowned for their food, and to get the most authentic taste, you must go directly to the source. Finding local eateries in France and Italy is the easiest way to taste delicious, authentic food. 


It may be impossible to determine which is better than the other, as each one is enchanting in its own way. Instead of choosing one over the other, let’s simply conclude that both cuisines are excellent, and enjoy them both!

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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