This is a preview of the content in our French Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



Lobster is as expensive in France as anywhere else. Blue when alive, they are mainly caught off the coast of Brittany and Normandy’s Cotentin Peninsula

Along with homard à l’Américaine, homard Thermidor is the classic French recipe—after the lobster is cooked, the meat is added to a rich béchamel sauce with shallots, egg yolks and cognac, then topped with Gruyère and browned in the oven. Some chefs add tomatoes, or powdered mustard, or cayenne.

Lobster Thermidor (at the center of the plate)

The recipe dates from the late 19th century and named after a controversial play put on by the Comédie-Française called Thermidor, named after the summer month on the French Revolutionary calendar. Where it was actually invented in Paris and by who is uncertain.

Fish and seafood

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Kevin Law,