Traditional French Foods and Popular French Foods of the Massif Central

The traditional French foods of the Massif Central is as much a surprise to me as the amazing countryside. Very untouristy! Can you imagine a place after a long day of hiking; rafting and exploring you sit down to an amazing meal?

traditional french foods of the massif centralgorges de la jointe in the Massif Central

A fantastic place to explore beautiful river gorges, mountains, museums, château, and EAT!

The Massif Central includes the Auvergne area to the east with the spa town of Vichy and the Limosin to the west with the town of Limogess as well as other areas that contribute to the gorgeous landscape.

This Region is one of the famous places in France for its ancient Roman spas like in the town of Vichy.

Check out these other famous places in France for you to explore.

Traditional French Foods of this region consists of deliciously hearty peasant fare.

The Auvergne highlands to the east are ideal for raising cattle. Here the famous French food ingredients are cheese, pork, lamb, and beef.

Traditional French Foods of the Massif Central Include:


The traditional French foods of the region figure into the history of French food in a big way.

Chantal: possibly the oldest French cheese. Made over 2000 years ago. Similar to cheddar in color and taste.

Famous dish is Aligot (Chantal cheese in garlic mashed potatoes)

tratitional frence foods aligot cheesy mashed potatoes

Aligot served with local sausage

Saint-Nectaire : Another very old cheese. Named after the town, which has a famous cheese-making district. Flavor of hazelnuts.

Forme d’Ambert: Dates back to before the Roman invasion. Originally came from the Forez Mountains in the east. A veined cheese. Has a slight sharp flavor.

Bleus d’Auvergne (blue cheese) or Blues d’Laqueuile (named after Laqueuile where it’s made)

Aveyron département is famous for its Roquefort cheese, which is made in the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. It can only be called Roquefort if it comes from here.

traditional french foods roquefort cheese

Roquefort cheese ©creative commons

Eating Roquefort cheese dates back to the days of Charlemagne and Rabelais

Made from sheep’s milk. It has blue mold running through it. Aged in warm damp caves above the town.

Roquefort is the star ingredient of the Rouerge area. It’s on the French menus of all the restaurants. It’s even used in puff pastries and omlettes.

Rump steak with Roquefort is a traditional French foods of the area.

Roquefort salad dressing

In France food plays a big part in the culture. The culture of France has many other facets you will want to experience on your visit.

Charcuterie (pork products)

Pork products of this region with their delicious delicate flavor has been highly regarded since before the Roman invasion.

traditional french foods charcuterie

jambon crus and saucisson

Traditional French Foods

jambons crus (raw mountain ham), saucissons and saucisses sèches (dry sausage), French pate (Pâté) of pork liver, pieds de porc farcis (stuffed pigs feet), boudin aux châtaignes (black pudding with chestnuts), noix de jambon au poivre (peppered ham)

Friand Sanflorin (pork with herbs in puff pastry), a specialty of the town of Saint-Flour.

Ham slices go into what seems like everything : terrines (potted meats) , omlettes or Vol au vent (puff pastry), and chicken casseroles.

Petite sale : salt pork cooked in wine with green puy lentils

Potée is the traditional peasant stew. You’ll see it on the French menus. It’s one of the popular French foods of the Region.

traditional french foods potee auvergnate

Potée Auvergnate ©creative commons

Potée Auvergnate (stew of vegetables, salt pork and sausages). Potée savoyarde (stew with vegetables, chicken, ham and sausage)

Green puy lentils are famous and often served with sausages.

Tripoux: lambs feet and veal offal stuffed with herbs. Traditionally served with potatoes

Ficandeau (ham, veal and bacon). A famous local specialty.

Freshwater Fish

Pike from the mountain lakes (usually simply prepared with a butter sauce). Trout and crayfish from the rivers are used in many dishes. Pochouse ( assortment of freshwater fish stewed in wine)

Wild mushrooms: called cèpes (Limousin Flap mushrooms) Fine and delicate, considered one of the finest French delicacies. Often picked in early Autumn, you might find them for sale on roadside stands.


Famous French desserts include fruit jellies and candied fruit from Auvergne. Vichy candy is very famous.

traditional french foods of Massif Central pastilles

Pastilles candy of Vichy ©creative commons

Traditional France Food From Other Regions

Traditional French Foods of Alsace Lorraine France and the North East

Popular French Foods of Normandy, Loire, and Brittany France

Traditional Foods of Burgundy

Traditional French Foods in Paris

Traditional Foods of Rhône Alps

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