French cuisine
Anecdotes and traditions

When you hear “French cuisine”, you think of… ? Refined gastronomy, dishes stewing by the fireplace, bistro recipes, grandmothers’ jams, seasonal products… But to make a traditional French plate, don’t forget the essential ingredient : a sprinkle of surprising anecdotes.

French cuisine ©French cuisine

1. Baguette : the queen of French breads

Baguette has not become a symbol of France by accident : its origins are closely tied to the history of the country.

During the Revolution, a decree announced that all the population should be eating the same bread, with no distinction between rich and poor : “As of now, all bakers are required to sell a unique sort of bread : the Bread of Equality”.

The baguette took its elongated form during the Napoleonian wars, so that French soldiers could carry their rations in the pockets of their uniforms.

The texture is due to the fights which opposed French workers on the metropolitan construction site in the 1900s. To avoid an armed conflict, the commissioners asked Parisian bakers to produce a bread easy to share without a knife.

Around Maison Mère, Village Montholon hosts authentic family bakeries. Treat yourself at Mamiche, our neighbor on 45, rue Condorcet.


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Maison Mère - French cuisine ©Maison Mère - French cuisine

2. Paris-Brest : the unsuspected athlete

France : a bastion of gastronomy but also land of cycling. These two passions mingle into the history of the Paris-Brest, the pralined monument of French pastry.

Pierre Giffard, the pioneer of sports press, is also the founder of the Paris-Brest cycling race which joined the two cities in the early 20th century. To arouse interest, Pierre Giffard asked a pastry cook located in Maisons-Laffitte, on the race itinerary, to invent a cake in tribute to the runners.

The result was a praline cream puff shaped like a bicycle wheel, or like the laurel crown of the winner.


Maison Mère - French cuisine ©Maison Mère - French cuisine

3. Macarons : from royal weddings to charity events

Catherine de Médicis is to thank for the arrival of macarons in France. Promised to the future king of France Henri II, she joined him with her dowry, magnificent jewels and… a box of precious macarons, produced by a Florentine monastery during the Renaissance. 

The prestige of the Court explains the quick success of macarons in France, where they became the specialty of several regions adapted in different versions.

The Parisian macaron, which has become the most famous of all, was born in 1830 when a pastry cook joined two traditional biscuits with buttercream and covered them with different pastel colours to distinguish their flavours.

Both popular and chic, macarons have been honored since 2005 through a National Day with a charity spirit. Every March 20th, many pastry shops collect donations for associations and offer a macaron in return.


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Maison Mère - French cuisine ©Maison Mère - French cuisine

4. Bloody Mary : the most Parisian cocktail

Paris is “A Moveable Feast”... But also the birthplace of a famous cocktail whose name can let us think otherwise.

During the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway lived in Paris with his spouse Mary. Torned between his love for alcohol and the fear of his wife’s admonitions, the writer asked the barman of a famous Parisian palace to serve him “an odourless cocktail”. 

To please him, the barman served him a mixture of vodka, tomato juice and several spices thereafter named Bloody Mary, in mocking or affectionate tribute to his wife... Up to you to imagine.

For amateurs of drinks born out of stories, our mixology experts at Hey Honey will offer you cocktails inspired from the art pieces exhibited within the hotel.

Maison Mère - French cuisine ©Maison Mère - French cuisine

5. Croque-Monsieur : a slice of manliness

Once upon a time in 1910, a bistro located on Boulevard des Capucines, 10 minutes away from Maison Mère, ran out of baguette to prepare sandwiches.

The owner recreated the crustiness by toasting soft bread in the oven. A layer of butter with a slice of ham, cheese and sometimes bechamel, and voila ! Questioned about the ingredients of his praised invention, the owner would consistently answer “it’s made of man,  gentleman!”. Hence the name.

Its success explains the following adaptation in Croque-Madame. The fried egg on its top represents the hats of Parisian ladies, who had 'fancier tastes' than their masculine counterparts. 

Discover the recipe of Croque-Madame revisited by Maison Mère.


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Maison Mère - French cuisine ©Maison Mère - French cuisine

6. At Maison Mère : specialties with (very) local flavours

Like these various recipes, Maison Mère is surprising in its simplicity. Authentic, she loves cuisine made with love, natural wines, crusty bread, funny jokes and the simple pleasures of life.

Because she loves receiving, Maison Mère offers a fresh and local menu all day long.

From breakfast to dinner - without forgetting tea time, Aperitivo Hour, snacking and brunch on the weekends - Maison Mère will soon invite you to discover delightful culinary discoveries.


In the meantime, join us on Instagram !


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