Paris, the City of Light and culinary de-lights….except when you’re pregnant.
If thinking of all the quintessential French foods that are off limits during your pregnancy is making you want to cancel your flight, don’t despair!
I’ve devised a list of delicious French dishes that are safe to eat during pregnancy:
1. Croque monsieur (ham sandwich smothered in gruyère cheese*)
2. Soupe à l’oignon (French onion soup—particularly comforting on a crisp fall day)
3. Tarte au chèvre et tomates (tomato and goat’s cheese tart)
4. Gratin dauphinois (the most mouthwatering scalloped potatoes you’ve ever had)
5. Quiche lorraine (ham and gruyère cheese* quiche)
6. Blanquette de veau (a luscious veal stew)
7. Gratin d’aubergine (grilled eggplant baked in tomato sauce topped with melted cheese)
8. Choux de Bruxelles aux lardons (Brussels sprouts sautéed in garlic and bacon)
9. Ratatouille (colourful stewed vegetables in tomato sauce)
10. Baguette au jambon et emmental (ham and swiss cheese* baguette)
*Pregnant women should consume only pasteurized cheeses.
Tip: For a phenomenal lunch deal, order la formule from a boulangerie (bakery). It includes an entrée, drink, and dessert, all for around €7.
I also highly recommend eating as many croissants and crêpes as you possibly can (see my blog post on My Search for the Best Crêpes in Paris).
French foods to avoid
It is typical French fashion to serve food raw or undercooked (by Western standards). According to government health agencies in both Canada and France, pregnant women should avoid eating raw meats, poultry and seafood to minimize the risk of listeriosis.
Most cuts of beef, pork and lamb, and dishes such as steak frites, coquilles St-Jacques (scallops), and confit de canard (roasted duck), should be avoided as they tend to be served rare. And from personal experience, these dishes are not meant to be served well done.
Here is a list of (albeit delectable) French foods to avoid:
- Mousse au chocolat (or any desserts containing raw egg)
- Salad (due to the high risk of toxoplasmosis on lettuce in France)
- Brie, camembert, and blue cheeses (essentially all mold-ripened and unpasteurized cheeses)
- Pâté, foie gras, and rillette (chunkier style of pâté)
- Béarnaise sauce (contains raw eggs)
- Steak tartare (literally raw minced beef)
- Boeuf Bourguignon (cooked with copious amounts of red wine and brandy)
- Coquillages and saumon fumé (shellfish and smoked salmon)
- Wine (I found it helpful to sniff other people’s wine to satisfy my cravings)
Now you may be saying to yourself, “Hey Katrina, aren’t you forgetting something? What about the pastries?!” Don’t fret my pet, I have dedicated an entire blog post to this topic.
Check out my upcoming post on 12 French Pastries You Must Try Before Your Water Breaks.
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