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    21 French Foods Americans Need To Try At Least Once

    How can you live your life without cassoulet?

    1. Cassoulet

    Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin / Flickr: ipalatin

    This stew made of slow-booked beans, duck confit, and sausages is one of the most delicious dishes in the world and the best way to end a cold winter day. It breaks my heart, but I've yet to find a decent version of it in the U.S.

    2. Oranais

    Also called an apricot croissant in some parts of France, the Oranais is a flaky treat filled with custard and topped with two apricot halves.

    3. Chestnut jam

    Chestnuts are a winter favorite in France, whether they're roasted or candied. Chestnut jam is one of the best exemples of how good the French are at using that nut to its full potential. It's excellent and goes well on crêpes and breads alike.

    4. Reblochon

    5. Kouign Amann

    The main ingredient of Kouign Amman, a pastry from Brittany, is butter. Butter on butter on butter. Also: sugar. It's not super healthy, but it's fucking delicious and everyone in the world should have access to it.

    6. Pissaladière

    7. Carambar

    Sylvain Naudin CC BY-SA / Via Flickr: naudinsylvain

    Carambar is a traditional caramel candy (although it now exists in many different flavors) that is famous both because it's a childhood classic and because there is a really lame joke inside each wrapper that everyone loves to laugh at.

    8. Pain viennois

    This is basically a baguette MADE OF BRIOCHE. Yes, it really exists, and no, I don't know why America hasn't been blessed with these beauties yet.

    9. Rillettes

    10. Calissons

    This classic Provençal candy is made of one layer of soft melon and almond paste and one layer of crisp sugar icing. It's sooo good.

    11. Aligot

    Tavallai CC BY-ND / Via Flickr: tavallai

    The idea behind aligot is basically a shit ton of cheese melted into some mashed potatoes. You can't really go wrong with that.

    12. Fraises Tagada

    The best fucking candy in the history of candy-making. Full stop.

    13. King cake

    Steph Gray CC BY-SA / Via Flickr: lesteph

    The French king cake is a delicious flaky pastry filled with almond dough. It's also one of the only things that make the month of January, when it's traditionally eaten, tolerable.

    14. Flammekueche

    Nicolas Winspeare CC BY / Via Flickr: nwinspeare

    Crème fraîche, onions, and bacon spread on a very thin crust: This Alsatian specialty may not be the healthiest, but it's definitely the tastiest.

    15. Cacolac

    Cacolac is a cold milky chocolate drink that can bring any French person back to childhood.

    16. A Saint Honoré

    This perfect beautiful jewel is made with cream puffs, pastry cream, and whipped cream. What more do you need?

    17. Quenelles of pike with lobster sauce

    Jean-Marc ALBERT CC BY / Via Flickr: jeanmarcalbert

    Oh god, this dish is soooo good. SO GOOD. It's fluffy, light, and rich all at once, with a subtle pike flavor — all of this topped with lobster sauce. Seriously, get this in your life ASAP.

    18. Fish soup

    There is no denying that America has GREAT fish soups, but it doesn't have French fish soup. And French fish soup, with its garlic croutons and saffron rouille, makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.

    19. Saucisson

    Sure, you can find salami and chorizo in America — and even saucisson in some specialized stores. But good luck finding a true dry saucisson, with its nutty aftertaste and meaty goodness. These are extremely rare on this side of the Atlantic, especially if you're on a budget.

    20. Nounours à la guimauve

    These little chocolate bears filled with French marshmallow goodness are everything you need in life.

    21. And a real fucking baguette.

    I've been living in the U.S. for over four years and still have yet to find a baguette as good as the one I use to buy at my local bakery back home. And believe me, I tried.