© iStockphoto/margouillatphotos
© iStockphoto/margouillatphotos

Try Quenelle, a delicious pride of Lyon

2 minutes to read

Situated at the confluence of the rivers Rhone and Saone, Lyon is the third-largest French city. Famous for its historical and architectural landmarks, this city is also a place where you can visit many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. But, did you know that Lyon tends to be the French capital of gastronomy? The list of specialties from this city is indeed very long, but one of its most tasty dishes is definitely – the quenelle. Those soft, egg-like shaped, dumplings are often made with meat or fish, and they are a really delicious pride of Lyon. Make sure to order them in one of the traditional restaurants situated in the center of Lyon.

Who invented this dish?

The quenelle from Lyon was invented in the 1830s by Charles Morateur, a pastry chef. Pike fish invaded the river Saone, and Morateur had a great idea to mix it with dough. The fish quenelle from Lyon was mentioned for the first time in 1890 in the Universal Dictionary of Cooking. This dish was composed of pike, beef fat, and dough. The beef fat was replaced by butter in the 1920s and soon, ​​Joseph Moyne, a charcuterie, invented a new way to form these dumplings using special spoons. Because of the food restrictions, during World War II, a new kind of quenelle appeared – a quenelle made only of flour, butter, and milk. Today, this dish is an indispensable part of the traditional cuisine in Lyon.

© iStockphoto/Richard Villalonundefined
© iStockphoto/Richard Villalonundefined

How to make the quenelle?

The quenelle dough is called "panade", and it is made with flour, butter, eggs, and milk. When the mixture has cooled, you should add pike. The quenelle is shaped with a spoon and then should poach some 15 minutes in the broth. After that, they are ready to go in a particular bowl, where they are topped with the tomato, béchamel or crayfish sauce and put in the oven at 180° C for another 15 minutes. The quenelle can be served with rice and a glass of fine white wine. If this seems too complicated to prepare, then you should try quenelle from Lyon in one of the famous traditional restaurants.

Where to eat it? 

Le Poêlon d’Or, Lyon
Le Poêlon d’Or, Lyon
29 Rue des Remparts d'Ainay, 69002 Lyon, France

Situated in the center of Ainay, a Unesco World Heritage Site of Lyon, “Le Poelon d’Or” is created in 1860 as a wine bar. Between the two World Wars, this place was transformed into a restaurant. Decorated in the 1930s in the Art Deco style, “Le Poelon d’Or" was listed as another Heritage of France. In this restaurant, you can taste some great specialties from Lyon, made with fresh and local ingredients. I recommend you to try their quenelle. This delicious pride from Lyon is made here with a lot of love. Even if you have to wait approximately 40 minutes to get them, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. 


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The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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