Skip to main content

Wait! Is that really a restaurant? The French take a stand

Probably no other people savour food and wine like the French.   All too sadly, fast food is making inroads into the restaurant scene in France - and many "old" traditions relating to cuisine are also fading away.     Shock, horror! say some restaurateurs and foodies.    And they want to do something about it.


An increasing number of establishments in France are serving pre-made food to their customers. Old-school foodies want to put a stop to the practice with an initiative to apply the term "restaurant" only to places that serve fresh food made on site.

"Be it Boeuf Bourguignon, rack of lamb with garlic, Bouillabaisse or Quiche Lorraine, classical regional French cuisine has done as much to ensure France's legacy abroad as champagne, wine or Airbus jets. But some argue the culinary delights that secured the "gastronomic meal of the French" a place in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage in 2010 is under threat.

Beyond the wooden spoon-wielding, Michelin-starred chefs of France, chain restaurants and mass catering are becoming a widespread phenomenon in the country, with people opting for fast food or sandwiches rather than more exotic traditional fare like calf's head or pig's feet. Places that once served French onion soup, chicken in white wine sauce or citrus tartlets are now increasingly dishing up pizza, sushi and hamburgers instead. An obsession with fitness and stress are also playing a role. The lunch break, which only 40 years ago was a drawn out, 1.5-hour affair, has since shrunk to a paltry 38 minutes.


Traditional French cuisine, it seems, is under pressure. With restaurants hard-hit by the recent hike in the sales tax and the economic crisis, the fast food industry surpassed establishments with table service for the first time ever in 2012.

It's a trend that is unlikely to change any time soon, given that the decline in the art of cooking goes beyond fast food establishments. It's also hitting traditional bistros and brasseries, where a greater number of meals these days are pre-prepared.

A recent poll of culinary professionals in France by restaurant union Synhorcat found that 31 percent of French eateries are now often looking to the can for their culinary inspiration. Increasingly, this means salads out of bags, industrially produced French fries and potato wedges, canned vegetables, flavor concentrates, vacuum-packed fish as well as sauces and dressings out of the bucket. One-quarter of meals are no longer cooked -- they are simply stirred together or warmed up with nary a mention on the menu that what the customer is getting isn't fresh. As a result, half of customers no longer trust the restaurants that serve them."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

One Forbes List: A roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs

2016 has ended and there has been the inevitable list of the best of 2016 of this or that.     

The just published Forbes List of the Most Powerful People is another thing altogether.    It is truly shocking to think that those listed are as downright awful and the worst of humankind has to offer.....yet wield enormous power.     The Age newspaper in "Who's who list a roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs" provides the details.....

"It's that time of the year again. In an effort to celebrate or sum up, or maybe just expunge the events of a year that's just wound up, we've become obsessed with rankings. Top 10 Christmas hits, bestselling books, the most excruciating movie moments, the seven things we're doing to wreak havoc on our planet. This year, courtesy of US presidential election, we also have the top 20 fake news stories, the 10 steps for adjusting to a Trump presidency, and the best destinations for those that find they simply ar…

"Wake Up"

The message is loud and clear....and as you watch this, remember that it was on Israeli TV - not some anti-semitic or anti-Israel program somewhere in the world.


Happy New Year....not?

Credited to Mike Luckovich