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

"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.


Sydney's unprecedented swelter.....due to climate change

It has been hot in Sydney, Australia.   Damn hot!.....and record-breaking.    So, because of climate change?  Yes, say the scientists.

"Southeastern Australia has suffered through a series of brutal heat waves over the past two months, with temperatures reaching a scorching 113 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the state of New South Wales.

“It was nothing short of awful,” said Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. “In Australia, we’re used to a little bit of heat. But this was at another level.”

So Dr. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, who studies climate extremes, did what comes naturally: She looked to see whether there was a link between the heat and human-driven climate change.

Her analysis, conducted with a loose-knit group of researchers called World Weather Attribution, was made public on Thursday. Their conclusion was that climate change made maximum temperatures like those seen in January and February at least…