The gastronomic meal of the French
French gastronomy, in a class of its own
For the first time in 2010, UNESCO recognized a gastronomy-related heritage as part of their Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity register. The gastronomic meal of the French is indeed exceptional, with several well-ingrained elements contributing to the UNESCO recognition:
- the use of fresh, preferably local, products, whose flavours go well together
- the careful selection of dishes which reflect the terroir and diversity of French regions
- the pairing of food and wine
- the setting of a beautiful table
- the conversations and rituals associated with each meal
Celebrate life's important events
To celebrate life's important events, the French unite around a table to share a good meal, emphasizing concepts of togetherness and conviviality, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature.
Service à la française
The gastronomic meal is a succession of rituals: it begins with an aperitif and ends with a digestif, with between these at least four courses, an appetizer, a fish and/or meat dish, cheese then dessert. All of this accompanied by bread and wine of course!
From the selection of products to degustation
Hosting friends and family for a meal begins with a trip to the market. Here, exchange knowledge, tips and ideas with producers and other cooks.
Back at home, everyone plays a role in the kitchen, and parents transmit their know-how to their children. The gastronomic meal doesn't consist of only food, however, as setting the table is also an important element.
Finally, it's time to eat and all senses kick in: smells from the kitchen, the sight of a beautifully set table and meal presentation. Taste then comes into play, as might touch and hearing, depending on the dishes served...