During the reign of Louis XIV, 12-hour feasts were held by the nobility, with more than 10 different dishes served.

 

 

France

 

 

 

 

 

In recognition of the status to which food has been venerated in France, in 2010 UNESCO added French cuisine to its list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage”.  Despite wonderful and varied regional peasant cuisine, for hundreds of years food was defined by the aristocracy.  During the reign of Louis XIV, 12-hour feasts were held by the nobility, with more than 10 different dishes served.  Presentation ranked in importance with taste and quality of the ingredients.  Even today, the way a person eats is an indication of their position in French society; their heritage, region of birth and social status.

 

When preparing French food, the highest quality ingredients available are always chosen. Fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, grains and grapes for making wine are a result of the fertile soil.  A meal begins with a visit to the local market, which most cities and towns have at least once a week.  A typical French dinner follows a consistent pattern:  four courses consisting of the appetizer, the main course, cheese and dessert.  If there is a salad, it follows the main course. Often an apéritif precedesthe meal, and a digestif, high in alcoholic content to aid digestion, is enjoyed at the end.

 

The food in France varies by region, however the baguette, a long, thin crusty bread, is the most critical part of any meal everywhere.  Flaky croissants are also a staple across the country.  Other specialties include Boeuf Bourguignon, a stew combining beef, vegetables, garlic and red wine, quiches, coq au vin (chicken with vegetables and garlic braised in red wine), steak frites, escargot (snails) drenched in garlic and butter, and soufflés (a dessert made with beaten egg whites and served directly from the oven).

 





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