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Nation Of Gourmets - France

By George Josserme

Page 1 of 1

• article synopsis •

This article gives you a glimpse at what an informed traveller should know before arriving to the land of Renoir, Voltaire, and Gustave Eiffel.

"When we no longer have fine cuisine,
we will have
no fine paintings,
no literature,
no intelligence,
no social accord."

-- Marie-Antoine Carême

French Chef and patron
of cooking known as
Grande Cuisine.
1784 - 1833

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat tastefully is an art."

-- François VI, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

French author of the Classical Era and moralist.
1613 - 1680

SPANIARDS, ITALIANS, AND GREEKS cook with one concept in their mind: "Are you hungry? - Eat this." People in those countries have one cuisine. French people have four cuisines. Since the early days of the Renaissance in the 1500s, French people created recipes loaded with nutrients which they refined and perfected as centuries went by.

France is the largest country in western Europe with more than half of its land enjoying rich, arable, and pastoral soil. Along with plentiful rainfall, it altogether allows growing large quantities of produce making France a leading agricultural nation in Europe. French people taught themselves how to correctly use their produce and developed cooking habits which further enhance their recipes. Yes, French people became passionate about food and wines to go with their tasteful and healthy food.

• Northern regions ~such as Burgundy and Bordeaux~ had excelled raising cattle and enjoyed economic prosperity for centuries. They cook red meat with creamier sauces, and hence, their meals are rich.
• Mountain regions' success is their dairy farming and the 256 cheeses which are uniquely French. People in those regions also have their recipes with creamier sauces, but they are more inclined to eat fish.
• Mediterranean coast of France is the warmest part of Europe. The sun shines about 300 days each year. Their foods are cooked with a variety of vegetables, fruits, Herbs de Provence, Olive Oil, garlic, and fish.

• The French Have Four Cuisines •

» haute cuisine - It is the classical, sophisticated, well presented, and certainly tasteful French cuisine. There is emphasis on uniformity, color, and elegant presentation. The work it takes to prepare and cook meals in this cuisine make Haute Cuisine meals costly by comparison, but worth it!

» cuisine bourgeoise - This cuisine has been documented since the 17th. century. It is a simpler cuisine for family cooking and neither pretentious nor elaborated as Haute Cuisine, but Cuisine Bourgeoise is ~as expected of all French cuisines~ tasty.

» cuisine du terroir - French people interpret 'Terroir' as a way of life including the art of living life good. 'Terroir' is associated with a truly fine meal and wine that allows that way of life without sophistications.

» cuisine nouvelle - This is the new kid in the block born in the 1960s and 1970s. This cuisine counter-acts the time-consuming preparation and cooking of Haute Cuisine meals. Foods are less elaborated and faster to prepare. It shares with all cuisines emphasis on local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients.

• White Wine & Cheese •

French people have a true relationship with wine which is not expensive, it is drunk everyday in a healthy way. Cheese is special as well, and expected to be served as a course in itself after a main meal with slices of baguette, but before dessert. As expected, the French match cheese with wine.

Well-informed travelers who acquire knowledge of French cuisines will better enjoy what this magnificent 'Nation Of Gourmets' has to offer.

related article » French Mediterranean Diet Does Not Exist »

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