Uniqueness. It is precious. So desirable. Why do we say this in an article about gastronomy, instead of focusing directly upon the food and wine? Well, because we want to start with a simple fact: French cuisine is unique.
It is well known that French cuisine was declared an "Intangible Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO in 2010. French cuisine lovers said: 'At last!'.
So, let us not beat around the bush: France is the homeland of gastronomy. French cuisine is known all over the world for its quality and diversity. It has a long tradition but is constantly evolving thanks to chefs who revisit classics and add their own signature style.
Recipes and styles may change but the foundations remain the same: a strong passion for finding and using the best ingredients with flavours that blend well, achieving the right balance of taste, texture and colour – all the while paying special attention to the overall aesthetic. And last but not least: a passion for enjoying each mouthful, each sip of wine.
All our senses are involved when eating and drinking. Visual presentation creates desire, aromas tantalise your taste buds. And then you finally dive into delight.
Now, the wine. French wines are the most popular in the world. But having good wine is not enough. It is choosing the right one that makes all the difference. Let us admit it: we have an everlasting and passionate love affair with wine.
What comes next? In France, we love a meal of several courses, even in day-to-day eating. Structure and variety elevates the meal, turning it into a moment of pleasure, and not just a matter of filling up with food. The traditional sequence at dinner is: an apéritif, hors d'oeuvre, main course, salad (served separately from the main course), a cheese plate and dessert (You can find much more about cheese in the "All About Cheese" section).
We are passionate about mealtimes. They are a ceremony, a ritual, to be shared with family, friends, or both. Even after a long day at work we find the time and energy to cook something tasty, set out on pretty plates. Everyone is around the table and then the conversation begins, about anything and everything. The conversation is engaging, everybody is talking, the children taking part. This creates special moments of togetherness.
All this explains why surveys show that the French spend over two hours at the table each day – more than any other country in the world. Pure hedonism à la Française!