French cuisine is well known around the world. French meals are important in terms of socializing and celebrating, it creates a place for togetherness. French gastronomy emphasizes togetherness, the art of delicious tasting food, and the balance between people and products of nature. Through French cuisine, one can learn a lot about French culture and regions. In 2010 French gastronomy was added to the list of the intangible heritage of humanity.
“French gastronomy emphasizes togetherness, the art of delicious tasting food, and the balance between people and products of nature.”
French gastronomy was added to the list because it contains quality produce, preferably local, flavors that go well together, the careful choice of cuisine that reflects the region, the marriage of food and wine, the quality of the kitchen, and the aesthetics of the placed table.
Most French people stick to three meals a day. Traditionally breakfast is had in the morning, lunch around 1 pm and dinner around 8 pm. A meal is a true ceremony, it contains constant conversation, starts with an appetizer and ends with food that promotes digestion. Between the appetizer and digestion there are at least four courses! There is a main course, containing meat or fish, cheese, and dessert. Meals are planned according to what is available during the season. An important part of the meal is setting up the table, placing the appropriate forks, folded napkins, and knowing the use of each glass.
When the time comes to enjoy the meal, the use of all senses are important. Smell is required when enjoying the smell of the delicious food, sight for a beautifully set table, and sound, upon hearing everyone at the table conversing and enjoying the meal.