5 Interesting Facts About French Food History
As one of the best foods in the world, French food is believed to be one of the healthiest diets too. From delightful sea food to meat dishes, beautiful cheese to scrumptious pastries, and also the finest wines to savor – French food is indeed a serious love affair with no end in sight. Want to know more about the history of French Food? Read on to fall more deeply into it!
1. The Way Of Life
As the third largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine, France is strategically surrounded by an abundance of mountains. The ideal climate and fertile soil of France is made for farming, from vegetables to grapes for wine. As such, France is a self- sufficient country in terms of food production with food and alcohol playing important roles in French society since the beginning of time.
Back in the olden days, the way a person eats often reflects their French heritage, social status, and health. For example, King Louis XIV (1661–1715) would hold twelve-hour feasts with over ten different high-quality dishes served. Such elaborate feasts were too expensive and required too much time for the common people to prepare for themselves, but often enjoyed among upper class citizens.
2. Diverse Influence
In addition to its own food traditions, French cuisine developed throughout the centuries received a lot of influences from the many surrounding cultures of Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.
One prominent influence from Italy happened during the 15th and 16th centuries through the marriage of Catherine de Medici of Florentine and King Henry II. The princess carried alongside her Italian cooks who were much more advanced compared to the French culinary specialists at the time. These chefs had started making a variety of dishes using Italian culinary practices with the French court, as did other European influences that flourished along the history.
3. Breaking Into The World
French cuisine was made important in the 20th century by Auguste Escoffier to become the modern haute cuisine; Escoffier, however, left out much of the local culinary character to be found in the regions of France and was considered difficult to execute by home cooks.
Thanks to culinary tourism and the Guide Michelin, more people are able to know the truly vast range of French cuisine, from the bourgeoisie of the urban elites to the local peasant cuisine of the French countryside starting in the 20th century.
Gascon cuisine, characterized by the use of duck fat, foie gras, and mild chili, has also had great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many dishes that were once regional have been presented in variations across the country and around the world.
4. Bread, Cheese & Wine
The staples of French Food can’t be far from the three iconic items : Bread, cheese and wine. Fresh baked bread daily cannot be overemphasized as a part of French heritage. From long crusty baguettes to light flaky croissants, bread is an expression of family love and an essential part of French food altogether.
Similarly, cheese and wine are absolutely central elements of the French diet and French food. Most wines and cheeses in France are specific to a certain region, but nonetheless a vital part of all French lifestyle. A combination of these three specialty items is essential to the culture and traditions of French food. Together, they make the perfect and affordable lunch to enjoy whenever, wherever.
5. A World Recognition
Throughout history, French food has contributed significantly to the definition of worldly pleasure and other cuisines all around the world. Its criteria are also used widely in Western cookery school boards and culinary education.
In November 2010, French gastronomy was added by UNESCO to its list of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. This is a cultural feat that once again emphasizes the importance of French food as one of the world’s most celebrated and loved assets.