French Cuisine Analysis

French cuisine has always been an example of excellence in the art of cooking. Researchers from other countries confirm this fact by saying that French cuisine has influenced “the world gastronomy cuisine and the Brazilian cuisine” (Gambato & Gonçalves, 2017). Its impact is so massive that the lexicon of French cuisine has entered the terminology of many national cuisines as well. Dozens of words, from the word restaurant to the word omelet, are widely used in many languages. French cuisine is conventionally divided into three areas, including cuisine regionale, cuisine bourgeoise, and haute cuisine. The name of the first one suggests that such dishes are common in certain regions of France. The food from the second one is widespread in the country overall. Haute cuisine, however, is an extremely refined cuisine of the highest quality and made with expensive ingredients.

One of the features of French cuisine is the use of grape wine, cognac, and liqueur while preparing dishes. Wine occupies a special place in the life of the French. This is not just a drink that is consumed almost every day but also an object of national pride. Farrer (2016) mentions that “French wine, in particular, enjoyed enormous popularity, as a way of displaying both wealth and tastes” (p. 11). The most popular ones are Bordeaux and Burgundy, and it is difficult to choose the best one. Bordeaux is produced in the Gironde region, the center of which is the city of Bordeaux. At the same time, Burgundy is produced at the opposite end of France, in the Burgundy region. Such wines are mostly dark in color, thick in structure, and even velvety in their taste.

In most cases, the wine, as a rule, undergoes significant digestion in order to evaporate the alcohol. The remaining composition gives the food a unique taste and fills it with a pleasant aroma. Besides the fact that wine is used during the process of cooking, it also serves as the main component of marinades for meat and broths for boiling fish. There are no particular rules, however, using white or red wine would be more suitable. Nevertheless, red wine is more commonly used in cooking meat from domestic and wild animals, and white wine usually goes with fish dishes. In everyday practice, red and white wines are used interchangeably. Several dishes, such as moule mariniere (mussels) or fish and white meat, are prepared only with white wine, because red wine gives them an unpleasant blue tint.

Another feature of French cuisine is that cooks use a wide variety of sauces. In his book, Allen (2019) states that Antoine Careme attempted to compile all sauces into a catalog and also was proud of them since, in his opinion, they were “superior to those of any other nations” (p. 25). In fact, it is believed that there are more than 3000 sauces in French cuisine. They are added in order to add a certain flavor and aroma to food and make it possible to make different dishes with the same composition of the main products. Aside from them, spices are considered important in this cuisine, specifically savory, leek, chervil, tarragon, rosemary, and so on. A small bunch of them, which is called bouquet garni, is added in the pan; it usually includes a small bunch of parsley, thyme, savory, and bay leaves (Julien-David & Marcic, 2020). The reason for using these aromatic herbs is that they give food an exceptional taste and smell.

In conclusion, it would appear that France has rightfully earned the reputation of a trendsetter in the field of cuisines. In the mentality of the French, there has long been an opinion that cooking is an art of a special kind and the one who fully mastered it is not only a master chef but an artist as well. Food for the French is not just an opportunity to satisfy hunger, but also an important element of the way of life that characterizes a person from all sides.

References

Allen, G. (2019). Sauces reconsidered: Après Escoffier. Rowman & Littlefield.

Farrer, J. (2016). Michelin stars over China: French cuisine in Shanghai’s culinary contact zones. In Proceedings of the 2015 International conference on Chinese food culture, Taipei: Foundation of Chinese dietary culture (pp. 113-38).

Gambato, C., & Gonçalves, R. B. (2017). Adaptation of French cuisine to culture and the Brazilian taste. Cultur: Revista de Cultura e Turismo, 11(3), 58-86.

Julien-David, D., & Marcic, C. (2020). Food, nutrition and health in France. In Nutritional and Health Aspects of Food in Western Europe (pp. 109-131). Academic Press.