A certain « art de vivre »25-06-2016
The French-style lifestyle is appreciated abroad, looked for, envied …
Is it our culture, our heritage, our gastronomy, our climate? It is all of it at the same time. The French culinary model, which we prefer to name the ” French food culture “, occupies a sure place in the perception foreigners have of France. They qualify it as the country of lifestyle. This attribute is based on very specific and very well anchored cultural foundations.
A well anchored food culture…
First of all, evoking the food culture is making reference to French food products, to regions in which they are produced. And also to the strong relation the French people maintain with them. In France, the cooking and the food are a source of pleasure well settled in the habits. Preparing a meal, playing with the tastes, delighting the palate, sharing a family culinary memory and feelings are intrinsically a part of our identity.
The meal : a privileged moment
Major symbol of this lifestyle, the meal remains, with its sharing aspect, the privileged moment of valuable transmission, creating social link. The three daily meals, specific components of the French food model, follow the evolution of the lifestyles. They are shorter today, simplified and adapted in a search of practicality. They still are a moment of search of good taste and of nourishing balance, and remain a place of learning of societal behavior and food education.
At the same time, the festive cooking, gastronomic and more occasional and often refocused on the weekend, remains an important social practice while preserving the convivial dimension of the meal. The notion of pleasure in the food is central for the French people: cooking is giving and a meal is sharing !
A big focus made on the choice of products…
The French people pay a big attention on the choice of the products, they are interested in their origin, favoring their quality, both in organoleptic and safety terms, and appreciate the diversity. The wealth and variety of the flavors, for their part, are perceived as major elements of quality cooking and a guarantee of balance. Around the dinner table, we speak about what we eat, of what we have already eaten, of what we would like or not to eat or try … it’s a moment of exchange, discovery of products and of their history.
Shaped by both the talent and the know-how of the people and the wealth of territories, the food thus holds a major place in the French lifestyle.
The French gastronomic meal : a social practice registered on the intangible heritage of the UNESCO
The gastronomic meal of the French people, the festive meal which allies the art of the eating well, drinking well, and of the well-being together was registered on November 16th of 2010 on the intangible heritage of the Humanity by the 5th intergovernmental committee of the UNESCO.
Why this recognition ?
The committee noted that the French gastronomy is a “customary social practice intended to celebrate the most important moments of the life of the individuals and the groups”.
The gastronomic meal of the French people, the intrinsic element of the French culture. It defines itself first of all as a common social practice to all, to which the French people are attached. And in which they recognize themselves. It is also the place where the wealth, the creativity and the diversity of our gastronomy spreads.
A distinction commented by Chefs and culinary journalists
On this occasion, the agencies of the international network of Sopexa asked several personalities of the gastronomic world to comment on this distinction. These well-known Chefs and culinary journalists, selected for their contribution to the international influence of French food culture, talk about the way our gastronomy and our products are perceived in their country.
These very passionate points of view come to consolidate what characterizes our gastronomy and in a more general way the French “lifestyle”: conviviality, diversity, generosity and pleasure to meet around a table … They also testify of the importance of the actions of transmission and education in France and abroad, and of the necessity of demonstrating the accessibility of our food products.