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Food is the basic necessity of life. Every individual earns to fulfill the need of his or her stomach. Some people live to eat while others eat to live. In both situations, food plays the lead role in one’s life. However, it’s basically the feeding style which defines man. Every culture has its own diversified types, tastes and style of food encompassing the different methods of preparation, presentation and eating habits and ways. The taste of food is enhanced by the location chosen to present it and made available for the people from every part of the globe, to enjoy the scrumptious meal.
Various spices, ways of preparation, time spent in cooking and the ingredients used define the shape, taste and manner of cooking. Of course, the styles of eating also differ from country to country. Moreover, it is not only the ingredients of the recipe, but the quality of the products used, methods of preparation, presentation, location of that particular restaurant, its serene environment, in short everything.
One such cuisine which has captured the hearts of many across the globe because of its taste and ways of preparation, and which is found to exist and develop in France, is known as the French cuisine. It has its own uniqueness with a distinctive, elegant and sophisticated concept of food embellished along with other various distinguishing characteristics. This paper focuses on the art of French cuisine, the aspect of cooking as well as presentation of the cookery.
French cuisine has set the standards world wide. Throughout the World, mostly every restaurant has the famous French servings enjoyed by all. Bangkok has the best French cuisine which is enjoyed by almost every tourist. French food has gain popularity throughout the European countries.
French are famous for their culinary mastery. Over a period of time, French Cuisine has developed its own unique taste and has retained its ideal power of culinary as well, thus developing a niche in the minds and hearts of many. It stands for the marked individuality of identification of the cuisine, the country of its origin and the excellence that the taste seeks to understand. It has developed into a detailed art and a science that a number of people seek to master.
French cuisine has that every touch of elegance, rustic or exquisite style. Every chef aims to achieve master the French art of cooking and achieve culinary excellence. This can be achieved with a little of practice, understanding and taste. However, the various types of ingredients and the ways of using these ingredients also make a huge difference in the cooked food and its taste (Ferguson P, 2004, P-8).
Talking about the unique taste of French cuisine, as per the interview held by the Times magazine on the issue of the difference of taste between American and French food, Larry Forgione, an American chef, defined the basic parameters of cooking. He said that French and American cooking is quite different from each other. Further more he said that the difference between the two cuisines is the variance in perception and attitude of food preparation. No doubt, a French best knows the taste of the other French people and can best serve them.
Marie-Antoine Carême, known as the Architect of the French Cuisine, was one of the most famous French chefs who impressed every individual with hid unique taste, the presentation, texture and even the color of the dish. He introduced different styles of cooking enhancing the art of French cuisine (http://www.londonfoodfilmfiesta.co.uk/FILMMA~1/French%20Cuisine.htm).
Lil Lacassagn who grew in France is a famous chef who owns the Saint- Jacques French Cuisine situated at Raleigh. His cooking and culinary skills were enhanced by the trainings of his Grandparens, Roger Verge and the culinary schools. He remained the Director of Operations at Siena Hotel and also at Raleigh.
Nobuo Murakami, a renowned French chef also created wonders to spread the French cuisine to Japan and other areas. He is honored to set the menu for Olympics and for Queen Elizabeth II. In a local newspaper, an individual comment on the loss of the great chef saying that people would surely miss his classic French taste and his dishes served with heavy sauces.
French cuisine is not only about good taste but it has that adventure and education element in it as well. Having a French meal is not just about fulfilling the physical needs which the stomach demands for; it is also about that very honor of being typically French. Nonetheless, in French cuisine, each dish is accredited with a formal name, accompanied with a set of garnishes and the right sauce along with it. Unless the dish is coupled with the right garnish and sauce, along with an authentic French name the dish is not complete and would lack the touch of the authenticity of being French. This defines the true art of French cuisine (Lawrence R, 2001, P-1).
The French are always in a quest to produce something new, something innovative which has quality in itself along with great taste. French cuisine has adopted the nouvelle cuisine style which is rich in texture, heavy and yet pleasant to eat and creates a sense of fulfillment of all senses when one deems to eat French cuisine. In the opinion of French people, the one who doesn’t have a diverse taste experience, despite the fact of having less knowledge, skills or talent, is considered to be among the most awful of the lowbrows (Lawrence R, 2001, P-1).
France has always excelled over the use of ingredients such as garlic and mushrooms. An interesting fact to be noticed is that before 15th century, seasonings were used to mask the spoiled food. However, today French food is simple without any expensive adornment or a litany of ingredients.
It was not until the mid of the 15th century, that the true art of French cuisine developed and took its shape that it is today. This happened because of Catherine de Medici of Italy who moved to France to marry the future King Henri. She brought along with her, the true sense of cooking techniques. Finally, with the 20th century, French cuisine went through a dramatic change with a series of implementation in the cooking styles thereby enhancing the intricacies and delicacies to what they are today, with a multitude of ingredients and diversified tastes of these ingredients crafted with perfection to various culinary dishes that win the hearts of people all across the globe
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Paris has all the tastes of elegant French cuisine. Restaurants such as the Petit Paris, has a French style atmosphere. The food served contains fresh ingredients. This is created by the top chef, Abraham who serves the finest French dishes. Another such outlet is LA PACE, at Glen Cove which serves a mixture of Italian and French cuisine.
French food is known for its dining order. The meal is divided into a minimum of five to a maximum of ten courses, with long breaks in between all of these courses. A French meal takes quite a lot of time varying from the quick cheap French food to the time consuming expensive French meal constituting of ten courses.. The French lead the great Culinary Heritages, with a combination of ripe camembert, warm croissants, vintage champagne and even more. Such a meal is best enjoyed in the country itself with its personality of a historical and romantic country (Villegas M, 2005, P-6).
Every part of French has its own specialty and taste. The general cooking strategies implemented are as follows:
- Classical French cuisine
- Haute cuisine
- Nouvelle cuisine.
France cuisine’s uniqueness and reputation is based on certain technicalities and delicacies, expensive sauces and other ingredients. This is called as the haute cuisine, more often known as ‘classic cooking’, developed by the chefs of upper French class which usually the bourgeois class enjoys. This cuisine reached its peak during the nineteenth century by the efforts of Auguste Escoffier, a French chef who made efforts to develop this cuisine. Haute cuisine is said to be a time consuming art which sticks to the firm laws and rules of elegant cooking. Moreover, it requires a profound understanding of various cooking methods focusing on the intricacies, and now which is only developed in the restaurants of France and other French restaurants across various countries (Villegas M, 2003, P-4).
In reaction to haute cuisine, Nouvelle cuisine was developed in 1960s under the influence of chefs such as Paul Bocuse and the Traisgros Brothers, who focused at producing lighter dishes with the use of less, subtle sauces accompanied by the urge of experimenting the untraditional style of cooking thereby having a lasting impact on French cuisine. This cuisine is by far, the most popular and easier of the cuisines to develop and cook (Villegas M, 2005, P-7).
Like every other culture, France has a uniqueness in its own which is depicted in its cuisine. The towns cook the local dishes as well as the ones which has a touch of that respective town. This not only contributes to the tradition that is being followed but also the true honor given to the local products. Moreover, French cuisine is an art of innovation. Each season has a set of different recipes ranging from the awaited summer melons to autumn walnuts. Moreover, the French cuisine has that touch of regional specialty as well, it is affected by countries sharing the border, such as Italy, the past traditions and economic conditions (Villegas M, 2005, P-8).
Eating and drinking, remains an essential part of the French culture. One of the grand pleasures includes opening the morning with a petit dejeuner of a French croissant and a café au lait. Lunch remains to be the main course for many along with the dinner. Due to the break between 12 30 and 3 30 when the shops and work places are closed, the meal extends to a course of three or four courses.
The sauces are considered to be of core importance in French cuisine which defines the fine art of French cuisine along with the basic ingredients; wine and cheese. The sauces differ in taste from other sauces available throughout the world as they are developed through specialized ingredients that define the taste and texture of French culinary arts.
They are the characteristic feature of a certain dish and define the taste, feel, nature and texture of the particular dish. Their elegance is mainly because of wine and cream. Other ingredients include are butter, meat stock, flour, carrots, bacon, onions, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme. The French sauces are available in many types such as: meat sauces, fish sauces, brown sauces, white sauces, and more.
The French cuisine deals with a much broader class of meats as compared to the ones used in other cuisines. This includes meat from goose, turkey, lamb or duck which makes the meat less available and more expensive, yet delicious.
Fish and seafood are not of much importance in French cuisine as compared to Spanish, Thai or Italian cuisines. Yet, French cuisine, as said before, keeps on introducing new dishes and one such seafood dish is bouillabaisse, a French Soup. Another seafood recipe is for the ones anxious for lobsters. It is known as a la Thermidor.
A standard dinner begins with an appetizer such as hors d’oeuvre which simply means finger food. It is then followed by a soup, mostly a consommé, which is basically a broth of beef cooked with other ingredients which are removed from the dish before being served. Another famous French soup is the French Onion Soup which is often served in between the meals. As a replacement of soup, a fish dish called soufflé can be served as well.
Another interesting feature of French cuisine is the sweet dish, usually Sorbets, which is served before the main course. Moreover, salads are even a specialty of French cuisine as accompanied with the classic French dressing, along with egg and other spices to define the taste of the salad. Along the main course of meat, a side dish, consisting vegetables covered with butter is also a part of French style of food which is unlike the style of other cuisines. Cheese is an important part of French cuisine which is served in between the main dish and the dessert. There are various ways of using cheese in dishes and is one of the main ingredients of any French dish being cooked.
Talking about desserts, the French desserts are enjoyed throughout the world. Sweets such as crepes and mousse are loved by everyone and have been adapted to taste according to various tastes. However, the class French taste tops all of the variations in other countries, because of its texture and taste built through cream, chocolate, and wine. The French meal does not end on a dessert but on a coffee or wine which is again a heavy ending as coffee is not served plain, but coupled with cream or chocolate and wine is always an old, textured classic wine (Ferguson P, 2004).
Throughout the world, wherever there is a French restaurant, or any eating outlet with the serving of a French meal, there are loads of appraisals and satisfactory comments from the customers. Whether it is France, or England, every place has French food, with original French ingredients cooked to perfection, highly cooked and succulent food topped with tempting sauces developed by experienced chefs made to fulfill the deeper desires than just filling the stomach.
According to the usual customer surveys, one can quite easily conclude that every individual wants a relaxing, soothing environment to enjoy the every bite of French food. French cuisine can only be enjoyed in a soothing, relaxed and usually romantic environment as is the taste and nature of the cuisine. The name suggests the meal to have snails and other haunting creature, but the truth reveals once you taste it. Ranging from juicy meat to cheesy meals to wine, French cuisine has everything for varying tastes. Often French meal is regarded as a heavy course despite the fact of the fresh ingredients used in the preparation of almost all of the light dishes.
Thus, French cuisine is quite different from all other cuisines of the world in every aspect. It has its own unique cooking style, presentation ways, the art of culinary and above all the unmatched taste. No doubt, it is the aim of every chef to achieve the art of French cuisine.
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