The gastronomic meal, such as it has been practiced in France for centuries, is obviously an occasion for eating and drinking well. But it is also a social event, one which structures French life and society, sharing more than just nourishment for the body.

While a festive meal in France is gastronomic by definition, certain rituals must be observed concerning the service and table setting. No detail is too small…

Meals can take myriad forms, reflecting the variety of cultures around the world. In France, however, meals hold a special significance. What is it that makes the gastronomic meal of the French unlike any other?