The gastronomic meal of the French

On November 16, 2010, the ‘Gastronomic meal of the French’ was officially added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, leading to the creation of the four Cités de la gastronomie. This honour recognizes a social practice, the gastronomic meal, shared by all the French. But what exactly is this practice? Where does it come from, and what are its key components? In this dossier, we will explore these questions and more, opening the door to a unique gastronomic universe. Enjoy!

No ordinary meal

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 unique?

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Impeccable table settings and service

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.

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The art of eating in good company

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

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