Scandale! Haute Cuisine is Often Boil-in-a-Bag

Now here’s a scandale set to rock the nation to its foundations. Forget the banks, the euro-crisis and dithering politicians, head for your local bistro and brasserie and demand the truth!

Where does that meal really come from, markets like these or a food processing factory turning out boil in a bag microwaved meals?

According to Reuters (hat-tip to Bonjour_Paris ) a new law is on its way “that will oblige eateries to indicate whether or not their food is freshly cooked or ready-made. ” This says Reuters, follows a claim by Roland Heguy, chairman of the French syndicate for the hotel and restaurant industry (UMIH), that “only 20,000 of France’s 120,000 food establishments could actually claim to make all their produce from fresh ingredients”.

So is the country ready to rise in protest against this debasement of one of its most hallowed, sacred and mythical traditions? That remains to be seen but the national tourist authority at least, ought to be worried.

Of course there are culinary contradictions aplenty in the country — the McDonald’s phenomenon is just one — but the news must surely be disturbing to true French gourmets particularly when it follows so soon on an earlier report about the imminent demise of the French lunch (see The Disappearing “Pause Déjeuner”) .

Who will save the nation at such a time of dire need! Slow Food conviviums were launched in Italy precisely because of similar gastronomic fears there and are now enjoying a mini-boom among cognoscenti across Europe and the U.S.

Tell us what you think, do use the comments below.

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