France: A Food Lover’s Paris-dise
Ah, France. Home to exquisite architecture, romance, and culinary experiences that are très magnifique. But did you know that you don’t have to book a plane ticket to experience the impact of French cooking? From molecular gastronomy to the creation of restaurants, French culinary influences can be seen today both on and off the plate.
The French (Culinary) Empire
The roots of degustation (tasting) menus started under the reign of the many King Louis’s from the House of Bourbon. With culinary arts being held in high esteem, only the freshest ingredients were used, and presentation was everything. This is something still seen in high-end restaurants today. Speaking of restaurants…
To Deliciousness, and Brie-ond
After the fall of King Louis XVI, France’s food guilds gave way to people cooking for themselves, resulting in the first cookbook in 1651 and first restaurant in 1765. As French cuisine expanded, chefs around the world studied these initial cookbooks and added their own flair. French bread-making techniques, for example, migrated to Vietnam to make banh mi. In Belgium, fusions of Flemish and French flavors are seen in Carbonnade flamande. Visit an upscale restaurant and you will find chefs putting emphasis on display and molecular gastronomy, a cooking technique used by early French chefs to create the perfect balance of flavors.
So, next time you see a chef, walk into a restaurant, or try your hand at molecular gastronomy with our delectable Herbs de Provence, you can tip your chef’s hat to the early Parisians for setting the foundation for exquisite cooking.