Is french cuisine underrated

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french style, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. french style

    french style

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    I'm french and when I talk to Americans or europeans about french food they say It's not Good.Italian cuisine is So much popular for some reason.....even mexican cuisine is more popular Than french cusine apparently.This is madness! so i gathered a few arguments to prove That french cuisine is the best in the World! 

    - the chefs think That our cuisine is the best https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/news-trends/100-best-chefs-in-the-world-le-chef/
    This list shows That according to  512 chefs (all of them had at LEAST 2 stars according to the Michelin guide) we have 6 french chefs in top 10 and 11 in top 20 
    -we do very well at the World pastry cup http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Pastry_Cup and at the bocuse d'or http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bocuse_d'Or
    We won the pastry World cup 7 times(more Than every other countries combined) even though we participated only 9 Times.
    We Also have more bocuse d'or Than any country Norway is a close second though
    -we are the only country That I know where the bread is actually decent.I went to england,Spain and Italy and I'm sorry but the bread There was not That great! The bread here is So good That I can just eat bread plain and be satisfied.
    -We have the best wine in the World.
    -we have a lot of great restaurants particulaly in Paris!
    -we use a wide variety of products in our cooking mainly because 
    France is the 2nd agricultural power.(1st being The US but that's cause the US is 30x bigger Than France!)
    We have a lot of fish and a lot of great products ! Each regions have different special dishes and different ways of cooking!
    -we have a huge amount of very good cheese.More Than 1000!
    Despite all That people don't like our cooking :/ 
    Why is french cusine So unpopular? and why does italian cuisine have more success Than french cuisine? 
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    To my taste, French cuisine is over-rated. But that's only my opinion and plenty of people disagree with me on it. There aren't facts about what is people's favorite cuisine, just opinion.

    Sure, it's important for its refinement of technique and plenty more. Clearly,you like it. You shouldn't feel diminished because of other's opinions. 
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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  4. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    I really don't want to get sucked into this...but I think French cuisine is, on one hand, taken for granted. And on the other misunderstood and simplified into cliche and assumptions.
     
  5. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Taken for granted? Well, maybe by a casual diner. You see we don't have quite as many French specific restaurants in the US, but thousands upon thousands of restaurants in the US have French classically trained chefs. Those that know how to cook, know that the importance of something like the mother sauces. Even more so, the French elevated technique in the kitchen, and revered it as an art. Still, that doesn't translate into the mind of a diner - they only know food in broad strokes of ethnicity and ingredient. To be fair, most diners in the US that eat "Mexican" or "Chinese" or "Italian" food, are not consuming anything like the food that originates from those countries and many Italians would be insulted by what we label theirs. French food, can get lost in the mix because there isn't a tortilla, red sauce and pasta, or fried wonton to point to and say "this, is the earmark of French cuisine".

    As far as you having the best wines in the world, maybe that is true. Just don't have French judges do a blind tasting.. you might not like the results /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  6. genemachine

    genemachine

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    What is French cuisine, in the end? The classical haute cuisine? The regional cuisines? There's so much variety.

    In terms of casual dining, French simply never has been made as popular as Italian or Mexican. Which is a shame, I could do with some more brasseries and bistros instead of mediocre pizzerias.

    In a way, the extreme success of french cooking at the top end of the scale hurt the casual side - first thing everyone thinks about is haute cuisine. I'd just like to have some places around here where I could get simple steak frites, moules marinières, boeuf bourguignon or a cassoulet, just to quote a random selection.
     
  7. chefross

    chefross

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    Oh Gene.....you hit the nail on the head.

    French cuisine, simply put is food prepared as simply and honestly as possible.

    Nothing more then that.

    I believe this may be the problem in a nutshell.

    Americans don't understand food from other countries. They only know what restaurants cook and call international cuisine.

    Most countries food that we see in restaurants is peasant food that has been elevated to a higher status.

    The comment about Italian, and Mexican foods being far and away from what is eaten in those countries is very sorry but true.

    The "Americanization" of another country's food is what draws people to the restaurants.
     
  8. genemachine

    genemachine

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     Could say the same about real Italian.But then again, that is true for most simple, clean rural cuisines.

    It is not just an American problem, though. While we do not have huge franchised chains like Olive Garden to bastardize it, here in Germany, the "foreign" restaurants are generally not stellar, either. 
     
  9. french style

    french style

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    "Is to a list complied by a french magazine le chef it could be slighly biased"
    Well I can guarantee you That it's not biased.the people who voted for this list were the  512 chefs who have at Least 2 stars according to the Michelin guide.So people who created this list are competent enough.and actually it's mostly japanese who voted (149 japanese out of 512 chefs closely Followed by french I'll give you That)
    This list was made because of the shitty list of the "50 best restaurants in the World" made by british journalists!
    http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners
    That's what I call "biased"!

    "I could do With some more brasseries and bistros instead of mediocre pizzerias"
    Well it seems to be a problem.people nowdays are more intrested in eating pizzas,burgers or pastas rather Than trying something more elaborated.....

    Nice Link there
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Paris_(wine)
    There is just something I don't get o_O my father knows a lot about wines and he is easily able to recognize where the wine was produced and where does it come from just by tasting the wine.So it's pretty suprising That the judges Although blinded were not able to make the difference between American and french wines That's the thing I don't get lol 
     
  10. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Gene and East,

    You both very thoughtfully got to the heart of what I mean when I say taken for granted. French technique is built into the superstructure of much of North American cooking, no matter what genre of food is being served. We don't recognize the shear amount of Franco influence that is impeded all around us.

    Chefross, agreed. I think a straw poll of casual diners asked about French food would give you a "blind men / elephant" result. The diversity of the regional cuisines in France is extreme, yet all are embraced as "French".

    The success of French food on the high end hurting in on the low end is an interesting observtion. It's almost the opposite situation that Mexican food faces. People can't seem to wrap their heads round fine dinning Mexican, with some obvious exceptions, some going so far as to say the whole idea is wrong in and of itself.

    I have said it before, but much of the food choices we make are based more on romantic attachments to food, rather than the food itself. Right now the associations of Italian food (informal, family centric, simple and "pure", filling and comforting, etc) fit the publics mood better.
     
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  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    The main problem is not that the French think of their cuisine as the best of the world, it also implies and it's even more the fact that they think all other cuisines are inferior. It means above all that their is very little cross-contamination between French cuisine and others.

    Modern society has changed so much the last decennia and has caused an important change in habits.

    1. Nowadays, women no longer stay at home but prefer to go to work and have a fulfilling life of their own, if necessary all by their own. Cooking has to be fast and much less time consuming.

    2. Also, the economic situation causes many households to start cooking with a lower budget.

    That's the success of Italian cuisine in particular; very few ingredients put together in the shortest time and resulting in a heathy delicious meal.

    3. There's a huge interest for cooking programs and cookbooks which confronts people with all kinds of international cuisines and gets people to experiment.

    French cuisine in general is so much more elaborated and time consuming than Italian cuisine. Most European chefs are now experimenting with innovative combinations and technique. Not exactly a favorite thing of the French and... Italian chefs. Both are so stuck in their traditions.

    And one last thing; I live at 10 minutes from the French border and 300 km from Paris. I know a few things about France. The French have sensational products and sensational good cooking but it's high time they started to look at what their neighboring countries have to offer. I believe my own tiny country can compete on all levels with the French when it comes to cooking in general, bread, confiserie, pâtisserie, cheeses, wines, production of high quality vegetables and fruit, and I didn't even mention our fries, beers, chocolate and what not. Well, maybe our excellent brasseries and bistros; you need to visit star-restaurants in France for the same quality!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  12. french style

    french style

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    Well my culinary expérience is kinda limited because I mostly go to french restaurants and I am not great at cooking That being said  I have been to many very good restaurants.besides,I have already been to NY and I don't know about Éric ripert but I wouldnt call Daniel boulud one of  greatest french chef compared to the chefs I tested in paris and Lyon.
    They wouldn't say That because they are humble.our former president Nicolas Sarkozy wasn't "french gastronomy is the best in the World" (it is what Everybody in france thinks tbh)
    "Those of us who love food love a variety of cusine". not sure if this is true.first there is So Much variety in french cusine That it's almost impossible to consider it as one cuisine.besides chefs like Éric frechon and Paul bocuse prefer french cuisine above all.and their cuisine(like other great french chefs) are not influenced at all by other cooking styles.
    But my question was why is french cusine So unpopular So you don't have to discuss about which cuisine is the best!
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    French cuisine rated by a French magazine is not as believable as an American magazine. I was trained in French cuisine and worked in France . It is still the basis of most cuisines. It is varied but for todays patrons slightly to heavy. Italian is mostly tomatoes and garlic, Mexican is cheap so people like it . It depends on the individual taste. My opinion is French is the forerunner of all cooking.
     
  14. french style

    french style

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    It was NOT rated by a magazine but by 512 great Chefs mostly japanese
     
  15. genemachine

    genemachine

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    The highly developed culinary cultures of Asia want a word with you there...
     
  16. french style

    french style

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    "I believe my tiny country can compete on all levels With the french"
    Well maybe I need to visit belgium then lol.I Would be suprised if it's true !
     
  17. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    This I think gets to the heart of the matter.  I love French cuisine, but I don't think of it as the end all, be all of cuisine.  There are many great cuisines as complex and with a history as long or longer than French cuisine.  I'm thinking of Indian cuisine with its complex layering of flavors and spices.  I'm thinking of Chinese cuisines which are varied, complex, and very influential in today's multi-cultural food scene.

    French cuisine is not as popular as it once was for many reasons.  First of all there is the "been there, done that" mentality.  French cuisine dominated the Western world for so long and now chefs are discovering all these other great cuisines that have a lot merit also.  Secondly, like said before, haute French cuisine dominated for so long that people often overlook the other aspects of the cuisine.  French cuisine has a perception problem, especially in this country, that it is all stuffy and expensive.  That is directly related to the French chefs that came to this country in the 60's and 70's that opened up high-end French that only the elite could afford, whereas Italian places that opened up where much less expensive and accessible to the "common" man.
    I'd have to disagree with that.  Think of all the Asian cuisines with their long, long histories, or the Latin American cuisines based on the foods of the indigenous peoples there.  Besides where would French cuisine without all the foods that where discovered in the New World, or without the influence of Catherine Medici, an Italian.  Although her role in shaping French cuisine is overblown, the point is there was plenty going on in the world before French cuisine became the juggarnaut that it is.  Sure the French refined a system of cooking that still resonates today, and is the basis for much of Western cooking but I don't think you can call it the "forerunner of all cooking."

    French Style, I don't mean to sound harsh but another reason that French cuisine gets a bad rap is the attitude you display, refusing to believe that there are other cuisines out that can be as great as French cuisine.
    And why is this biased?  Have you eaten at any of these restaurants or are you just basing this on the fact that only about 1/4-1/3 of the chefs listed are French (even if their restaurants aren't)?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
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  18. french style

    french style

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    The top 50 list is biased because it was done by journalists not by experts unlike the other ranking I posted.besides it's obvious the top 50 list is bs when you see that they are no french restaurants in top 10 (british journalist did that on purpose I think ) and when you asked to the chef you have 6 french restaurants in top 10 (and maybe more if you count thomas keller cause I heard his cuisine is similar to french cuisine)the only thing I find shoking about the french magazine list is that paul bocuse is n2 lol I have eaten at Paul bocuse restaurant many Times.Mainly because I live in Lyon and it's one of the best restaurant here.but he is almost 90 years old now and his menu hasn't changed since the first Time I have been there.I think the chef voted for him because they respect him a lot but Yh he shouldnt' be n2.They are not many french chefs who don't do french cuisine if you know some tell me who are you talking about please?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  19. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Jean-Georges Vongerichten immediately comes to mind, trained under Bocuse, cooking South-East Asian style.
     
  20. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    And speaking of biased, there have been many, many complaints leveled against Michelin as being biased towards Franco-centric food so of course those chefs, in those 2 & 3 starred Michelin restaurants would be biased towards French cuisine.  If you don't believe me, a quick google search will come up with many articles written by those that feel that other cuisines don't get a fair shake from Michelin.