Last modified on January 19, 2020, at 00:40

French cuisine

The French are well-known for their culinary achievements.[1]

The French are well-known for their culinary achievements.[2]

Rebecca Franklin in her article entitled A Brief Introduction to French Food and Cooking wrote:

French food and cooking are generally considered the backbone and underpinning of many cuisines across the Western world. The influence and recognition of classical French cooking techniques are legendary. This status is precisely why French cuisine can be intimidating for a beginner to learn.

French food leaves many cooks feeling that they have to live up to a certain unattainable elegance and flair. In the U.S. that may come mainly from the influence of Julia Child, the well-known writer (and later television personality) who brought French cooking to the American public. Mastering the Art of French Cooking (the title of Ms​. Child's famous book) is considered by many to be the pinnacle of her culinary achievement and helped make classic French cuisine more well-known to American home cooks.[3]

Desecularization, immigrants and French cuisineEdit

See also: Dietary practices of atheists and Atheism and food science and European desecularization in the 21st century and Desecularization

French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about one of Europe's most secular nations. In 2011 alone, the number of evangelical churches increased from 769 to 2,068.[4]

Due to its past, namely the anti-clerical French Revolution and its after effects, in 2005 France had the 8th highest rate of atheism in the world with 43–54% of the population being atheists/agnostics/non-believers in God.[5] In 2010, in a Eurobarometer poll,[6] 27% of French respondents answered "I believe there is a God", 27% answered "I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 40% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".

Irreligious/nonreligious countries/populations have sub-replacement levels of births and over time this can have a significant efective in terms of desecularization (see: Atheism and fertility rates).

In April 2010, the British academic and agnostic Eric Kaufmann declared that "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[7]

France has had a significant amount of evangelical Christian and Islamic immigrants in recent years. Many of France's immigrants are from former French colonies in Africa and Asia. According the Seattle Times article French cuisine, shaped by the immigrant experience, immigration is having an influence on French cuisine.[8]

On July 12, 2012, the Christian Science Monitor reported:

French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about Europe’s most secular nation...

Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the French National Evangelical Council, found that since 1970, a new evangelical church has opened in France every 10 days. The number of churches increased from 769 to 2,068 last year.[9]

Future rate of change of French cuisineEdit

The website Cultural Front notes:

In chapter 6 of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell highlights cultural legacies. He opens with disturbing descriptions of how longstanding cultural patterns and beliefs influenced violent conflicts among generations of families in Kentucky during the 19th century.

The compelling research findings concerning long-term and deeply held values led Gladwell to the conclusion that cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them. He goes on to note the possibilities of “taking cultural legacies seriously” in order to learn “why people succeed and how to make people better.”[10]

Religious immigrants resistent to assimilationEdit

In 2011, a paper was published entitled The End of Secularization in Europe?: A Socio-Demographic Perspective. The authors of the paper were: Eric Kaufmann - Birkbeck College, University of London; Anne Goujon - World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Vegard Skirbekk World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).[11]

An excerpt from the paper by Kaufmann, Goujon and Skirbekk:

Conservative Protestants, a much larger group than the Mormons, also benefit from relatively high fertility. Hout et al. (2001) find that three-quarters of the growth of conservative Protestant denominations against their liberal counterparts is due to fertility advantage rather than conversion.

In Europe, there has been less attention paid to fertility differences between denominations. However, several studies have discovered that immigrants to Europe tend to be more religious than the host population and — especially if Muslim—tend to retain their religiosity (Van Tubergen 2006). Though some indicators point to modest religious decline toward the host society mean, other trends suggest that immigrants become more, rather than less, religious the longer they reside in the host society (Van Tubergen 2007). All of which indicates that religious decline may fail at the aggregate level even if it is occurring at the individual level (Kaufmann 2006, 2010). This article thereby investigates the hypothesis that a combination of higher religious fertility, immigration, and slowing rates of religious apostasy will eventually produce a reversal in the decline of the religious population of Western Europe.[12]

Research indicates that among ethnic minority immigrants religion is a source of group ethnic identification which makes them more resistant to secularization.[13] In most countries, with the exception of France, Muslim immigrants have nearly 100% retention rates for the second generation.[14]

France is protective of its culture in some respectsEdit

In 2011, The Telegraph published an article entitled France's Académie française battles to protect language from English which had the byline "France's Académie française, official custodians of the French language, has taken its battle to fight the invasion of English and bad French to the internet with a new interactive web service".[15]

In 2014, the website WorldPolicy.org reported:

The concept of “Exception Culturelle” (cultural exception) was a term first introduced by France during the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations in 1993. It refers to the fact that cultural goods and services should not be treated as regular goods in trade agreements and at the World Trade Organization. This concept allows countries to implement indirect trade barriers, such as quotas for the diffusion of foreign artistic work or subsidies to the local cultural sector. If it was initially meant to protect French culture from the foreign—mostly English language—content flooding the market, it is truly outdated and needs to evolve.

The tensions between a protectionist French government and the Hollywood film industry sums up two radically different views: the U.S. considers arts as an industry making profits, whereas Europe considers culture as the product of ideas that extend beyond strict commercial value. Jack Valenti, former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, once said during the Uruguay round, “Culture is like chewing-gum, a product like any other.” Contrastingly, French President Francois Mitterrand once said, “The mind’s creations are no mere commodities and can’t be treated as such.” Moreover, the notion of cultural diversity, a rich intellectual and artistic debate without profit-making consideration, is crucial in Europe...

The future of the French cultural exception is uncertain. On the positive side, the unexpected success of the Korean film industry should inspire European leaders.[16]

In 1996, the New York Times reported:

The French Government, on a crusade to safeguard the country's culture from marauding forces of commercialism, has risen yet again to defend the national patrimony, setting up a foundation to involve the citizens directly in trying to protect some of the things that make France French.

Legislation to create the foundation was first introduced several years ago, as reports spread that Italian and Russian organized crime barons were buying up villas and other handsome properties in southern France.

The plans were approved last week by the Cabinet and are expected to be passed by the Parliament this spring, speeded by the news that a Japanse real estate magnate had bought nine castles in northern France, stripped some of their furnishings and, claiming bankruptcy, allowed all of them to decay.

The Culture Ministry says the aim of the new Heritage Foundation, which would begin its work next year, is to protect or manage those parts of the national patrimony that do not already have Government protection -- not the great cathedrals, palaces and mansions, but France's many chapels, mills, markets, country inns and landscapes. The ministry calculates that there may be 400,000 such spots.[17]

Ban on public smoking: Recent improvement in France's dining experiencesEdit

Paris street photo of a man smoking.

As noted above, the irreligious are more frequently smokers (see: Atheism and smoking).

Many people feel that smoking in restaurents detracts from the dining experience.

Tourists visiting France often cite smoking as the first culture shock they experience.[18] A survey by travel website Tripadvisor reported that users found that France was by far the "smokiest" country in the world.[19] During the French Revolution, smoke filled Paris cafés turned into centers of lively political discussion and activity, often led by members of the Revolutionary clubs.[20][21]

In 2006, France banned smoking in public places.[22]

NotesEdit

  1. A Brief Introduction to French Food and Cooking BY Rebecca Franklin
  2. A Brief Introduction to French Food and Cooking BY Rebecca Franklin
  3. A Brief Introduction to French Food and Cooking BY Rebecca Franklin
  4. In a France suspicious of religion, evangelicalism's message strikes a chord
  5. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  6. Eurobarometer report on Biotechnology (2010). Archived from the original on 15 December 2010.
  7. British academic Eric Kaufmann says "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France". Also, Kaufmann writes that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence"
  8. French cuisine, shaped by the immigrant experience, Seattle Times
  9. In a France suspicious of religion, evangelicalism's message strikes a chord
  10. Outliers & Cultural Legacies
  11. Religious immigrants will alter the religious landscape of Europe
  12. Religious immigrants will alter the religious landscape of Europe
  13. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  14. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  15. France's Académie française battles to protect language from English, The Telegraph, 2011
  16. FRANCE: ENDING THE CULTURAL EXCEPTION, WorldPolicy.org
  17. [France to Form New Body To Further Protect Culture], New York Times, 1996
  18. The French and smoking: Is France really 'Europe's chimney'
  19. The French and smoking: Is France really 'Europe's chimney'
  20. Fierro, Alfred (1996). Histoire et dictionnaire de Paris. Robert Laffont. p. 743. ISBN 2-221-07862-4.
  21. French revolution in cafe society
  22. What You Need to Know About Smoking in France