Worldwide debate ensued after UNESCO decided to choose the “gastronomic meal of the French” to feature on its list of the world’s intangible cultural treasures.
President Nicolas Sarkozy called upon UNESCO to include French gastronomy in its cultural list, which includes:
- Oral traditions and expressions
- Performing Arts
- Social practices, rituals and festive events
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
- Traditional craftsmanship
According to UNESCO experts, French cuisine is "a customary social practice for celebrating important moments in the lives of individuals and groups. It is a festive meal bringing people together...to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking. The gastronomic meal emphasizes togetherness, the pleasure of taste, and the balance between human beings and the products of nature."
Menu composition, laying the table, matching the meal to the wine – not to mention the endless talk of food and recipes which the French indulge in – were all taken into account before UNESCO experts accepted the country’s claim to gastronomic heritage.
True, French cuisine is celebrated worldwide, but is it really something that should be included in UNESCO's world heritage list?
Let us know what you think!