Photo de la cuisine des Philosophes par Dmitry Kostyukov pour le New York Times
Article de Liz Alderman publié le 28 janvier 2014sur le site du New York Times et dans la version papier
Frozen foie gras? The battle to keep French menus fresh
« PARIS — Sit down at a cute Parisian bistro and the chances are the onion soup, the paté and the boudin blanc set before you weren’t prepared from fresh ingredients delivered that morning.
Even though France is renowned as a world capital of gastronomy, these days, odds have grown that a savory-looking entree or dessert — especially at establishments near tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or Montmartre — may have been at least partly prepared by an industrial food giant, frozen, then reheated in a kitchen. Even the bread, the French bread, may have been made in an industrial bakery.
While this practice is taken for granted in the rest of the industrialized world, to many French it is an astonishing affront to their very culture.
The solution is just as French: Lawmakers are expected to approve this month a consumer protection law requiring restaurants to designate fresh dishes with a “fait maison,” or “homemade” logo. If a dish is unlabeled, some or all of it is presumed to come from an assembly line.
“The use of industrial foods in restaurants is a growing global phenomenon,” said Daniel Fasquelle, a National Assembly lawmaker among those pushing for the label. “But for France, we’re talking about our heritage. If we don’t do anything, in 10 years, real restaurants will be the exception.”
As is often the case in France, however, resolving the issue is not so simple. Restaurant owners behind a fresh-food movement say the government has not gone far enough. They want menus to note every frozen item, citing the right for consumers to know after a European food scandal last year in which frozen beef products were found to contain horse meat. »