Forget 'let them eat cake'
Fanfare for the common French food: Vive Bastille Day!
July 13, 1999
By Wendy Wolfenbarger
ATLANTA (CNN) -- French food doesn't have to be fancy, fattening or time-consuming. The saucy and heavy dishes of the world's most famous cuisine were reserved for princes, not peasants. So forgo the foie gras and celebrate the true spirit of Bastille Day: Eat as the common man would -- food that is simple, fresh and filling.
Bistro-type foods are more popular than ever and more cooks are writing of the pleasures of provincial cooking. Even chef Daniel Boulud of the lauded New York eatery "Daniel" is planning a book of rustic recipes for the home cook.
The past decade has brought a resurgence in French cuisine, as fine restaurants dished up the traditional fare and chic bistros and brasseries sprang up on the American dining scene.
But French still lacks a firm grip on consumers as Italian, Chinese, Mexican and other popular food styles dominate the offerings for quick and easy meals. There is no "French to-go."
Michael Roberts, a restaurant consultant and author of "Parisian Home Cooking," says French food is portrayed as the high-end food served in restaurants. But the food made in home kitchens is not nearly so complex.
"Nobody cooks at home like they cook in restaurants; they'd all be dead," joked Roberts. "Home cooking is not trendy at all. French cooking really consists of some few hundred recipes handed down. Everyone has a little twist on what is a classic recipe."
The buzz on bistros
Bistros and cafes are popular in America, but they tend to be more "snotty," possibly misleading potential cooks, says Daniel Young, restaurant critic for the New York Daily News and author of the "The Paris Café Cookbook."
Young likens French bistros to American diners, or better yet, truck stop eateries -- quite casual and affordable.
Young says a trend in Paris is "trickle-down" gastronomy, where cafes and bistros imitate trends in the top restaurants, cutting down on ingredients and simplifying the preparation. "For the home cook, it's the same advantage," he says.
Eat French for a day
How to eat healthy? Here is how the French do it:
'Savoring the flavors' -- the key to Daniel Boulud's cooking
LATEST FOOD STORIES:
Texas cattle quarantined after violation of mad-cow feed ban
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.