I consider French cuisine the tops. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on French cuisine and it's history, a little bit at a time because I have carpel tunnel from so many years in the kitchen.
In France, Cuisine is not simply a source of pleasure but a multifaceted discipline. For centuries, French gastronomes have articulated opinions in their writings and woven historical, sociological, and biological elements into personal philosophies of taste. A true "Science of the table" has developed with it's grand masters, heroes, and evn martyrs all serving the cause of " La gastronomie Francaise"
The development and growth of French cuisine owes much to the fact that, unlike many other western countries, France has historically had a gastronomic capital, Paris. Culinay resources are concentrated there, the best ingredients and the most sensitive palates were all found in one place. For centuries, observers marvelled at the diversity and abundance of foods availible to Parisians. The provinces have long paid a gastronomic tribute t the capital in the form of hams, sausages, cheeses and fish.
But a concentration of resources, a receptive enviroment do not alone explain the growth and development of French cuisine, one needs chefs. in France, cooks are respected but chefs are revered. Like soldiers and statesmen they are decorated and glorified, streets are named after them and schoolchildren can recite their names. French chefs do more than cook. They often feel a duty ti improve upon the past, to "advance" the art of cookery be renewing attitudes and exploring new tastes. Indeed the periodic formation of Nouvelle cuisine is the characteristic of French cuisine and one of it's greatest strengths.
More to come, but my fingers are sore