By Matt Goldstein
Throughout modern times, French cuisine has been a standard for excellence and Paris a destination for food lovers throughout the world. Recently however, French cuisine has suffered in the never ending search for a profitable restaurant. Profit in business is of course understandable but the seemingly snobby French can no longer snub their noses at inferior culinary cultures. Remember that guy with the mustache in Apocalypse Now who wanted to be a “Saucier,” Paris would now be one of the last places to employ that kind of profession. According to the BBC, the overwhelming majority of French restaurants are now using pre-manufactured sauces and even pre-packed, pre-cooked processed industrial hard boiled eggs in a pre-sliced roll. Instant white cream sauces, instant pepper sauces, instant steak sauces, even truffle flavoring without any truffle in it.
These new industrial ingredients and instant economy style aren’t just exclusive to cheap establishments, but are actually endemic in more expensive eateries as well. The French government is trying to combat the demise of French cuisine by rewarding those restaurants and chefs who create everything from scratch and use fresh ingredients, herbs and spices to create their sauces. These chefs and restaurants are now being called, “master restaurateurs.” Perhaps, French chefs and restaurants will clamor to acquire this title, but for now, the majority of French bistros will have to live with the consequences of their industrial ingredients and economic cutbacks. French restaurants are now the standard for culinary mediocrity.