Recently there’s been a major push in French lawmaking to require restaurants to put what’s fresh on their menu. Why, you may ask? French restaurants’ recent tendency towards using frozen foods has been their answer to keep internal fees down because for the first time, people are eating more “fast food” than sit-down meals, according to NPR.
More people are turning to packing lunches or hitting up what’s known as boulangeries, a French word that used to delineate an establishment that made bread from scratch, but now these same places make quick, grab-and-go meals for prices that we could buy a McDonald’s meal for. And fine-dining restaurants are taking a hit, so to keep their fees down they’ve admitted to purchasing and serving factory-frozen foods, thus turning diners away even more.
To protect true French cuisine, Daniel Fasquelle, a lawmaker in the French Assembly, is working to pass a measure that would require restaurants to print a menu detailing what exactly is homemade. The movement as a whole aims to define and ultimately limit what can be called a restaurant, specifying that at least half of the food be homemade to be considered a restaurant.
Fasquelle believes that "France is not like other countries when it comes to cuisine. It's the country of good food, good wine,” so the trend towards food on the run is hurting the French. He as well as others believe that dining is a break, “a moment to enjoy life," and a ritual of sorts that need be honored, and fast food is not the way to do that (at least not in France). If the measure is passed, France can hopefully return to the fine cuisine rituals it knows and loves.