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World Heritage Sites: Tasty?

Cindy Loose

When the World Heritage committee designates a man-made structure like the Taj Mahal or a natural creation like the Grand Canyon as a World Heritage site, the place draws tourists and creates national pride, among other things. Currently, the list has 851 sites natural and cultural worldwide that have "universal value."

If it's good enough for Gerard Depardieu... (Philipp Guelland/AFP/Getty Images)

Now the French want their food listed as a World Heritage.

Should gastronomy be added to a list of tangibles, like the Great Barrier Reef and Ankor Wat? I personally like well-prepared French food, but I also like a good bowl of spaghetti and don't think it's a bowl of universal value. What's next?

It's not like the French don't already have a pretty good representation on the World Heritage site list -- 32 sites compared with, for example, 20 in the United States.

The issue will be pushed at a press conference on May 20 when 155 Grands Chefs from Relais & Châteaux join from around the world to support the French initiative to inscribe its gastronomy as a UNESCO world heritage.

Hubris, I say. You?

By Cindy Loose |  May 15, 2008; 6:19 AM ET  | Category:  Cindy Loose , Dining , Europe , In the News
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Sorry Italin foods beats French food anyday. As do Italian wines and cheese and Italian cars. Take a hot Italian babe over a French one anyday.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 15, 2008 10:54 AM

Oh, ze French, zay are so seely.

Posted by: Fifi | May 15, 2008 11:04 AM

I might be persuaded of your take on Italian wine, cheese, food, with some work on your part. (Samples required and gratefully accepted.) I definately agree about the cars. Babes I don't know about so much, but for male beauty....I'm thinking French. (Samples accepted.)

Posted by: cindy loose | May 15, 2008 11:05 AM

But are they pushing for French cuisine or provincial French food?

There's a huge difference between the butter, béarnaise and en croute of more sophisticated French cuisine, and the cassoulets and steamed/grilled meats of provincial French cuisine (the former is tasty, but I prefer the latter).

It would be like trying to push Italian cuisine as a single unit - it's just too different from region to region.

I don't think it's hubris - it's just weird.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 15, 2008 11:38 AM

I have no beef, so to speak, with the French, but this idea is just reediculous.

Posted by: h3 | May 15, 2008 3:26 PM

Is this some kind of scheme to add a couple of Euros to each check at a "French" restaurant? If it is I think the filafel place around the corner will get the business.
I think Escoffier just drew his toque over his face in his grave.

Posted by: rja112 | May 16, 2008 6:18 AM

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