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France vs England the cuisine showdown

Today we have a guest post by friend of the blog, William, on French vs English cuisine!  Enjoy!

Which country has better cuisine—France or England? The answer will depend on individual taste, but both countries represent fantastic destinations for foodies and connoisseurs. Let’s take a look at what each country has to offer.

France: Haute Cuisine

There’s no doubt that France has a reputation for producing some of the best food in the world, and it’s well earned. With the second highest number of Michelin three-star restaurants, France is a gourmand’s gateway to paradise. With an emphasis on using fresh, local ingredients to secure the highest quality, coupled with a strict adherence to traditional recipes and techniques, the French standard of haute cuisine has stood the test of time and remains some of the best food in the world.

But what exactly is the French concept of haute cuisine? It refers to the idea of nothing but the highest quality ingredients, gathered from their sources, and prepared in the most delicious way possible. The French also place a high standard on presentation, so that the arrangement of the food on the plate is as pleasant as the flavor. Finally, setting is also important, with French mealtime being a time not only to enjoy luscious food but also to enjoy the company of good friends or family.

However, because French cuisine is also known for using local ingredients, much of the major dishes are strictly regionalized. For example, Normandy is known for apples, and therefore many of the dessert menus there include apple-based dishes, while Provencal dishes often make use of lemon, rosemary and other herbs that grow in this region. But don’t expect to find these dishes outside of their regions. In this sense, French cuisine can be a bit repetitive.

England: Up and Coming

In the past, any mention of British cuisine usually conjured up images of greasy fish and chips, soggy Cornish pasties, and lackluster flavors. Fortunately, all of that is changing. In London and other major cities, you can find food from all around the world, as well as innovative meals crafted from tantalizing combinations of flavors. Similarly, humble dishes such as bangers and mash, steak and kidney pudding, and fish and chips have quietly undergone a gastronomic makeover in England’s many gastropubs, which place an emphasis on serving fresh, fine pub fare alongside the regular drinks menu. In some ways, British cuisine is currently drawing on French attitudes about food, with emphasis on quality and a pleasant mealtime experience.

It’s worth mentioning the heritage England brings to the table when it comes to fine dining. Some say that the ambient surroundings contribute over 50% to the taste of the meal and nothing can compare to some of England’s banquet halls. Iconic locations such as the Dorchester on Park Lane provide a truly breathtaking dining experience which is well worth the hefty price tag.

The Best of Both Worlds

Not convinced? Since it’s possible to travel between the two capitals in a day, why not try both types of food and see for yourself? You can easily have breakfast in London and then dinner in Paris. Travel to Paris can be easily arranged from London, with a return trip scheduled the same day. The trip takes three hours one way, enough time to allow you get excited about all the delicious dishes you can try once you arrive.

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