With one of its top chefs at the helm, France served up 18 extravagant courses from its catalogue of storied gastronomy to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the legendary Palace of Versailles on Thursday night.
In typical food-obsessed French fashion the mega-meal went on for two hours and 20 minutes and of course included glasses of the country's finest wine and Champagne. With new dishes, albeit in small portions, coming out of the kitchen at rate of one every eight minutes, Xi Jinping would have needed to have worked up a decent appetite.
And while many of the dishes churned out by celebrity chef Alain Ducasse, holder of a constellation of Michelin stars, are the ones tourists flock from around the world to sample in a Paris brasserie, a few may remind Anglos of a more adventurous side of French eating, that they perhaps find less appetizing.
The menu was leaked to the press on the same day that a French minister slammed the previous night's state dinner at the presidential Elysée Palace as "disgusting".
Here is the menu published by in full.
- Salt-crusted vegetables from the king’s garden (Légumes du potager du Roi en croûte de sel, condiment)
- Frog legs with sorrel sauce (Cuisses de grenouille, sauce à l'oseille)
- Truffled guinea fowl pie (Pâté chaud de pintade truffé)
- Crayfish ravioli (Raviole de langoustine, bouillon)
- New vegetables cooked and raw (Primeurs cuites et crues)
- Sea bream, caviar and beets (Daurade, caviar, betteraves)
- Morels, tender gnocchis (Morilles, gnocchis fondants)
- Thick filet of freshly-caught sole, shellfish (Sole de petit bateau en épais filet, coquillages)
- Line-caught turbot with black truffles (Turbot de ligne à la truffe noire)
- Lobster, Jerusalem artichokes (Homard, topinambours)
- Young pigeon, celery, peanuts (Pigeonneau, céleri, cacahuètes)
- Glazed veal sweetbreads studded with olives (Ris de veau doré clouté d'olives)
- Saddle of suckling lamb, aubergine, savory (Selle d'agneau de lait, aubergine, sarriette)
- “Exotic” Vacherin cheese (Vacherin exotique)
- Vanilla millefeuille/napoleon (Millefeuille vanille)
- Red berry elixir (Élixir de fruits rouges)
- Hazelnut (Noisette)
- Pear (Poire)