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RESTAURANT

Revealed: The world’s favourite French foods

With the whole world preparing to celebrate France's famed gastronomy on Thursday we reveal the most loved French foods across the globe, according to social media channel Instagram - the home of so-called 'food porn'.

Revealed: The world's favourite French foods
Where did the humble croissant finish on the list? Photo: Claudio Brisighello/Flickr
For one night on Thursday the whole world will dine on French cuisine.
 
Well not quite, but 1,300 classic Gallic dishes will be served up in restaurants across the world as part of the one-off Goût de France/Good France gastronomy festival.
 
But let's leave those 1,300 plates on low heat for a moment, and take a look instead at the French food that really gets the world drooling.
 
French chefs may have lambasted those who indulge in 'food porn' on social media but where better to turn than the photo-sharing channel Instagram to find out the world's favourite French foods.
 
We ran a check on all the most loved French nosh, from snacks to entrées, main courses to desserts. 
 
Based on the tens of thousands of hashtagged posts for each food, we have ranked the top ten in ascending order of popularity. Can you guess what came out on top?
 
Without further ado:
 
Tartare – 71,765 posts
 
We'll admit, this one took us by surprise. But as we were searching the social media channel, we realized that one of the main reasons people like to share their food is when there is an element of the unusual or the fun about it. And you'd be lying if you said there wasn't something exotic about a potentially bacteria-laced steak tartare. 
 
 
 
Soufflé – 89,675 posts
 
Coming in at ninth place is the humble soufflé. There's something fun about a soufflé, so we're not surprised people want to share them with their friends online. Instagrammers shared some of the most amazingly creative soufflées we had ever seen. 

Fun fact: The word soufflé comes from the French verb souffler, meaning to blow up (or to puff up, in this instance).
 
 

The tallest #souffle I ever did see…

A photo posted by heather (@hcammarata) on Mar 17, 2015 at 2:47pm PDT

 
Escargots – 114,811 posts
 
Escargots, or better known as snails in English, are a French delicacy. We'll be the first to admit that some of the posts with this hashtag were just snails, but the vast majority were about the dish.
 
Fun fact: In France, the snails are usually cooked outside their shells, then put back in again before serving.
 
 

A photo posted by Joel Corpus (@joelcorpus) on Mar 18, 2015 at 1:51pm PDT

Ratatouille – 130,638 posts

 
We'd wager that ratatouille would be higher on this list if it was an easier word to spell. But this lack of hashtags was more than compensated for by the posts about the Disney movie by the same name, which appears to have also been the inspiring factor behind a few dogs' and cats' names. But most were about the stewed vegetable dish from Nice in southern France.
 
 

A photo posted by Xin Ben Yu (@missxby) on Mar 18, 2015 at 6:14pm PDT

 
Fromage – 146,486 posts
 
Sixth place for fromage, and you might have noticed the figures are starting to increase dramatically. Almost 150,000 people have shared a picture of their "fromage" (cheese) with their followers. Honourable mention to "camembert", which had 52,698 hashtags alone – almost enough to earn a place on this list in its own right. 
 
 

How many cheeses can you try in one session? #cheeselover #supplier #bastard #gourmetimport 25 fat ones. #fromage

A photo posted by Erik Schneider (@wineradicalschneider) on Mar 18, 2015 at 6:49am PDT

 
Top Five
 
Foie Gras – 157,946 posts
 
Ever controversial, often shareable. Foie Gras has been dividing diners for years considering the often cruel force-feeding method in which it is made. Take a scroll through the posts and you'll see a real foodie vibe. Unlike 'ratatouille', no labradors are named after Foie Gras. Immoral or not, this food is a cuisine-lover's dream. 
 
 

#foiegras #hotplate #grilledfoiegras #japanesefood #japan #nippon #culinary #yummy

A photo posted by Watcharin Setakudan (@jakajan) on Mar 18, 2015 at 7:23am PDT

 
Baguette – 261,380 posts
 
There's nothing more French than buying a baguette from a Parisian cafe (and ordering it in French, thank you very much), tucking it under your arm, then eating it under the Eiffel Tower. Well, that's what the tourists think anyway. Indeed, many of the Instagram posts with the hashtag "baguette" were taken with the Iron Lady in the background and hardly focused on the food at all (see prime example below).
 
 
 

A photo posted by Sara Ellis (@sellis133) on Mar 18, 2015 at 7:40am PDT

 
Fondue – 583,470 posts
 
As we mentioned before, the fun foods were clear fan favourites, and the fondue was no exception. With over half a million posts, Instagram users just can't get enough of sharing their fondues (as well as their fondon'ts by the looks of some of the cheesy mishaps in the photos). 
 
 

Fondue anyone? #fondue #fondont #funtimes #werehip #yum

A photo posted by Dylan Cash (@cash419) on Mar 17, 2015 at 8:53pm PDT

 
Croissant – 722,739 posts
 
Ah, the croissant in second place. Who hasn't dreamed of walking into a French patisserie, saying "un croissant s'il vous plait", then devouring it, warm, as you walk down the streets? Of course you have. Many of you have probably done it. And over 700,000 of you have shared yours online. But if the buttery croissant isn't enough for first place then what is? Last chance to guess before scrolling down…
 
 

A photo posted by @rifaniandaa on Mar 18, 2015 at 11:50pm PDT

 
Crepes – 1,426,465 posts
 
First place for the crepes. Yes, first place. Who'd have thought it – certainly not us. A word of warning though, if you're planning on searching through the hashtag of crepe, you better not do it on an empty stomach. 
 
 
 
Disqualification: Macarons
 
You might be wondering why the macaron/macarons didn't earn a mention on this list.
 
After all, it boasts 2.3 million hashtags on Instagram.
 
However, as many users couldn't decide if they were sharing macarons or Italian macaroons (another very similar confection) and as some suggest the treat was invented in Italy anyway, we decided there was too much confusion to grant it the top spot as the world's favourite French food (according to Instagram). We apologise in advance to all macarons lovers. All complaints should be kept to oneself.
 
And lastly, an honourable mention to French fries. Yes, we know they're not French, but they deserve a nod with their 516,000 mentions.

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RESTAURANT

Restaurant of legendary chef loses third Michelin star

The restaurant of famed French chef Paul Bocuse, who died almost two years ago, has lost the coveted Michelin three-star rating it had held since 1965, the guide said on Friday.

Restaurant of legendary chef loses third Michelin star
L'Auberge de Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or was 'no longer at the level of three stars', the guide said. Photo:
The retraction of the coveted three-star ranking, coming just three years after Bocuse's death,  has prompted anger and dismay from many of his peers.
 
The Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near food-obsessed Lyon in southeast France, was the oldest three-starred restaurant in the world, having held the accolade without interruption since 1965.
   
The Michelin Guide told AFP on Friday that the establishment “remained excellent but no longer at the level of three stars” and will have only two in the 2020 edition of the famous red book — known as the “Bible” of French cuisine.
 
The Bocuse d'Or organisation, which holds the annual international cooking competition he created, greeted the announcement with “sadness” and expressed its “unwavering support” for the restaurant.
   
Bocuse's family and his kitchen team said they were “upset” by the decision, and celebrity chef Marc Veyrat, who recently sued the Michelin Guide over a lost third star, described the move as “pathetic”.
   
“Monsieur Paul”, as Bocuse was known, died aged 91 on January 20, 2018, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
   
Dubbed the “pope” of French cuisine, he was one of the country's most celebrated of all time, helping shake up the food world in the 1970s with the lighter fare of the Nouvelle Cuisine revolution, and helping to introduce the notion of a celebrity chef.
   
Michelin boss Gwendal Poullennec visited Bocuse's restaurant on Thursday to deliver the news, guide spokeswoman Elisabeth Boucher-Anselin told AFP.
   
Even before Bocuse's death, some critics had commented that the restaurant was no longer quite up to scratch.
   
But Michelin's decision, a year after stripping Veyrat of his third star just a year after awarding it, immediately stirred controversy.
 
'Irreparable'
 
While food critic Perico Legasse told BFM television the guide had committed an “irreparable” error in a quest for media attention, Veyrat said he had “lost faith” in a new generation of Michelin editors he accused of trying to make a name for themselves by taking down the giants of French cuisine.
   
“I am sad for the team that took up the torch at Collonges,” tweeted the three-starred chef Georges Blanc.
   
The restaurant has been modernising its look and its menu, pursuing a philosophy its management team describes as “tradition in motion”.   
 
“The chefs have reworked the dishes. They have been refining them for more than a year, evolving them while retaining their original DNA and taste,” the restaurant's manager Vincent Le Roux told a regional newspaper recently.
   
The restaurant is scheduled to reopen on January 24 after three weeks of renovations — three days before the official launch of the latest Michelin Guide.
   
Bocuse described himself as a devotee of traditional cuisine. “I love butter, cream, wine” he once said, “not peas cut into quarters”.
   
According to Michelin, restaurants are selected on four criteria: the quality of the products, the expertise of the chef, the originality of the dishes and consistency throughout the meal and across seasons.
   
But critics say the costs of ensuring such standards have made Michelin stars an untenable proposition as more diners baulk at spending massively on a meal.
   
A handful of French restaurateurs have in recent years relinquished their prized three-star status because of the stress of being judged by Michelin inspectors.
   
In 2018, the guide allowed, for the first time, a restaurant to withdraw from its listings after Sebastien Bras, the chef at Le Suquet, said he no longer wished to cook under that type of pressure.
   
The 2003 suicide of three-star chef Bernard Loiseau was linked, among other reasons, to speculation that his restaurant was about to lose its three stars.
 
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