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The committee agreed that French cuisine is part of a custom that celebrates the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups.
"The French like to meet, drink well, eat well and enjoy themselves," said French ambassador to Unesco Catherine Colonna. "It's part of a tradition of living well."
The committee discussed the French case at length, fearing it could be abused for commercial ends. It will keep a close eye on the use of the Unesco logo by French restaurants.
The intangible heritage list was introduced in 2003; 178 cultural practices and traditions have been added to the list so far.
It is not France's first appearance on the list. Last year, the scribing tradition in French timber framing made it in as well as Maloya, a genre of music from La Réunion.