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France

France to label 'homemade' dishes in restaurants

media French restaurants will be able to highlight homemade dishes starting July 15, 2014. PHOTO / OLLI GEIBEL

Long a country known for its culinary panache, the proliferation of microwavable and pre-packaged foods in French eateries has left a bitter taste for some restaurant-goers.

But starting Tuesday, French chefs who have eschewed time-saving techniques for cooking from scratch will be able to post a “homemade” logo next to any dish made in-house, according to a decree published on Sunday in the official government gazette.

France’s Parliament approved the measure this January in a bid to reign in on the amount of processed foods used and to preserve France’s high gastronomical standing.

Under the legislation, qualifying dishes must be made on-site using raw materials.

Except for potatoes, raw products that have been frozen, chilled, refrigerated, cut up, chopped, ground, smoked or peeled by the time they are delivered to the restaurant will qualify.

Some prepared products such as bread, pasta, cheese and wine will be excluded.

This is the latest effort to help bolster the crème de la crème of French cooking.

Last April, the College Culinaire de France – a 15-member industry group founded by top chefs – launched a “quality restaurant” label for eateries that meet the highest cooking and service standards.

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