Among humanity’s most cherished cultural treasures, the United Nations declared Tuesday, are Peking opera, Spanish flamenco dancing — and lunch in France.
The decision by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to include French food among new additions to a list celebrating the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” came as no surprise in Paris. For centuries, the French have been convinced that nothing is so fine, so culturally satisfying, so spiritually uplifting as sitting down for a good meal with friends and family. (Or maybe a lover, but that is another heritage.)
President Nicolas Sarkozy summed up the views of most of his compatriots when he blurted out at an agricultural fair two years ago that French cuisine is the best in the world and should be put on the UNESCO list.