Film, Food, arid "La Francité": From le pain quotidien to McDo
Official and unofficial expressions of concern over the devalued status of gastronomy in contemporary France underscore the important role cuisine
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has played in defining French culture. As Priscilla Clark has noted, "If every country has a culinary tradition, in France as nowhere else that tradition has become a national symbol of prestige, the incarnation of French civilization" (33). For Clark, the rules and regulations of French cuisine, established over a long history of internationally recognized dominance in the culinary field, have come to constitute a sort of code civil, transforming the preparation and consuming of food into an aesthetic and spiritual activity, a ritual whose meaning is closely tied to the French concept of national identity.