It is hardly the greatest sin in journalism, but when the issue is restaurants in France serving up factory food and calling it their own, it is to say the least ironic to report it by serving up a story prepared earlier by a big industrial wire service.
Today’s Fairfax weekenders purport to dish on “the dirty secret of many French ‘restaurants‘”:
Daniel Fasquelle wants the world to know the dirty secret in the kitchens of many French restaurants: they don’t cook their own food.
The French parliamentarian is pushing a law to restrict the use of the label “restaurant” to establishments that prepare their food from scratch. He reckons many of France’s eateries wouldn’t cut it because they reheat industrially prepared foods.
If you’ve ever wondered why French classics such as a “moelleux au chocolat” or a “tarte tatin” tastes suspiciously the same in Paris restaurants, it’s probably because it is. About a third of French restaurants say they use industrial food, and Fasquelle and other officials fear declining standards at the nation’s 150,000 restaurants threaten a tourism industry that represents 7 percent of France’s $2.8 trillion economy.
Shock, horror (and as good an explanation as any as to why the Prick has generally found French cuisine – be it bourgeoisie, bistro, or haute – to be often far superior outside France).
Readers who get to the bottom of the story however will note the word “Bloomberg”: the story hit the wires two or three days ago. Not exactly reporting a la minute, as it were, but then Fairfax has long been sliding towards becoming an aggregator service rather than a home for real journalism.
Nor is it a particularly new story; the Wall Street Journal covered the issue better and with more depth way back in March. Harrumph.