You know you’re eating French when all around you succumb to poorly accented gasps of oh là là and c'est magnifique. Hardly surprising, as good French cuisine not only tastes delicious but can look just as beautiful.
We can thank the French for the humble, but indispensible, baquette and cheese (washed down with a glass of vino, of course), the delectable coissant along with more substantial fare such as Quiche Lorraine, Coq au Vin and Bouillabaisse.
They also know how to top and tail a great meal, christening appetisers with the far more enticing name of hors d'oeuvres while also creating brilliant desserts such as the chocolat mousse, eclairs and crepes.
But it is not just the well known dishes that makes French cuisine so delectably French. Over centuries they have made food central to their cultural lives having developed the dégustation, where meals encompass a dozen courses and as many wines consumed over several hours.
Regional specialities that use local ingredients and a particular cooking style are on offer across the country and usually fall within one of three traditions.
Starting with the classic Haute Cuisine, is food at its most elegant, elaborate and richest. Cuisine Nouvelle, developed in the 1970s, features smaller, simpler and lighter dishes, while Cuisine du terroir embraces rustic dishes, featuring local produce and food traditions.
Their love affair with food is expressed through a dictionary of terms now just as familiar in English, and include soup du jour, à la carte but most vitally... bon appétit.