Are things really starting to change with the introduction of the doggy bag in restaurants in France? Waste not, want not, is what we say!
Who said the French were reluctant to accept change? After years of snubbing the practice of bringing leftover food home from restaurants as too American a thing, they now finally seem ready to adopt the concept of the doggy bag. And not before time!
To be fair though, the French do not think of food in the same way as the rest of the world might. For starters, they generally dine out less than in other countries, often preferring a homemade meal. So when the French actually do dine out, they want to enjoy the experience and take the time to relish it.
Dining out is no different than anywhere else, but portions in France remain moderate and adequate. And even if carrying half-empty bottles of wine around is considered normal behaviour, not finishing one’s meal is still considered rude; even the sauce accompanying a dish has to be carefully mopped up and savoured with some bread.
Now that the government has charged restaurants with tackling food waste, the oh-so-American doggy bag no longer seems like such a bad idea. So much so, that two French entrepreneurs have seized the opportunity to come up with their own version, which they call the Gourmet Bag.
These little boxes, made in France and 100% recyclable, have a very simple and elegant design, can be microwaved or put in the oven and come with the caption “trop bon pour gaspiller” (too good to waste).
So far, they have garnered a very positive response from both restaurants and customers, but of course, France still being France, it may still take a while before prejudices about taking home leftovers are totally overcome. Most restaurant owners are only too happy to prepare a doggy bag if requested, but waiters will rarely spontaneously offer to do so, and most customers still remain too ashamed to ask!
All images courtesy Gourmet Bag