Title

Foie Gras in the Freezer: Picard Surgelés and the Branding of French Culinary Identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-13-2018

Department

French

Abstract

How does Picard Surgelés, a frozen-food company with an international supply chain, thrive in France, a country where a well-developed and widely shared understanding of a national cuisine excludes the use of industrial methods, such as flash-freezing, and privileges locally-sourced ingredients? Drawing from both Picard's advertising materials and consumer comments about the company posted online, this article explores the paradoxes of Picard's success. Rather than avoid France's culinary tradition, Picard fully embraces it. At the same time, the company describes itself as committed to broadening the French palate by offering a host of specialties from around the world. Thinking about how Picard reconciles these ambitions speaks to several areas of interest in food studies and the social sciences more broadly, including the relationship between tradition and modernity, expressions of distinction and the (re)production of status hierarchies, and forms of cultural democratization and culinary broadening. These issues all have a place in larger questions concerning the complexities of globalization, especially its perceived homogenizing forces.

DOI

10.1080/07409710.2018.1454774

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