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Monday, January 4, 2016

France Welcomes le Doggy Bag

True, TF1 and France 2 might have devoted the majority of their evening newscasts the past two evenings to the passing of national icons, singer Michel Delpech and actor/comedian Michel Galabru, respectively - no, not a good year so far for les Monsieurs Michel - you wonder how they could have missed the bombshell, reported in Le Parisien, that le doggy bag has come to French restaurants.  Oui indeed - as of January 1, 2016 all customers engaging in the ultimate faux pas of leaving part of their ordered meal on their plates can now take home the remains in a doggy bag.  However, there is a caveat:  according to the Union of crafts and hospitality industries (Umih), this development only applies to restaurants serving between 150 and 200 people a day.  That pretty much eliminates about 95% of the restaurants reviewed on this site, but then again, if you are eating at the restaurants I review, you're not going to leave much on your plates, its just too damn good.  

In addition to benefiting customers who would stand to benefit completely from what they paid for, the
measure has grander aspirations. It is an element of the 2011 law on bio-waste - the waste associated with food preparation, the remnants of food served, and food that passes its expiration date - which is projected to reduce food waste by 50% within the next ten years.  This reminds me Intermarché's well-known 'Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables' ( 'Fruits & légumes moches'), launched in 2014, which also was developed in the spirit of the bio-waste law.

We'll have to see how far we get with le doggy bag measure.  I remember reading a few years ago about French restaurants providing the option for a wine doggy bag, but have seen nary a one.  That may have to do more with the fact that I never stick around to see people not finishing their wine - the very thought sends shivers down my spine.

According to le Parisian, the Anglo-Saxon practice of providing patrons with doggy bags connotes a stinginess that is not to be confused with French dining propriety; as a result, the Management of Food, Agriculture and Forestry in the Rhône-Alpes has chosen to call the food transporter a "Gourmet Bag", and prompting the slogan “C’est si bon, je finis à la maison!” ("It's so good, I finish it at home!").  N'importe quoi.

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