[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 11 July, 2005, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Do you agree with Chirac's views on British food?
French President Jacques Chirac
Do you agree with President Chirac's criticism of British food?

President Jacques Chirac is reported to have cracked jokes about British food during a meeting with German and Russian leaders.

A French newspaper quoted Mr Chirac as saying "One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad" and "after Finland, it is the country with the worst food".

The comments, made within earshot of reporters, come in the run-up to the G8 summit in Scotland later this week.

Do you agree with President Chirac's alleged comments on British and Finnish food.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

It appears to me like Chirac's unfortunate comments may have helped you secure the Olympics in 2012
Corey Gale, Montreal, Canada
It is self-evident that French food is excellent. Chirac did not need to offend the Finns and the British to make this point. I notice that many people posting from the UK are pointing to the large number of high quality restaurants in the UK as proof of British culinary superiority. The Fat Duck is mentioned as a shining example. The problem is that the Fat Duck, and most of the really good restaurants in the UK, are French or French-Fusion, with French (or Italian) chefs. The Fat Duck offers three different menus; a Degustation Menu, a Du Jour Menu, and an A La Carte Menu. I think that says it all. Relax UK. You can't be the best at everything, and it appears to me like Chirac's unfortunate comments may have helped you secure the Olympics in 2012.
Corey Gale, Montreal, Canada

OK we don't take two to three hours for lunch and our population, knackered after long hours can't be bothered cooking, but the ingredients are there if you want them and I am fed up of having to apologise for our traditional fair. Gary Rhodes felt this way too and proved that there was nothing to feel ashamed of in Steak and Kidney Pie or the odd suet pudding.
Ian, Brechin, Scotland

The British are so well known around the world for many things other than their excellent cuisine that sometimes their good food becomes overlooked!
Jasimin C, Toronto, Canada

It's fine for Chirac to be ho ho about British food even though for many Brits their palates have been totally transformed for the better in the past 20 years or so. Nevertheless for the French good food is still something different - anyone can eat a wonderful multi-course meal out at lunchtime even in the depths of the countryside for £8-12 a head. In the UK eating good food out is still an expensive privilege - a treat. And the Brits still choose fruit and veg flown in from around the world that looks good rather than tastes good.
Ben Lenthall, Cahors, France

I recently went on an 8 day holiday to Lourdes in France and stayed at one of the most expensive hotels! - Yet, not a single vegetarian meal was served to me - in spite of me emailing the hotel in advance of my veggie requirements. Presenting me with two large lettuce leaves and a few chopped tomatoes with cucumber was the maximum of the French vegetarian menu offered to me! Clearly Chirac and his nation's chefs are in urgent need of educating themselves on the UK's highly adventurous, delicious and immensely nutritious vegetarian delights on offer here. Obviously, one cannot trust the French, Mr Chirac, after your cuisine is so bad!
C Figueiredo, London, UK

Chirac is correct, the only interest the British have in food is watching it being made on the telly by celebrities. How to combat this? Aussies tax processed food, and don't tax fresh ingredients. Seems to work there.
Simon, Edinburgh

Unlike the French, the English don't celebrate home grown food
Jo Selwood, Newbury
Jacques Chirac is partly right. We produce world class food in this country - over 600 different cheeses, fantastic fish, some of the best meat in the world and abundance of top notch fruit and vegetables. Yet when visitors come to England, what do we serve them? Bland fish and chips, overcooked roasts and beans on toast. Unlike the French, the English don't celebrate home grown food. Until we learn from them, Chirac will remain correct.
Jo Selwood, Newbury

Making such irrelevant comments marginalizes this one-time world leader. The needless insult of the inoffensive Finns is difficult to understand.
Bryan Siegfried, Staunton, IL, USA

People who think that British food consists of mushy peas and poor quality supermarket products are sadly lacking in education. If you look at any book of traditional old British cookery you will find recipes never seen nowadays such as Salamagundy, Parsons' Nose and Priddy Oggies. Our pastry has always been traditionally brilliant and unlike the French, we do not need clever sauces to disguise off meat. Francesca Quine, Colchester, UK

In view of the recent Olympics announcement, perhaps Mr Chirac would care to try some humble pie? Bon appetite!
Nigel, Bath, UK

I sincerely hope that Mr Chirac sits down to a nice meal of prawn cocktail, steak and kidney pie (with chips of course) and an ice cream sundae desert when he flies in at Gleneagles. Or alternatively, they could hold the dinner at the local Berni Inn.
Paul, Leighton Buzzard, Beds

Most of the chefs in the UK can trace the origins of their training back to France, therefore he insults his own people
Graeme, Strasbourg, France
I think Mr Chirac should carry on insulting other nationalities cuisine. He is fast making himself a laughing stock. But I should also remind him of some of the rare delicacies that exist here - trip sausages anyone? Or, how about a piece of goats cheese that has sat in someone's cellar for about three years and the ability to move without artificial aide which contravenes all EU regulations. And don't get me started on the way vegetables are treated here, they remind me of school dinners. It is true that the quality of produce is very, very good, and the UK should take note, however, Mr Chirac, take note, most of the chefs in the UK can trace the origins of their training back to France, therefore he insults his own people (again).
Graeme, Strasbourg, France

Perhaps M le President was expressing the "European Solidarity" he's always talking about?
Mike Bell, Bath, UK

As a French person I am really annoyed by Chirac's comments, this man made us ashamed to be French and it is high time to tell him au revoir.
Lili, Paris, France

Chirac says we can't be trusted and that goes almost unnoticed. He says our food is bad and there is a flood of comments. Have I missed something?
Dave, Perth

Britain is a multicultural society and curry is the national dish of the country, which is far more spicier and colourful than any French dish!
Tomi Hull, UK

All countries have good and bad food depending where you eat and it's nonsense that all food in France is good. Chirac may be lucky where he eats and unfortunately most French people believe only their cuisine is good. French wine is another example where there is good and bad and the new world wines along with Spain offer better value for money. Chirac should stop being superior!
Mike, Denia, Spain

I am vegetarian. When I went to France I could hardly find anything French to eat. For a vegetarian Italian food is best, British food is good and French food is the worst.
HS, Surrey, UK

What about our great British puddings?
Emily, Montpellier, France
French cuisine is a myth. The majority of French household meals are boring, with tinned green beans, chips and other uninventive veggies. The frying pan is not the only way to cook things! There are some nice things about French food, but it's just too overrated. What about our great British puddings?
Emily, Montpellier, France

Mr Chirac is right about Finnish food. Their speciality is fish fried in butter with mashed potato! Everything is cooked with cream and overpriced.
Joyce, Lahti, Finland

How many of these top UK restaurants actually serve up English food? I've lived in the UK for nearly two years and I can say that the Brits make incredibly bland food. I have to go to a restaurant serving up Thai or Japanese food to get any flavour. Come on Brits, learn how to use some herbs and spices! Even some salt and pepper would be a start!
DJ, London, UK

It seems that Chirac has tried one or two of our motorway service station cafes!
John, London UK

I sometime fail to understand Mr Chirac. His jokes are unjustified since there is no such thing as British food. I think we all accept that the French are much more advanced than the British when it comes to food.
Amir, Qatar/UK

My sister-in-law is French and was critical about English food until she stayed here for a fortnight. It was a joy to see the look of wonder on her face as she wandered round a provincial Waitrose. The bleak rubbish sold at fatty fast food outlets franchised through the tourist traps gives British food a bad name. Chirac needs to widen his view a little and not pander to the obvious.
CCC, England

I have been to various British and regional food fayres and sampled some fantastic food which is full of goodness and flavour. I have never seen most of these foods in supermarkets. I believe the supermarkets huge buying powers are holding back what our taste buds can sample in local food. Our food industries will improve if supermarket buyers open their eyes and mouths to new tastes.
Helen, Wakefield, UK

In what other country of the world would people actually choose to buy and consume spaghetti on toast or mushy peas? br
Roger Oliver (British citizen), Le Soler, France

True British food is seldom celebrated
Luca, London, UK
As someone who spent over 15 years in the hotel/restaurant business (running our family hotel) and working with some great English and Italian chefs I can only say that true British food is seldom celebrated. Roasts, banquets, real stews, game, fish etc are the food of this country but all the French think is that we eat fish and chips and beans on toast. I have eaten some wonderful meals at English restaurants and recently experienced the most average of food at a restaurant during a trip to France.
Luca, London, UK

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Just because he doesn't like the food we love doesn't mean we should think any differently of him.
S. Wilson, Nottingham, England

The top restaurant in the world is The Fat Duck, Bray, UK according to the Restaurant Magazine and 14 of their top 50 picks are in the UK. The highest ranking French restaurant was 6th and there are only 10 on the list. Maybe Mr Chirac should take some advice from the world's top food critics before taking cheap shots at our cuisine.
Jo, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK

The issue is not one of individual restaurants. There are great ones in most countries. The real test is if you go to an 'average' restaurant in both countries or an average at-home meal. Here it is clear France is way ahead. We have so much to learn from them.
Simon, Bath, UK

I love French culture. I admire many of their photographers. I prefer many French films to British ones. I think France is a beautiful country. But I recently ate in a restaurant in Paris on a few occasions and I can honestly say it did nothing for me. Coffee was good though.
D Jackson, East Sussex, UK

I don't think British food is so bad as Mr Chirac's comment might lead to believe. When I came to Britain I appreciated fish and chips, leg of lamb, baked potatoes ( really delicious) and above all your inimitable toast. Of course nothing comparable to Italian (Neapolitan) cuisine, but not bad at all and no worse than many others.
Tommaso Gnerre, Benevento, Italy

The English need to look critically at their cuisine
Richard Beresford, London
Yes, Mr Chirac is right on. Anyone who lives in this country and endures the daily "diet" of supermarket ready-mades, not to mention pub grub garbage and overpriced, bad restaurant food knows that what he says is correct. The English need to look critically at their cuisine.
Richard Beresford, London

As an Italian (but also an average world citizen) I can immediately name famous, widespread, friendly and affordable Chinese dishes (chow mein, noodles, etc), Italian dishes (spaghetti, pizza, lasagne, etc), Indian food (curry dishes, tikka, etc) as well as British food (fish and chips, famous English breakfasts, delicious gravy, Sunday roast, etc). Somehow I genuinely struggle to name any typical French food, exception made for escargot (snails). Possibly it is just me not being an expert? Or have the French managed to overrate themselves yet again and fooling a shrinking portion of the world that they are not?
Bruno Condotta, Treviso, Italy

Being a German I am amused at the severe sensitivity of this issue with the British (see German bashing with the British press). I can only agree with Chirac with the exception of "bacon and eggs".
Klaus Feldner, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I can't speak for Finnish food, but the British are getting a raw deal. I found British food to be rib-sticking good, especially when washed down with some of the best beers on the planet.
Steven Rafferty, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

My wife is English, and one of the great joys of visiting her family is pub grub. It isn't the same as a gourmet meal, but is it just as good in the proper context. Every nation has good and bad food. You just have to be open-minded enough to find the good and enjoy it for what it is. Besides, if Chirac really wants some indigestion, there are some far more effective cuisines than British!
Will, Seattle, USA

I bet that the French don't feed their schoolchildren with the dross which is served up over here in schools, restaurants and pubs. Storm in a tea cup.
Michael Owen, Bristol, UK

I love fish and chips, and Finnish food is at least edible
Jukka Nurmi, Helsinki, Finland
Perhaps my sense of humour isn't quite European enough, but I don't find his comments on British and Finnish food amusing. I love fish and chips, and Finnish food is at least edible, if relatively bland.
Jukka Nurmi, Helsinki, Finland

Chirac is wrong but I can see where he gets his impression from. Despite having some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world (some of the restaurants in Soho/West End I frequent are fabulous) but the problem is catering in tourist attractions. Zoos and other places frequented by foreign tourists simply make no effort and serve 'chips with everything' which is sometimes the only sampling a tourist has of 'British' food. I have eaten in some awful places in Paris but outside of that the French catering industry appears to make more effort to offer freshness and diversity.
Andrew, Dorking, UK

Originally from France, but having taught French as a foreign language for the past ten years in Newcastle, I feel well placed to comment on this issue. Whilst I do not necessarily agree with M Chirac's extreme views, I do feel that my native cuisine is somewhat more inspiring than British "delicacies" such as cod and chips - eaten without knives and forks, from dirty newspaper! Come on folks, it's time you tried 'la nourriture francaise'!
S Demoulin, North East

I am English and my wife is Mexican, we visited Europe two years ago spending four days in Paris and both my wife and I were shocked at the high price and low quality of the food there. In contrast my wife adored the local pub food whilst we were in England visiting the Cotswolds.
Nicholas Roots, Celaya, Mexico

Obviously Chirac has not had a Full Breakfast Roll from my local burger van or he would not have made that judgement.
Ben Isaac, Cardiff, Wales

Perhaps Chirac should not have gone on record but this is a blatant truth: British cooking is on average ghastly. I don't know about Finland though. If there is a restaurant serving decent food in Britain, it must be a nice copy of a French one.
Jose L Hernandez, Montevideo, Uruguay

Easily solved - according to a respected annual survey (judged by an international panel for Restaurant Magazine), this year 14 of the world's best 50 restaurants are in the UK (including the world's best), whilst France can only muster 10.
John, Brussels

Being French, my first taste of British food during my first visit left me starving for two weeks (eating nothing but chocolate bars). But I am now older and a UK resident and I have grown to love the simplicity and the lovely fresh taste of some traditional dishes. Unfortunately, Britons do suffer from poor quality food but it is improving and I often find myself fiercely defending the food outside the UK against some of my French family.
Yani, Bristol, UK

President Chirac's got a point: I spent May in UK and France, and British restaurant food is mediocre at best, seriously over priced, and as for service; what service? France is one of those rare countries with good restaurants and good food retail outlets. Can't quite follow the logic that bad cuisine makes the British untrustworthy. Uncle Jacques must still be miffed about the referendum.
Andrew Milner, Yokohama, Japan

He obviously hasn't tried battered Mars bars.
Rhea, Plymouth, England

I think that British cuisine can be truly amazing, I think the problem in the UK is that local producers do not have chance to really supply restaurants. It seems that everything is either imported or it monopolised by supermarkets. When you watch Rick Stein's food heroes you realise the depth and variation of British Cuisine. The French have equally as many fast food and kebab shops in the major cities. Come on London!
Mike, Manchester

As a vegetarian of some 20 years, one of the places I found it hardest to get anything to eat was France! Everyone has different tastes in food...Vive la Difference!
Helen , Scotland

I don't think we should take lectures from people who actually eat snails! Have you tasted them? Lumps of Grizzle in a fatty garlic sauce. Uck!
Sue Edmunds, Northampton, UK

The UK is far more innovative than France these days when it comes to cuisine
Tom Stewart, London, UK
A quick examination of Michelin's Restaurant Guide website shows that Chirac doesn't know his Melton pork pies from his toad-in-the hole. The UK is far more innovative than France these days when it comes to cuisine and the Michelin Guide proves it. He's as out of touch with reality as he is with the views of his own people.
Tom Stewart, London, UK

Sort of makes you wonder if this man is really up to discussing grown-up topics like climate change and global poverty....
Ed, UK

An old fashioned cliché from somebody who should know better. Besides, people like Jamie Oliver have changed the face of British food for the better, even school dinners. Deep fried frogs leg anyone?!
Matthew Berwick, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Days before eight of the worlds richest nations get together to discuss the starving continent of Africa, one of them starts an argument over whose food tastes better. Nice.
David, London

The French eat much better than we do
Nick Smith, Dartmouth, UK
I hate to agree with President Chirac but there is an element of truth in what he says. The French eat much better than we do, they are much more disciplined in what they eat. Obesity will never be a problem in his country so perhaps we should be listening to what he has to say.
Nick Smith, Dartmouth, UK

Isn't this exactly what is wrong with politics and the media? Important issues need to be discussed and people focus on a throw away remark of one person. In a free society everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Peter Evans, Bristol, UK

I recently visited France on holiday. I was struck by many things - not least by the regionality of food which is supposed to be attractive - and make eating out more exclusive. However, as a healthy eater (and diverse eater) we struggled to find any veg other than heavily caloried potatoes, and curries were nowhere to be seen. I do think some French food is nice, but if you're looking for diversity, colour and taste I would say Britain wins hands down all the time....
Cath Anderson, Derby, UK

We can't complain. Only recently we - the British - were comparing how much money is spent on school meals in Britain and France. If it's okay for Jamie Oliver to make this point, then why not President Chirac?
Mark, London

I really don't know what Mr. Chirac is referring to when he says "British Food", when most Britons are regularly eating either burgers or curries or Chinese, neither of which is British. Not to mention that the national dish of the UK is now the curry.
Aditi M. Tulpule, Exeter, U.K

There is good food available in England, and there is bad food available in France. But all in all, comparing the English cuisine with the French is like comparing an old bike with a Cadillac. But, hey, where is the British sense of humour? You guys and your press are so good at slamming other nations, and you complain they have no sense of humour!
Tony, Wendover, Bucks

Food is an integral part of their culture
Carl, Paris, France
I am a Brit living in Paris and I have had this conversation with many people before, both British and French. The French by default do have better food over all, not only do they have fancy cooking academies, they have twice as much land as the UK, a better climate and hence more diversified produce. Food is an integral part of their culture unlike in the UK and it is reflected by their slower pace in life. This is not to say that we do not have some good food in the UK. I think general standards may have slipped because for example we work more hours - who wants to cook after a 10 hour day at the office? We have some fine dishes though and I think if Chirac is brave enough to try them, he might swallow his words in shame.
Carl, Paris, France

What is Chirac talking about? Has he not tried our Great British delicacies; balti, chicken and pineapple curry; doner kebab etc etc etc.
Richard, Cheltenham

Dear Mr Chirac, Leave my Sunday roast alone.
Peter, Windsor

It must be awful to be lumbered will such ill-mannered and crass people as Chirac and Berlusconi as heads of State. Finns are proud of Finnish cuisine and will not pleased to hear of it being further disparaged a frog and snail eater.
Jonathan Stiles, Turku, Finland

British food is different from French food and that is a good thing
Linda Armstrong, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
No, I do not agree. I have made two trips to the UK and will make a third trip later this month. I have had a number of excellent meals and look forward to more good dining experiences. I especially have enjoyed fresh fish and fresh veggies very well prepared. I can actually taste British food. The French cover everything with a sauce. Who knows what one is actually eating??? British food is different from French food and that is a good thing.
Linda Armstrong, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

I think Chirac has a point. There are some fantastic restaurants and food shops in the UK but I think Brits are less educated about food and more willing to accept mass-produced rubbish. Change needs to start in schools and make kids more aware of the value of good food. I am pleased to see Glasgow City Council doing a lot of work to promote this in schools.
Mark, Glasgow, UK

I think British food is great. I live in the USA and the food is awful. Fortunately, I can go to the supermarket nearby in Canada and get some British-style delicacies. As for Chirac, I like him. He sticks up for his country and for Europe. Why can't the British take a little good-humoured badinage?
Robin, Canton, NY, USA

I am French, recently settled in the UK, and I have to say that I love British food. But what is all the fuss about? Is a bit of banter really so bad? France and the UK have been best enemies for centuries, and food is always the subject of banter on both sides. Chirac's jokes are just the latest example of this. It is neither the first nor the last time that a Frenchman jokes about the supposedly poor quality of British food, and the British will keep joking about frogs' legs and snails.
Leila, Newcastle, UK

I would love to see Gordon Ramsay respond to this!
Chris M, England (Aussie)

I don't agree with Chirac about British food. In the last 20 years it has improved enormously, while French food has deteriorated. However, I think the issue here is how Chirac can stoop so low and make these kinds of asinine comments. Hardly the best way to move forward with agreements on the future of Europe.
Annie, Switzerland/ex UK

If French is supposed to be the "diplomatic language" then Chirac definitely needs some lessons!
Matthew, London

Give him fish & chips cooked in dripping with mushy peas & mint sauce followed by spotted dick & custard - how could anyone fail to be delighted with that?
Jonnie Meadowcroft, Lancaster

On one hand president Chirac is right: the well-known British food is awful. On the other hand he is absolutely wrong: taste the less-known, yet still very British food and you feel as if you were in the heaven of gastronomy.
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

It's all down to a style difference. Good French food depends on presentation and preparation. Good British food depends on prime quality ingredients. Its just a pity that the reality for most Britons and French is that their diet is cheap poor quality convenience junk!
J Brand, London, UK

British food is awful and getting worse, Chirac is right.
Bruce Odlum, Winnipeg, Canada

Well at least we beat Finland!
Anthony Harrison, Wilmslow, UK

OK, British food probably isn't quite at the level of French food (yet), but German and Russian?!
Andrew, Leeds, UK

There are large numbers of British restaurants serving truly excellent, if somewhat pricey, international cuisine. It would also be true to say that there are some really appalling examples at the cheap and fast end of the market but that is true of most countries these days.
Ian Brown, Derby, UK

To say British food is universally bad is like suggesting all Frenchmen ride around in stripy shirts on bicycles with onions around their necks. Its an old fashioned racial stereotype and a "statesman" of Chirac's stature should know better.
Jason, UK

I have to agree with the Frenchman
Andrew Brown, Aberdeen, Scotland
I have to agree with the Frenchman. I love French food. Serve me a dish of Magret de Canard and I shall be smiling. Serve me a burger with chips and I shall feel bloated. Oh and don't forget the sauccison! YUM!
Andrew Brown, Aberdeen, Scotland

It's not the taste of food that's upsetting poor Jacques - it's the bad taste of ignominious defeat at the hands of his own electorate. Nothing quite like a little 'foreign adventure' to distract from domestic failure! Poor man - he's more to be pitied than scorned, although both are applicable in his case. The people to really be sorry for are the French people.
Andy, Bangor. N.Ireland

Coming from a country where frog legs, snails and horse meat are considered delicacies I really don't think he has anything to moan about. While everyone else is having their Scottish salmon, feed him Eels and mash of Tripe & Onions. He might feel more at ease with that. If I had the choice of European food it would have to be Italian or Spanish.
Tim, UK

Chirac may have a point about the quality of food eaten by the average Brit, but to state this as a reason not to be trusted is inflammatory to say the least. How on earth can the EU move forward when such things are being said by its leaders? Blair is right to not get involved in a spat with such a desperate man.
Andy, Egremont, UK

Hope they serve our excellent English wines at Glenagles!
Paul, London

Two hundred years of primarily British settlement of New Zealand blighted this country with the same unimaginative and indigestible culinary stodge. I'm grateful that freedom from the petty nationalism of Britain has enabled us to admire the culinary art of the French. Who could honestly disagree with Chirac?
Frank, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hasn't he heard that London is now considered the gastronomic capital of Europe
D Ballantyne, NC, USA (ex-UK)
Jacques Chirac needs to get up to date. Hasn't he heard that London is now considered the gastronomic capital of Europe and that the best restaurant in the world is in England?
D Ballantyne, NC, USA (ex-UK)

I've had one of the best meals of my life in Paris.... at an Algerian restaurant. The "French" food I had was overpriced, stale and served by incredibly offensive waiters.

What about poor Finland? Being called worse than British food is more of an insult!
Iain, Hartlepool, England

Oh, for goodness' sake. There are good things and bad things about both British and French cuisine. Can't we be a bit more grown up about this, enjoy the best bits of both, concentrate on fixing our own imperfections and just say "vive la difference", instead of fuelling this pointless food feud?
Chris Lilley, Banbury, UK

The French generally eat better than the British. Fact. But their cuisine is stuck in a time warp, they are pathetically suspicious of 'foreign' food and won't try anything they don't recognise. And as for Chirac and his infantile remarks, well they say far more about him as an ill-informed political has-been than they do about the reality of British cuisine.
Susan, Rennes, France

Perhaps it is Gallic envy over the fact that we have some of the best ingredients in the world
Sally Marshall, UK
President Chirac is mistaken. 30 years ago it was indeed the case that British food was dull, stodgy and unimaginative but that is no longer the case. Perhaps it is Gallic envy over the fact that we have some of the best ingredients in the world whilst the French have had to disguise their ingredients by smothering them with greasy, over-seasoned sauces. As for Finland, I have had some superb food there, ranging from salmon straight out of the river next to the restaurant, through mouth-watering pastries that are at least the equal of any French patisserie.
Sally Marshall, UK

As a cheesemonger, I can assure M. Chirac that British cheese is more varied and better quality than French cheese, simply because pride in tradition has stopped the evolution of new techniques and flavours. By the way, the Gleneagles hotel is very highly rated - their chef (Andrew Fairlie) has a Michelin star.
Jimmy, UK

I think the problem in England is that there are many people eating bad food and bringing their children up on bad food. You can buy food as good as in France in England. It's just expensive and not the majority.
Cedric, Brighton

I think Chirac says more about himself than any cuisine. Substitute "Chirac" for "Blair" in the report - would we really stand for our political leader being so downright and overtly offensive to another nation?
James Easton, Glasgow, Scotland

Chirac's right in some respects, traditional food such as fish and chips is rubbish and school dinners are full of junk. But we're on the up - Britain now has some fantastic restaurants and the most famous chef in the world. Maybe Chirac should keep his opinions to himself.
Anon, UK

My top tip: eat in Brussels. Unlike Paris if - as occasionally happens - you fancy a burger, not only can you have one in a reasonable restaurant but it is cooked perfectly and served with grace. Try asking for a burger in Paris and you are usually treated as though you are a cultural imbecile Sloppy food exists everywhere - France included! Choose carefully and you can eat well all over England. If you wish to consider local variety consider this: there are more real ales in England than recognised cheeses in France. Then again, does Gleneagles serve the deep fried Mars bar?
Lewis Graham, Stevenage, UK

It is just a bit rich that the remarks were apparently made to the German and Russian leaders, both countries hardly renowned for their food offer. Typical of Chirac arrogance - even his own country has had enough of him! Scotland has the best fresh meat and fish in the world and he has done us a favour by focusing in on that.
Eva McDiarmid, Glasgow, Scotland

As a Frenchman living in the UK, I found President Chirac displaced and ill-founded. Although, everyone will admit that these is many places where found is frankly not good in both the UK, France and elsewhere in the world, British cuisine has also its strength and just as good as any other restaurant in the World. I also can remember excellent local speciality meals in Finland too. No, that comments made by a very experienced politician, close enough to journalist to be reported were made on purpose. However coming from such head of state at this very moment was intended, and pitiful. Jacques, when will you realise that you are now part of the problem and no longer part of the solution. The sooner you go the better!
Philippe, Whitstable, UK

I have lived 1.5 years in Britain and yes, Jacques Chirac is right - the food is awful. Just walk into a school canteen and you can see chips and gravy everywhere. A nation that lets its children live on such a "diet" can only be described as awful in terms of its cuisine.
Claudia, Germany

Mr Chirac is a bit behind the times. London long ago overtook Paris as the world's culinary capital. Paris is a joke for food these days. Rich and arrogant politicos like Chirac need to get out a bit more.
Rob, Harlow, Essex

This says everything we need to know about Chirac. At a time when the G8 countries are coming together to discuss matters of global importance, M. Chirac has made his priorities known. It's about time you said au revoir monsieur.
Peter Long, Beckenham UK

He could have said the same thing about German or Russian cuisine
Katherine, London, UK
Simple fact is that the southern European countries have generally been miles ahead of northern Europe in terms of cuisine. He could have said the same thing about German or Russian cuisine really.
Katherine, London, UK

The main problem is that most British people know nothing about food and continue to eat fish and chips, soft drinks etc. Foreign visitors continually comment on the number of fat children in the country. Go to a fish and chip shop near a school at lunchtime and you will see why. I have visited Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, where there are no fat children, because they do not eat takeaways, eat sweets only as special treats and are fed properly by their parents.
Richard Lock, Edinburgh

Choice comments from a leader whose country eats horse, snails and frogs legs. What is more their cheap plonk can't compare to the fine wines of say South Africa or Australia Is he supposed to be a diplomat?
Tom, Ipswich, UK

At least Chirac is now admitting we actually have a cuisine......surely, in Anglo-French feud terms, this is progress.....
Jim Williams, Cardigan, Wales

How ridiculous. In petty retaliation, I find French food tepid, greasy and unimaginative; their glory days are well in the past while English food is on the ascendancy! Harrumph.
CCC, England

I presume this means that Chirac will be bringing a packed lunch to Gleneagles? As he's so clearly stated his objection to British food he should never be invited to another official meal in Britain again. My taxes can be much better spent than on such an offensive excuse for a "politician".
Peter, Nottingham

I can honestly say that the worst meal I have ever had was in France. Tea made with cold water, a barely defrosted quiche and ice cream with a "skin". There again, the best I have ever had was also in France!
Michael Scott, London

A politician making unfortunate comments not knowing they were within earshot of the press.
Mike, Brighton

Blair sidesteps French food fight
05 Jul 05 |  UK Politics
Chirac jokes about British food
04 Jul 05 |  Europe
Les Rosbifs reinvented
06 Jul 05 |  Magazine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific