An introduction to Food and Drink
AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) is awarded to high-quality products from a particular area in recognition that the area from which the product originates – its climate, geography, flora and fauna – gives it a distinctive taste. The making of AOC products must meet a certain criteria and it is illegal to sell products in an AOC zone if they do not comply with the criteria.
Label Rouge is used for animal products and shows that the animals have been reared according to good animal welfare and environmental practice.
Bio is the label for organic food.
On the whole the French like their meat on the pink side so you need to bear this in mind when asked how you want your steak done.
Bleu: very rare as it will only have been cooked on a very hot grill for about one minute either side.
Saignant: this means ‘bloody’ so the meat is still quite rare.
A point: medium rare; it will still be quite pink and chewy but not bloody.
Bien cuit: the meat cooked until the juices on the surface are brown rather than pink. However the meat may still be pink in the middle so if you want it to be cooked all the way through you need to ask for it to be très bien cuit.