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    Interest in French food is ‘booming’

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    Interest in French food is “booming”, according to Waitrose, with shoppers bombarding the upmarket retailer’s website to learn how to cook classic Gallic dishes.

    According to the supermarket, online searches on the site for French onion soup recipes are up 400 per cent compared with the same period last year, while searches for beef bourguignon and ratatouille are up by 99 per cent and 106 per cent respectively.

    Searches for how to cook tarte tatin are up by 180 per cent while searches for cherry clafoutis and tiramichoux are up 155 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.

    Customers who don’t trust themselves to bake such complex recipes are also turning to ready-made French desserts, with sales of chocolate eclairs up 20 per cent and macarons up 7 per cent year on year.

    Waitrose cited success of new French restaurants in London, such as Camille and Josephine, which have both been receiving rave reviews and growing popularity of Manon Lagrève, who competed in the ninth series of The Great British Bake Off as the main reasons driving this trend.

    French cheese is also benefiting from the trend, Waitrose said, stating that sales of Chaource are up 7 per cent over the past year, while Brie de Meaux and No1 D’Affinois blue cheese were up 9 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

    The Times quoted Will Torrent, an innovation chef at Waitrose, as saying, “From choux buns to macarons, we’ve seen a growing demand from Waitrose customers for all things French. With the weather being so dismal for the beginning of the year, customers have been turning to comforting dishes such as French onion soup and beef bourguignon, which aren’t overly expensive to make but taste like a special treat.

    “Sweeter, patisserie treats such as macarons and eclairs also offer a wonderful taste of luxury. It’s clear this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

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