Since the Middle Ages, France has placed a great importance on food. Grand feasts were an important part of the aristocratic life. Many courses were served at once, with highly seasoned foods accompanied by sauces, wines, cheeses and sweets. The way food was artistically presented in addition to the way it tasted was important in French cuisine. The markets in France were and continue to be a part of everyday life, and purveyors of raw and cooked foods are considered the backbone of French cuisine.
French food includes cheeses, breads, pastries, fish, seafood, foie gras, beef and chicken. Fresh vegetables are always an essential part of any French dish. These include potatoes, haricot verts (French green beans), aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini), mushrooms and carrots.