After 72 years of standards, French vinaigrette regains its freedom in the United States

Published on 15 Jan. 2022 at 11: 30

The French themselves did not know it, but for more than seventy years, the recipe for “French Dressing” (French dressing in English) was highly regulated in the United States. Until this week, when the American federal authorities officially announced that they were revoking these regulatory standards, thus widening the range of possibilities for seasoning the salads consumed in the world’s leading power.

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had established these standards in 1930, the “French Dressing” was one of the three seasonings officially recognized by the agency with mayonnaise and salad dressing, recalls the “Wall Street Journal”. According to the original recipe, a French vinaigrette must include vegetable oil and a base sour (vinegar, lemon or lime). Manufacturers were only free to add spices, tomato paste and other ingredients.

A creamy texture and a sweet taste

If, on paper, this composition can indeed make one think of the vinaigrette consumed in France, it is nothing in reality. The “French dressing” put into a tube in the United States almost always has an orange color and often has a creamy texture and a sweet taste.

“There is not much French in there”, admits the “WSJ”. That’s why the Association for Dressings and Sauces, a trade association representing manufacturers of salad dressings, mayonnaises and condiments, had asked the FDA to repeal the rule, effective as early as January 1998. Many types of dressings – Italian, ranch, Caesar – are not subject to this kind of standard, argued the organization.

The FDA finally gave in to this appeal, specifying that this decision is partly linked to the agency’s efforts to modernize food standards so that the industry can innovate and produce healthier foods.