The French are turning to a new university to help lead their fightback against American junk food.
The Institute for Higher Studies in Taste and Gastronomy - the world's first gastronomic university - will open in the Champagne city of Reims next autumn.
Renaud Dutreil, the French minister of state, said the institute would enable France to claw back ground lost to fast food such as burgers and hotdogs. "We need to train ambassadors who will represent our culinary traditions," he said.
One hundred students will study the art of good cooking and French culinary history at the institute, on courses lasting up to two years.
Branches will also be set up in the wine regions of Bordeaux and Lyons.