By Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson
French delicacies is this sort of staple in our knowing of good foodstuff that we disregard the injuries of historical past that ended in its production. Accounting for style brings those "accidents" to the skin, illuminating the magic of French food and the secret at the back of its ancient improvement. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson explains how the foodstuff of France grew to become French cuisine.
This momentous culinary trip starts with Ancien Régime cookbooks and ends with twenty-first-century cooking courses. It takes us from Carême, the "inventor" of recent French delicacies within the early 19th century, to most sensible cooks this present day, reminiscent of Daniel Boulud and Jacques Pépin. now not a historical past of French food, Accounting for style specializes in the folk, areas, and associations that experience made this food what it's this day: a privileged automobile for nationwide identification, a version of cultural ascendancy, and a pivotal web site the place perform and function intersect. With resources as a variety of because the novels of Balzac and Proust, interviews with modern cooks reminiscent of David Bouley and Charlie Trotter, and the movie Babette's banquet, Ferguson maps the cultural box that buildings culinary affairs in France after which exports its an important materials. What's extra, well past foodstuff, the complicated connections among food and state, among neighborhood perform and nationwide id, remove darkness from the idea that of tradition itself.
To Brillat-Savarin's well-known dictum—"Animals fill themselves, humans devour, clever humans on my own know the way to eat"—Priscilla Ferguson provides, and Accounting for flavor exhibits, how the really clever additionally be aware of why they consume the best way they do.
“Parkhurst Ferguson has her nostril within the correct position, and an infectious lust for her topic that makes this trawl during the heritage and cultural importance of French food—from French Revolution to Babette’s ceremonial dinner through Balzac’s suppers and Proust’s madeleines—a pleasurable meal of assorted courses.”—Ian Kelly, instances (UK)
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Additional info for Accounting for Taste: The Triumph of French Cuisine
By enunciating cultural practices, values, and norms, culinary texts instill the consciousness that turns cuisine into a full-ﬂedged cultural product. Cuisine/Cuisines? At one end of the cooking-cuisine continuum, individual or community styles of cooking work off local products and associated dishes; at the other, a highly formalized and typically normative culinary system sustains a cohesive and coherent cuisine. ” In addition to means of transporting products, culinary diffusion needs texts to translate styles of cooking into a general cultural medium.
Of nineteenth-century Nantucket to the Island chowder of twentieth-century Martha’s Vineyard takes us on a short but decisive culinary voyage from a highly traditional, very local dish (the outsiders have a hard time ﬁnding the Try Pots Inn even with directions from the owner’s cousin) to one in which that tradition has assimilated outside inﬂuences and has become, in the process, both less local and more selfconscious. Even the ingredients have changed and become more “civilized,” since Ishmael’s chowder contains neither the potatoes nor the milk that today characterize New England clam chowder.
Chaudrée was the original French word for chowder. From Brittany ﬁshermen carried the custom to Newfoundland, whence it spread south to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England. Clam chowder is already a variation on the basic chowder, which tended toward the cod ﬁshed in abundance in the Atlantic, sometimes in its salted form. Today, as this trajectory and history would lead us to believe, there are any number of local variations, including two that make use of neither ﬂour nor milk: Rhode Island clam chowder, with its clear clam broth, and Manhattan clam chowder, which adds vegetables to a tomato-based broth.
Accounting for Taste: The Triumph of French Cuisine by Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson