Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789

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Wheaton effortlessly brings to life the history of the French kitchen and table.

In this masterful and charming book, food historian Barbara Ketcham Wheaton takes the reader on a cultural and gastronomical tour of France, from its medieval age to the pre-Revolutionary era using a delightful combination of personal correspondence, historical anecdotes, and journal entries.
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About the author

Barbara Ketcham Wheaton is a noted food historian, writer, and the honorary curator of the culinary collection at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute. She is also the coauthor, with Patricia Kelly, of Bibliography of Culinary History: Food Resources in Eastern Massachusetts. She teaches seminars on reading historic cookbooks and enjoys lobsters and champagne whenever the opportunity to do so arises.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 18, 2011
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781439143735
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / General
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, French cooks began to claim central roles in defining and enforcing taste, as well as in educating their diners to changing standards. Tracing the transformation of culinary trades in France during the Revolutionary era, Jennifer J. Davis argues that the work of cultivating sensibility in food was not simply an elite matter; it was essential to the livelihood of thousands of men and women.
Combining rigorous archival research with social history and cultural studies, Davis analyzes the development of cooking aesthetics and practices by examining the propagation of taste, the training of cooks, and the policing of the culinary marketplace in the name of safety and good taste. French cooks formed their profession through a series of debates intimately connected to broader Enlightenment controversies over education, cuisine, law, science, and service. Though cooks assumed prominence within the culinary public sphere, the unique literary genre of gastronomy replaced the Old Regime guild police in the wake of the French Revolution as individual diners began to rethink cooks' authority. The question of who wielded culinary influence -- and thus shaped standards of taste -- continued to reverberate throughout society into the early nineteenth century.
This remarkable study illustrates how culinary discourse affected French national identity within the country and around the globe, where elite cuisine bears the imprint of the country's techniques and labor organization.
the best food reference work ever to appear in the English language ... read it and be dazzled' Bee Wilson, New Statesman First published in 1999, the ground-breaking Oxford Companion to Food was an immediate success and won prizes and accolades around the world. Its blend of serious food history, culinary expertise, and entertaining serendipity, was and remains unique. Interest in food, cooking, and the culture surrounding food has grown enormously in the intervening period, as has the study of food and food history. University departments, international societies, and academic journals have sprung up dedicated to exploring the meaning of food in the daily lives of people around the world, alongside an ever-increasing number of articles, books, programmes, and websites in the general media devoted to the discussion of food, making the Oxford Companion to Food more relevant than ever. Already a food writing classic, this Companion combines an exhaustive catalogue of foods, be they biscuits named after battles, divas or revolutionaries; body parts (from nose to tail, toe to cerebellum); or breads from the steppes of Asia or the well-built ovens of the Mediterranean; with a richly allusive commentary on the culture of food, expressed in literature and cookery books, or as dishes peculiar to a country or community. While building on the Companion's existing strengths, Tom Jaine has taken the opportunity to update the text and alert readers to new perspectives in food studies. There is new coverage of attitudes to food consumption, production and perception, such as food and genetics, food and sociology, and obesity. New entries include terms such as convenience foods, drugs and food, Ethiopia, leftovers, medicine and food, pasta, and many more. There are also new entries on important personalities who are of special significance within the world of food, among them Clarence Birdseye, Henri Nestlé, and Louis Pasteur. In its new edition the Companion maintains its place as the foremost food reference resource for study and home use.
In the closing years of the fourteenth century, an anonymous French writer compiled a book addressed to a fifteen-year-old bride, narrated in the voice of her husband, a wealthy, aging Parisian. The book was designed to teach this young wife the moral attributes, duties, and conduct befitting a woman of her station in society, in the almost certain event of her widowhood and subsequent remarriage. The work also provides a rich assembly of practical materials for the wife's use and for her household, including treatises on gardening and shopping, tips on choosing servants, directions on the medical care of horses and the training of hawks, plus menus for elaborate feasts, and more than 380 recipes.

The Good Wife's Guide is the first complete modern English translation of this important medieval text also known as Le Ménagier de Paris (the Parisian household book), a work long recognized for its unique insights into the domestic life of the bourgeoisie during the later Middle Ages. The Good Wife's Guide, expertly rendered into modern English by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose, is accompanied by an informative critical introduction setting the work in its proper medieval context as a conduct manual. This edition presents the book in its entirety, as it must have existed for its earliest readers.

The Guide is now a treasure for the classroom, appealing to anyone studying medieval literature or history or considering the complex lives of medieval women. It illuminates the milieu and composition process of medieval authors and will in turn fascinate cooking or horticulture enthusiasts. The work illustrates how a (perhaps fictional) Parisian householder of the late fourteenth century might well have trained his wife so that her behavior could reflect honorably on him and enhance his reputation.

Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.
Among the major themes addressed throughout this new edition are:
Traditional and modern methods of food production and their influences on food quality The great diversity of methods by which people in different places and times have prepared the same ingredients Tips for selecting the best ingredients and preparing them successfully The particular substances that give foods their flavors and that give us pleasure Our evolving knowledge of the health benefits and risks of foods
On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food.
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