Tuesday, September 25, 2018

5 Ways French Culture has Influenced Our Cuisine

From SBS:
According to Dr Haden, the roots of degustation (the French term for tasting) menus can be traced back to France during the long reign of the many King Louis's from the House of Bourbon. “French royal society invested a lot of wealth in the culinary arts prior to the revolution,” says Dr Haden. “Gastronomy became very much a part of the royal household and court life.” He explains that regularly feasting on extravagant royal buffets, made with rich local produce, quickly became a thing in France’s upper classes prior to the revolution in 1789. “But the sophisticated cuisine that was in France around the end of the 18th century hadn’t really developed in the same way anywhere else in the world because France was in a unique situation – it had a very powerful royal family with a lot of money [invested in gastronomy] who had been running the country for a long time.”

Restaurants (a French word) were first developed in Paris after the overthrow of King Louis XVI and family when the power of France’s food guilds began to crumble. Prior to the revolution, members of the charcutiers guild were the only people in the country allowed to sell prepared cooked meats to the public. “But in the period after the revolution, those laws governing the guilds started to weaken. Basically, chefs earned the right to be able to run their own businesses,” Dr Haden explains. (Read more.)

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