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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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1 Beaverton Cooking and Food- Gastronomic Literature

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Other titles in the Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History series:

French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)

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French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This we can be sure of: when a restaurant in the western world is famous for its cooking, it is the tricolor flag that hangs above the stove, opined one French magazine, and this is by no means an isolated example of such crowing. Indeed, both linguistically and conceptually, the restaurant itself is a French creation. Why are the French recognized by themselves and others the world over as the most enlightened of eaters, as the great gourmets? Why did the passion for food — gastronomy — originate in France? In French Gastronomy, geographer and food lover Jean-Robert Pitte uncovers a novel answer. The key, it turns out, is France herself. In her climate, diversity of soils, abundant resources, and varied topography lie the roots of France's food fame.

Pitte masterfully reveals the ways in which cultural phenomena surrounding food and eating in France relate to space and place. He points out that France has some six hundred regions, or microclimates, that allow different agricultures, to flourish, and fully navigable river systems leading from peripheral farmlands directly to markets in the great gastronomic centers of Paris and Lyon. With an eye to this landscape, Pitte wonders: Would the great French burgundies enjoy such prestige if the coast they came from were not situated close to the ancient capital for the dukes and a major travel route for medieval Europe?

Yet for all the shaping influence of earth and climate, Pitte demonstrates that haute cuisine, like so much that is great about France, can be traced back to the court of Louis XIV. It was the Sun King's regal gourmandise — he enacted a nightly theater of eating, dining alone but in full view of the court — that made food and fine dining a central affair of state. The Catholic Church figures prominently as well: gluttony was regarded as a benign sin in France, and eating well was associated with praising God, fraternal conviviality, and a respect for the body. These cultural ingredients, in combination with the bounties of the land, contributed to the full flowering of French foodways.

This is a time of paradox for French gourmandism. Never has there been so much literature published on the subject of culinary creativity, never has there been so much talk about good food, and never has so little cooking been done at home. Each day new fast-food places open. Will French cuisine lose its charm and its soul? Will discourse become a substitute for reality? French Gastronomy is a delightful celebration of what makes France unique, and a call to everyone who loves French food to rediscover its full flavor.

Book News Annotation:

Published in French in 1991; Gladding's translation makes this enjoyable volume available to English readers. Pitte (geography, Sorbonne) explores various current and historical trends in French gastronomy, relating the importance to a cuisine's success of its non-edible aspects, including geographic setting, seasonal traditions, and regional associations. In the process, we learn of French food laws and traditions, the critical contribution of Louis XIV, the development of French restaurants, and the methods of famous chefs.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

This is a beautifully illustrated investigation of how France emerged as the land of great food, tracing the cultural tradition back to Louis the 14th, who believed that food was a central affair of state. Photos. Maps.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231124164
Translator:
Gladding, Jody
Author:
Gladding, Jody
Author:
Pitte, Jean-Robert
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Cookery, french
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
History
Subject:
Gastronomy
Subject:
France
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - French
Subject:
Gastronomy -- History.
Subject:
Cooking and Food-French
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
Series Volume:
v. 1
Publication Date:
20020331
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.78x5.84x.75 in. .86 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » French
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General

French Gastronomy: The History and Geography of a Passion (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Used Hardcover
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Product details 176 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231124164 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is a beautifully illustrated investigation of how France emerged as the land of great food, tracing the cultural tradition back to Louis the 14th, who believed that food was a central affair of state. Photos. Maps.
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