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By Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson

French food is this kind of staple in our knowing of excellent foodstuff that we omit the injuries of heritage that resulted in its production. Accounting for Taste brings those "accidents" to the skin, illuminating the magic of French delicacies and the secret in the back of its historic improvement. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson explains how the foodstuff of France grew to become French cuisine.

This momentous culinary trip starts off with Ancien Régime cookbooks and ends with twenty-first-century cooking courses. It takes us from Carême, the "inventor" of contemporary French delicacies within the early 19th century, to best cooks this day, corresponding to Daniel Boulud and Jacques Pépin. no longer a historical past of French food, Accounting for Taste makes a speciality of the folks, locations, and associations that experience made this food what it truly is 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 numerous because the novels of Balzac and Proust, interviews with modern cooks akin to David Bouley and Charlie Trotter, and the movie Babette's Feast, Ferguson maps the cultural box that buildings culinary affairs in France after which exports its the most important constituents. what is extra, well past meals, the elaborate connections among delicacies and state, among neighborhood perform and nationwide identification, remove darkness from the concept that of tradition itself.

To Brillat-Savarin's recognized dictum—"Animals fill themselves, humans consume, clever humans on my own understand how to eat"—Priscilla Ferguson provides, and Accounting for Taste exhibits, how the actually clever additionally understand why they devour the way in which they do.

“Parkhurst Ferguson has her nostril within the correct position, and an infectious lust for her topic that makes this trawl in the course of the historical past and cultural value of French food—from French Revolution to Babette’s Feast through Balzac’s suppers and Proust’s madeleines—a pleasant meal of various courses.”—Ian Kelly, Times (UK)

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