From the cassoulet that gained a warfare to the crêpe that doomed Napoleon, from the rebellions sparked by bread and salt to the brand new cuisines solid by empire, the historical past of France is intimately entwined with its gastronomic pursuits. A witty exploration of the details and legends surrounding a number of the hottest French meals and wines by a French cheesemonger and an American tutorial, A Chew-Sized Historical past of France tells the compelling and infrequently shocking story of France from the Roman period to fashionable occasions. Traversing the cuisines of France’s most well-known cities in addition to its underexplored areas, this progressive social historical past explores the impression of warfare and imperialism, the age-old rigidity between custom and innovation, and the enduring use of meals to prop up social and political identities. The origins of essentially the most legendary French meals and wines – from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne – additionally reveal the social and political traits that propelled France’s rise upon the world stage. They assist clarify France’s darkish historical past of warfare and conquest, in addition to its most enlightened cultural achievements and the political and scientific improvements that remodeled human historical past. These gastronomic tales will edify even essentially the most seasoned lovers of meals, historical past, and all issues French.
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