“I wrote A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine,” says author Susan Pinkard, “because I am fascinated by the intersection of the routines of everyday life with the world of ideas.” This splendid book just out for the holidays looks at one of the world’s most famous cuisines and how it got that way.
Modern French habits of cooking, eating, and drinking were born in the Ancièn Regime, radically breaking with culinary traditions that originated in antiquity and creating a new aesthetic. This new culinary culture saw food and wine as important links between human beings and nature. Authentic foodstuffs and simple preparations became the hallmarks of the modern style. Pinkard traces the roots and development of this culinary revolution to many different historical trends, including changes in material culture, social transformations, medical theory and practice, and the Enlightenment.
Pinkard illuminates the complex cultural meaning of food in her history of the new French cooking from its origins in the 1650s through the emergence of cuisine bourgeoise and the original nouvelle cuisine in the decades before 1789. This book, which would make a great Christmas gift for “foodies” on your list, also discusses the evolution of culinary techniques and includes historical recipes adapted for today’s kitchens.