A Bite-Sized History of France
Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment
by Stéphane Henaut; Jeni Mitchell
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 10 Jul 2018 | Archive Date 10 Jul 2018
A "delicious" (Dorie Greenspan), "genial" (Kirkus Reviews), "very cool book about the intersections of food and history" (Michael Pollan)—as featured in the New York Times
"The complex political, historical, religious and social factors that shaped some of [France's] . . . most iconic dishes and culinary products are explored in a way that will make you rethink every sprinkling of fleur de sel."
—The New York Times Book Review
Acclaimed upon its hardcover publication as a "culinary treat for Francophiles" (Publishers Weekly), A Bite-Sized History of France is a thoroughly original book that explores the facts and legends of the most popular French foods and wines. Traversing the cuisines of France's most famous cities as well as its underexplored regions, the book is enriched by the "authors' friendly accessibility that makes these stories so memorable" (The New York Times Book Review). This innovative social history also explores the impact of war and imperialism, the age-old tension between tradition and innovation, and the enduring use of food to prop up social and political identities.
The origins of the most legendary French foods and wines—from Roquefort and cognac to croissants and Calvados, from absinthe and oysters to Camembert and champagne—also reveal the social and political trends that propelled France's rise upon the world stage. As told by a Franco-American couple (Stéphane is a cheesemonger, Jeni is an academic) this is an "impressive book that intertwines stories of gastronomy, culture, war, and revolution. . . . It's a roller coaster ride, and when you're done you'll wish you could come back for more" (The Christian Science Monitor).
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 67 members
This book is a lovely mixture of history, folklore and food. French food. The history goes back a long way as does the evolution of French wine and cuisine.
The history is told with a certain style that makes reading it a pleasure, and, with just enough facts to make it real. I like history, but I think even if you didn't, this book would still appeal. The regions of France as well defined and the cultural backgrounds explained. A most interesting read.
Very enjoyable read! I was sort of worried it might be a very dry history type deal and was pleasantly surprised to find a fun story of French culinary history from wine to foods to wars and culture and history! Francophiles will surely enjoy this book, but I think anyone interested in food, drink and France will find it a pleasant and entertaining read.