History of French cuisine
In Gaul, the peasants were already preparing cakes de millet, ofoat, ofbarley or wheat. Good hunters, they eat game, as well as volaille and meat de porc, whose fat is used for other preparations. In front of the abundance of herds of wild pigs that roam the forests, they develop the salting and smoking for preserving meat, and their lardani ("charcutiers") are so famous that they export their pigs to Rome. Meals are washed down with cervoise (beer bybarley DON'T hoppy), but also wine in the region of Marseilles where, for a long time, the Greeks introduced the vine and where we import wines from Italy. From the Romans to the Barbarians: The Roman influence, with its tradition of great cuisine, is important from the first century of our era, especially among the well-to-do classes, and the receipts of Apicius are transmitted until the Middle Ages. The Gallo-Roman nobles dine stretched out and, like the Romans, prepare beans, Chickpeas, s, Oysters, the dormouse stuffed with noix and jam de violets au miel. The kitchen at theolive oil gaining ground, orchards are developing; fig trees grow in the little Lutèce. The vines are taking root everywhere: Italian grape varieties are becoming acclimatized in the Bordeaux region, the Rhône valley, in Burgundy, in Moselle. Soon, these wines invaded the markets of the Empire, to the detriment of Roman wines, with all the more success as the Gauls invented the tonneau which allows a better preservation. Germanic invasions, destruction, insecurity plunged Gaul into a period of tragic food shortage: famines marked the beginnings of the Middle Ages. If the Merovingian or Carolingian nobles found on their table a great diversity of game seasoned byaromates (Boar, aurochs, reindeer and even camel), the people are content to porridge byoat ; The Soupe made with plants vegetable gardens - the " roots "- and enriched with bacon stay on flat basic, and we do not eat meat only exceptionally. Agricultural techniques are regressing, the economy is becoming self-sufficient. Until the XNUMXth century, products hardly circulated, worsening poverty. However, what remains of the ancient culture, and in particular its gastronomy, was maintained in the patrician families folded up in their mansions. The great monastic orders also help to preserve this heritage. They advocate manual labor and undertake an immense work of clearing. In the shade of the abbeys, ovens, workshops and hostels for pilgrims are developed. The monks endeavor to select grape varieties, to make and refine cheeses. In addition, the liturgical calendar imposing to be lean several times a week and during the forty days of the Lent, we consume a number of saltwater fish et fresh water. hornbeam, pike et eels are even raised in tanks, and the tidal wave route fish et Oysters until Paris. Therefore, conservation techniques by salting ou bleeding Are growing. The attics and cellars of the great Carolingian towns (XNUMXth-XNUMXth century) and those of the abbeys are well stocked, and the banquets, sumptuous. In the countryside, however, the potage, broth more or less rich hardened de pain, often serves as meal. wine, considered as a food as much as as a drink, is consumed in large quantities. The opening of the Mediterranean. The structures of "feudal" society help restore relative social stability. With the resumption of a life of exchanges, cities appear, where a new class is developing, that of the “bourgeois”, a group dominating the poorer city dwellers, companions and laborers. The city requires a regular supply which leads to the development of fairs and markets. This period saw the intensification of trade between northern and southern Europe, while the crusades and pilgrimages favored contacts between Europe and the East. New products achieve great success: citrus, Dried fruit et spices (cannelle, clove, Ginger, nutmeg, Pepper,…) Appear on the tables of kings and lords. the sucre, considered as a spice and a medicine, gradually wins the kitchen. The medieval cities are the delight of travelers. All the food professions are represented there. You can roast your goose at the roaster, buy a green sauce all ready to accompany him or herself treat an pastry hot served on demand by the pastry chef. The cheese are consumed instead frais, or mixed with farces to hachis. Of meal of prestige: The lord must keep an open table in his castle: he is responsible for feeding his "household", which includes, in addition to his family, squires and vassals. The valets "set the table": they install trestles and planks in the common room. The guests have a spoon, sometimes from a couteau (which will often prove to be dangerous), but they have no fork (which will come from Italy with the Renaissance, thanks to Catherine de Medici). the meal, which includes many services, has as main courses the roasted, meat ou fish, accompanied by Sauces of the season. Then come confectionery and wine honeyed et spice (hippocras), at a time sweet on the palate and digestive. The presentation of dish during feasts royals is a real spectacle: peacocks drawn up with all their feathers, pasta letting escape from their flanks clouds ofbirds, fountains pouring out streams of wine. The splendours of the Grand Siècle: Italy was to play a major cultural role in Europe at this time. It is often said that it was Catherine de Medici who, having brought in Italian cooks, transformed the food French. It is more likely that the two countries have mixed their traditions, even if Italy then bequeaths to France its taste for vegetables and confectionery, pasta and ice cream. As early as the 1550s, Italian lemonade makers taught the French how to make sorbets, then, a century later, ice. The dishes very spices are less successful. It was during this period that cookbooks spread, the best known being that of Francois de La Varenne, which offers receipts de biscuits and the first mille-feuilles. Under Louis XIV, the taste for the pageantry was all-powerful and the service, regulated like a real spectacle, but the king particularly appreciated the good Dear. His passion for vegetables led the agronomist Jean de La Quintinie to develop greenhouse cultivation: peas were obtained in March and strawberries in April. Oysters and lamb, very popular, gave rise to elaborate preparations; a sauce became famous, that of the financier Louis de Béchameil, who wrote in verse recipes and precepts. Newly imported coffee, tea and chocolate won the favor of the aristocracy. These exotic drinks are tasted in specialized establishments; This is how the Café Procope opened in Paris in 1686, where fruit juices, ice creams and sorbets, foreign wines, hypocras (an old drink made from sweet and flavored wine) and others are also consumed. sweets, like the pasta byorgeat and candied fruits. It was at this time that the pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer who had stayed at the court of the King of Poland, instigator of baba, soon after became the specialist in this cake, replacing the liqueur of Tansy by rhum.
Small suppers and "Parmentière": The Regency and the reign of Louis XV constitute the golden age of French cuisine. At the same time, rural France improves its production and famine becomes rare. The Century of Lights combines the pleasures of the table and those of the mind. The great chefs compete in imagination. They discover the preparation of fonds who, from juices of meat, give sauces their flavor. The pate of foie gras is a creation of Jean-Pierre Clause, cook of Marshal de Contades, military governor of Strasbourg, while the foie gras truffle is an idea of Nicolas-François Doyen, leader of the first president of the Parliament of Bordeaux. Marie Leszczynska's chef, La Chapelle, prepares the bites to the Queen, and Marin, butler to Marshal de Soubise, teaches how to brown meats and deglaze the juice. It is in the hotels of wealthy financiers and in the first restaurants that the culinary art flourished. Pastry chefs and confectioners compete in ingenuity. You also get to know foreign specialties, such as beef steak, curry and Madeira. At the same time, the concern for regular supplies leads to the encouragement of cultivation methods and grain conservation. This is howAntoine Parmentier publishes several reports on how to use the potato and makes it triumph. From the Revolution to the Second Empire: The Revolution caused an upheaval in the evolution of food French, but the great chefs of noble families, by opening restaurants or entering the service of the upper middle class, helped give it a new boost. Chef Laguipière and gastronome Louis Cussy bear witness to the splendours of the Empire. Two tables are particularly famous: those of Cambacérès and Talleyrand. Gastronomic literature, made fashionable by Alexandre Grimod de La Reyniere and illustrated by Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, play an important role. In the middle of the XNUMXth century, railways provided fresher supplies and animal husbandry made considerable progress. Other milestones: the Duval broths, under Napoleon III, the economic formula of the restaurant, the invention of the gas stove and, more than ever, the cafes and restaurants, many of which are located on the other side of the barriers of grant, in the countryside near Paris. After the Palais-Royal, the “Boulevard” becomes the center of renowned restaurants. Joseph Favré made his career at the Café de la Paix, then at the Café Riche; Adolphe Duglere, a chef from Bordeaux, made up of succulents menus for the Café Anglais, where he received the King of Prussia (1867) and Tsar Alexander II, who had come to listen to the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, of Offenbach. The twentieth century. French cuisine has now established itself around the world. Its chefs reign over the kitchens of Buckingham Palace and the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg as well as those of major international hotels. Paris becomes the world capital of gastronomy. The Belle Époque was that of the Dubois, Escoffier and Bignon. The Goncourt Academy organized its first dinner in 1903, and Prosper Montagne opens the most luxurious restaurant of the Roaring Twenties. But it was also the vogue for neighborhood "bistros", run by Auvergne and Périgourdins, and that of gastronomic associations.
After the Second World War, the great classics of the repertoire kept the spotlight, celebrating the richness of a provincial heritage: blanquette, bouillabaisse, cassoulet, sauerkraut, Gut, pie Tatin, etc. In 1971, the " nouvelle cuisine ", Under the leadership of two journalists from Paris-Presse called upon to form a famous duo, Henri Gault and Christian Millau: no more thick and fatty sauces that mask tastes, no more over-cooking and limited portions ... up to 'excess. The new cuisine will be followed with varying degrees of success by the Molecular gastronomy. Today, the great chefs try to combine the best of tradition and the most attractive of creation while respecting as much as possible the freshness and flavor of products.
Even if the fashion of the beginning of the XNUMXst century borrows a lot from certain Spanish creations (Ferran Adrià at El Bulli) putting foam, emulsions, jellies and foams at the forefront of the innovations of time. The 2010s saw the arrival of cold cuisine. The young chef Rene Redzepi, housed in a former hangar in Copenhagen, offers innovative Nordic cuisine. In 2010 in his restaurant Noma, he supplants Ferran Adrià as the best chef in the world with spot simple, frais but succulents like this pot of radish with his "land" or this ice au Jerusalem artichoke and marjoram, With a biscuit our seeds de malt and syrup de apple fresh.
In June 2019, the Italian Mauro Colagreco at the restaurant Mirazur in Menton in France and back Rene Redzepi in his new Noma restaurant in Copenhagen in Denmark are the two best chefs in the world on the podium of World's 50 Best Restaurants with highly creative cuisines. France, the homeland of gastronomy, only ranks four tables in the 50 best in the world.
The 2021 ranking of the 50 best tables in the world has been postponed to 2022 due to Covid-19.
French cuisine and flavors
"Cooking is the art of instantly transforming products steeped in history into joy" Guy Savoy, Chef.
"Little dear and great welcome make for a joyful feast" William Shakespeare, English playwright.