A Table: A Political History of French Cuisine

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Morgado, Hagia
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
The aim of this thesis is to discuss the ongoing evolution of French cuisine from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, which often parallels with events in France's political history. Each chapter analyzes the cuisine's digressions to its advancements. The first chapter explores how Franr;ois Pierre La Varenne defines French cuisine and began to popularize the term, "haute cuisine," the importance of guilds, and the unequal distribution of food between classes as France catapulted into a revolution. The second chapter discusses the major events of the subsequent two centuries and the contributions of two iconic chefs and codifiers, Marie-Antoine Careme and Georges Auguste Escoffier, as well as the impact of the World Wars on culinary traditions. Finally, the third chapter concentrates on health and dietary issues, partly due to "malbouffe," the integration of fast food eateries in France, and how "McDonaldization" affects France. Concluding remarks include an analysis of future trends and possible solutions that may reverse negative trends.
French cuisine, La Varenne, Escoffier, Careme, World War I, World War II, McDonaldization, French Revolution, Haute cuisine, France