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History of French Cooking


The history of French cooking considered greatest chefs, like Bocuse, Carême, Escoffier, Fernand Point, La Varenne, and Taillevent to be masters of French cuisine. Almost all cooking schools use French cuisine as basis for all forms of Western cooking.

The history of French cooking dates back in 15th century Renaissance Europe, when food was becoming much more important than being just a simple meal. Dining was an entertainment; common foods were decorated and emphasized with flavor because of improved storage techniques and new discoveries in food preparation. Garlic, mushrooms, truffles, and even those rarely used vegetables are presented, carved artistically.

Surprisingly, the history of French cooking can be traced to the Italians. They were the ones who had the most influence on French cuisine, for a number of reasons.

History of French Cooking: The Medici Era

In the 1540’s, when the daughter of the Duke of Urbino, Catherine de Medici ("MED-a-chee"), arrived in France to become the bride of King Henri II, then, the future King, she brought along skilled cooks, they were skilled in the ways of Florence. She was the instrument in influencing the ladies to be in regular attendance during sumptuous feasts, in their most fashionable dresses. Then, later, another Medici was to marry another French King, food ideas just continue growing. This made dining in France progressively important. French, now like the Italians adorned their tables with glassware, fine china and serving ware. Dining, according to history of French cooking has always been a highlight of French culture.

History of French Cooking: “Le Cuisine François” Era

Because of the eventual rise of French cuisine, the very first cookbook was published in 1652. It was regarded in the history of French cooking as the French Cooking Bible. Written by a Frenchman and a famous chef, La Varenne. A very detailed instruction of preparation methods were listed, recipes were in alphabetical order.

History of French Cooking: Louis XIV Era

Another twist in the history of French cooking took place during this time. Louis XIV brought in the idea of serving the food in sequential steps instead of the usual regular appearance, where food is laid all at once, most often resulting to serving cold dishes. The “fork” became a customary utensil in dining. Containers and instruments in odd sizes and appearance were used by expert cooks for improved preparation of food.

History of French Cooking: Nouvelle Cuisine

Nouvelle Cuisine or New Cookery is considered a compromise between the old and new method of French dining. This is because of the changes in lifestyles not only of French people but the Western people as well. Classic French cuisine was time-consuming, not to mention, very costly. French during this time opted to settle for modest, simple and practical food.

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