The rise and fall of French cuisine

Wendell Steavenson in The Guardian:

I remember having an argument with my French boyfriend because I suggested marinating the chicken for dinner in yoghurt and cumin. Boyfriend threw up his arms in alarm. “But isn’t the point to taste the chicken?” Furious and foreign, I replied: “No! It’s just the opposite! Cooking is about messing with the chicken! Cooking is about adding flavour!” Here was the rub between French culinary conservatism and the way we in Britain and America have magpied ingredients from all over the world and made national favourites out of hybrid curries and Tex-Mex.

Het klopt heel hard ook in hoe ik de laatste tien jaar gekookt hebt. Eerst de “Belgisch-Franse keuken” met vlees, groenten en aardappelen met hier en daar wel een kruid, maar vooral de zachte smaak van wat er op het bord ligt. En hoe ik nu echt vrijgevig ben met kruiden, vers en gedroogd, of met marinades.

Een weetje dat ik nog niet wist, trouwens:

The word “restaurant” originally referred to a restorative, a pick-me-up, a fortifier. In the 18th century, as Paris grew, butchers began to sell bouillons, nourishing broths made from offcuts of meat, to workers and tradesmen. These early soup stalls became known as restaurants; a 1786 decree allowed “caterers and restaurateurs [those who make fortifying soups]” to serve the public on site. You could now sit down at a table to partake of your soup instead of having to take it away.

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