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Arranging the Meal: A History of Table Service in France by Jean-Louis Flandrin

By Jean-Louis Flandrin

The series during which meals has been served at foodstuff has replaced drastically over the centuries and has additionally assorted from one kingdom to a different, a truth famous in nearly each culinary background. such a lot nutrition writers have taken care of the extra major changes as stand-alone occasions. the main well-known instance of one of these swap happened within the 19th century, whilst service à los angeles française—in which the lovely presentation made an exceptional exhibit yet diners needed to wait to be served—gave technique to service à l. a. russe, in which platters have been handed between diners who served themselves. yet in Arranging the Meal, the past due culinary historian Jean-Louis Flandrin argues that one of these switch within the order of nutrition provider is much from a special occasion. in its place he regards it as a old phenomenon, person who occurred in keeping with socioeconomic and cultural factors—another mutation in an ever-changing series of customs. As France's such a lot illustrious culinary historian, Flandrin has turn into a cult determine in France, and this posthumous booklet isn't just his ultimate observe but additionally an important contribution to culinary scholarship. A foreword by means of Beatrice Fink locations Flandrin's paintings in context and gives a private remembrance of this French culinary hero.

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Additional info for Arranging the Meal: A History of Table Service in France (California Studies in Food and Culture)

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24 structure of meals in the classical age ta b l e 4 Use of organ meats Le Cuisinier françois (1651) Le Nouveau Cuisinier (1660) L’Art de bien traiter (1674) La Cuisinière bourgeoise (1774) Soups Entrées, etc. 5% 3 = 5% 31 = 53% 3 = 3% 59 20 = 34% 0 22 = 37% 9 = 15% 59 13 = 41% 0 15 = 47% — 32 99 = 82% 0 22 = 18% — 121 Now let us examine whether the organ meats used for entremets can be distinguished from those used for entrées. Those routinely served as entremets include most pork organs (tongue, ears, knuckles, and head but not the liver or chitterlings); foie gras and occasionally deer and rabbit liver; veal and potentially lamb sweetbreads; rooster and veal kidneys, as well as ram white kidneys; salted, dried, smoked, or stuffed beef tongue (fresh tongue was usually an entrée); deer innards; and wild boar trotters.

39 Raw Food: Shellfish, Vegetables, and Fruit Raw food today may mean oysters or other shellfish at the start of the meal, first-course fruits such as melon or possibly grapefruit, hors d’oeuvres of raw vegetables, possibly a salad eaten after the main dish and before the cheese (if not with it), or else some fruit for dessert. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, raw oysters sometimes began the meal. But this was unusual except at the seashore, and they usually made a complete meal, as 30 structure of meals in the classical age in the Déjeuner d’huîtres painted around the mid-eighteenth century by Jean-François de Troy.

Entrées and entremets 23 ta b l e 3 Use of butcher’s meats (excluding organ meats) Le Cuisinier françois (1651) Le Nouveau Cuisinier (1660) L’Art de bien traiter (1674) La Cuisinière bourgeoise (1774) Roasts Entremets Pasties Total Soups Entrées, etc. 5% 5 = 10% — 48 125 = 84% 4 = 3% 20 = 13% — 149 The proportion of large cuts served as entremets remained far lower, but may have been on the rise. What matters is that throughout this period, these large cuts were distinct from others in two ways: by their very nature, and by the manner in which they were cooked and served.

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