Cuisine, customs and character: culinary tradition and innovation in eighteenth century France.




Trewin, Meaghan

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This thesis explores elite culinary culture over the course of the French Enlightenment. The eighteenth century was a time of great culinary innovation during which the basic structure and import of mealtimes diverged dramatically from the long-standing traditions of the royal court. The culinary elite of the French Enlightenment (located mainly in Paris and Versailles) were deeply facinated by the evolving issues of cuisine, taste, and diet, as well as how these issues related to central cultural, political and educational institutions. Culinary innovations had widespread impact on many varied aspects of daily life, such as: expressions of social standing, developments in health science, and situating one's personal moral compass. The following work discusses the connection between food and each of these issues, ultimately asking what it meant for the eighteenth century French culinary elite to eat, and what effect their choice of food had on their identities.



France, Enlightenment, Eighteenth century, Cuisine, Culture, Diet, Health, Identity