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Prologue Eating Orders

Prologue Eating Orders

(p.1) Prologue Eating Orders
Accounting for Taste
University of Chicago Press

This book is both a geography and genealogy of culinary culture, focusing on France as the template for thinking about food because the country and its culinary customs, or foodways, are emblematic of a distinctive, highly constructed, and sophisticated conception of food. It explores the scene of “culinarity,” or what the French would call le culinaire (“the culinary”) and looks at some of the ways in which food structures and expresses the worlds in which it is found. Drawing on culinary texts such as cookbooks, menus, essays, poems, novels, film and television, the book documents French culinary identity from its beginnings in the seventeenth century through to its elaboration over the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. It places “cooking” against “cuisine,” describes contemporary French cuisine, considers food consumers and consumption, examines some of the texts that marked French cuisine as a dominant trope of French national identity, and reflects on the place of French cuisine within the culinary order of a postwar, postmodern, postindustrial society marked by globalization and internationalization.

Keywords:   food, French cuisine, culinary culture, culinarity, cooking, national identity, globalization, internationalization, consumers, consumption

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