The material transformation of food into a culinary product can be compared to its intellectual mutation into the kind of culinary discourse known as cuisine. The practice of cooking supplies a basic template for material transformation, and that practice is codified by cuisine. Cooking and cuisine are mutually dependent, and this relationship emerges in the ever-changing connection between place and space. This chapter compares cooking and cuisine by setting the analytic logic of the culinary code against the diversity of culinary practices. It looks at some of the culinary narratives that the French have told about themselves and their food at least since the seventeenth century. Through these narratives, the text aims to become the primary vehicle for the distinct, and distinctive, French cuisine.
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