Savoir-Faire

A History of Food in France

Maryann Tebben

Savoir-Faire

Maryann Tebben

Distributed for Reaktion Books

344 pages | 72 color plates, 26 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Cloth $39.00 ISBN: 9781789143324 Will Publish November 2020 For sale in North and South America only
Savoir-Faire is a comprehensive account of France’s rich culinary history, which is not only full of tales of haute cuisine, but seasoned with myths and stories from a wide variety of times and places—from snail hunting in Burgundy to female chefs in Lyon, and from cheese appreciation in Roman Gaul to bread debates from the Middle Ages to the present. It examines the use of less familiar ingredients such as chestnuts, couscous, and oysters; explores French food in literature and film; reveals the influence of France’s overseas territories on the shape of French cuisine today; and includes historical recipes for readers to try at home.
Review Quotes
Chef Jacques P├ępin
Savoir-Faire is a superbly researched and extremely comprehensive history of the complex food of France. Tebben’s exhaustive documentation takes us from the salted pork of the Gauls to the bread of the middle ages, the nineteenth-century opulence of Carème’s buffet to the cuisine bourgeoise and les méres de Lyon. An all-encompassing work for anyone interested in the importance of cuisine in French culture.”
Michael D. Garval, North Carolina State University
“The book is admirably ambitious, crisply written, and lively. . . . It brims with an abundance of varied information. . . . A very readable, wide-ranging, and original synthesis on the subject.”
Allen J. Grieco, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence (emeritus), coeditor in chief of "Food & History" (IEHCA)
"So much has been said—and written—on the subject of French food that the author wisely does not set out to accomplish such an impossible task. Instead, she gives the reader a guided tour to select highlights. The journey begins with the remote and quasi mythical, culinary habits of Gaul at the time of the Franks (and Romans), and ends with the soul-searching of a twenty-first century that questions the definition/nature of an ever-evolving 'French' cuisine. Both producers and consumers—in Metropolitan France as well as in the far-flung colonies—hold center stage in an unfolding story told with verve. And, throughout this narrative, emerges the centuries-long ability of French culture to write about and represent food, turning it into one of the most easily recognized cuisines in the world."
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