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French Cuisine Essay

1875 words - 8 pages

French cuisine dates back to the Middle Ages. During the middle ages French cuisine was similar Moorish cuisine (Manero). French cuisine was similar to Moorish cuisine because upon the arrival of moors in 711 A.D., smoked and spiced meats were introduced to the French as well as the appearance of food was influenced because, Moors often altered the appearance of foods with ingredients such as saffron, egg yolks, and sunflowers (Manero). The altering of the food’s color can be seen in modern day French cuisine, especially in the sauces and broths. Examples images follow:“Rouille is a spicy garlic sauce used for fish dishes, fish soup and bouillabaisse.” –[http://www.beyond.fr/food/rouille.ht)
This sauce displays influence from the Moorish because it uses both saffron and egg yolks to give the sauces it’s vibrant “gold-ish-yellow” appearance. This sauce is traditionally made with saffron, breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, and egg yolks.
Bouillabaisse is a fish stew that derives from the coast of France.
This dish also contains Moorish influences with the addition of saffron to enhance the appearance of this dish, as well as the use of the fish and ingredients that are in season.


16th Century: Italian Influences
During the early 16th century, 1533 French King Henry II married Catherine Medici, Florentine Princess; who brought along Italian chefs with her to France (Manero). The Italian chefs were more advanced than the French chefs and had discovered new ingredients and techniques that the French chefs have yet to discover (Yaniga, 2010). “Italian chefs where light years of ahead of French culinary experts, and had already begun creating dishes such as lasagna, manicotti, and had experimented using ingredients like truffles, garlic, and mushrooms. When Catherine married King Henry II, she brought along with her Italian chefs who in turn introduced Italian culinary practices to the French court. Even though the culinary cultures of these two countries have taken different roads, the French owe much of their culinary development to the Italians and their intervention in the 1500s.”(Yaniga,2010) As well as contributing to techniques the Italians also contributed to the storage of spices. “The Italians had already mastered a variety of techniques for food preparation, the use of spices and effective long-term storage.”(Manero)

17th Century: La Varenne
The 17th century had a great impact on culinary history that is still seen today. Thanks to François Pierre La Varenne that is. François Pierre La Varenne was a chef that worked in the kitchens of the Marquis d'Uxelles from 1640 to 1650 and is the chef that is responsible for his heavy and conuntinuous use of roux and European herbs. Little is actually known about is life but what is know is because of his contributions to culinary history. In 1651 La Varenne published Le Cuisinier François,” the first of a new generation of cookbooks to document the changes that had taken place in French cuisine...

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