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The Invention of the Restaurant : Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, With a New Preface, Paperback / softback Book

The Invention of the Restaurant : Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, With a New Preface Paperback / softback

Part of the Harvard Historical Studies series


Winner of the Louis Gottschalk PrizeWinner of the Thomas J.

Wilson Memorial PrizeWhy are there restaurants? Why would anybody consider eating alongside perfect strangers in a loud and crowded room to be an enjoyable pastime?

To find the answer, Rebecca Spang takes us back to France in the eighteenth century, when a restaurant was not a place to eat but a quasi-medicinal bouillon that formed an essential element of prerevolutionary France's nouvelle cuisine. This is a book about the French Revolution in taste-about how Parisians invented the modern culture of food, changing in the process their social life and that of the world.

Over the course of the revolution, restaurants that had begun as purveyors of health food became symbols of aristocratic greed.

In the early nineteenth century, the new genre of gastronomic literature worked within the strictures of the Napoleonic state to transform restaurants yet again and to confer star status upon oysters and champagne. "An ambitious, thought-changing book... Rich in weird data, unsung heroes, and bizarre true stories."-Adam Gopnik, New Yorker"[A] pleasingly spiced history of the restaurant."-New York Times"A lively, engrossing, authoritative account of how the restaurant as we know it developed...

Spang is...as generous in her helpings of historical detail as any glutton could wish."-The Times


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 352 pages, 27 photos
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Humamities
  • ISBN: 9780674241770



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