Some Unexpected Features in a Traditional Aristocratic Diet

By the quantity consumed, its daily presence on the table, and the money spent on it (43 per cent of the total food expenditure), meat was the most important food consumed by the Cervera family, almost the only source of animal protein, fish consumption being very low. It was, above all, and together with white bread, the most obvious sign of status, to the point of being consumed in amounts far beyond any healthy levels.7 Meats consumed were mutton, pork, poultry, game and fowl. Mutton and...

Appellations dOrigine

Names of French villages, provinces, or pays were frequently used in France to designate agricultural products considered local specialities. By the end of the nineteenth century, improvements in transport, new processing techniques, and reduced production costs made it possible to market these formerly local specialities to an ever broader group of consumers at home and abroad. Some of these products - such as roquefort, champagne, cognac, and brie13 - developed reputations for excellence that...

French Bread and Algerian Wine Conflicting Identities in French Algeria

When France started to occupy Algeria in the 1830s, it brought a food tradition that was alien to the local cuisine. The food habits of the Christian and Jewish colonists conflicted with Islamic dietary laws. Algerians objected to pork and wine, both forbidden by Islam. They refused to eat meat of animals not slaughtered according to Islamic rules. The Islamic dietary rules and the hygienic, medical, cultural or social motives behind them have received ample attention (e.g. Douglas, 1970, 1982,...

Alcohol in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

This study proceeds from my research into drinking behavior and attitudes toward drinking in late medieval and early modern Europe, from about 1300 to about 1700, focussing on England, France and Italy. Despite the differences between the wine-drinking south and the ale- or beer-drinking north, these countries shared a drinking pattern which resulted from the functions of alcoholic beverages. The functions reveal that the role of alcohol then was far more important than it is today. Alcohol was...