Feasts and All Their Finery: Elegant Dining in Old Regime France

Feasts and All Their Finery: Elegant Dining in Old Regime France

by Pierre Jean-Baptiste Le Grand d'Aussy, Jim Chevallier

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A mechanical horse... A mountain flowing with rose-water... A lake with a boat in full sail.. These were a few of the details of the complex entertainments presented with elegant Medieval meals. Meanwhile, table decoration, which began with abundant flowers and piles of fruit, evolved into complex constructions of glass, artificial frost and drawings in sand. Even as kings struggled to limit luxury, meals grew more ornate, multiplying courses and the dishes in each course.

Le Grand d'Aussy ends his three-volume history of French food with these exuberant chapters, bristling with colorful details, about how fine dining in France grew more formal and more ambitious, remaining extravagant (by today's standards) even after the sometimes stunning, sometimes laughable excesses of the Middle Ages were reigned in and more sophisticated service and entertainment replaced a host of mechanical devices, pantomimes, and outright exotica.

Le Grand draws on a classic cookbook and several forgotten memoirs to bring a wealth of details on menus, table decoration, royal households, customs, and entertainments to those who study the Middle Ages, food history, decoration or simply France in all its infinite variety. For the first time, this rich and unique text is available in English.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149041602
Publisher: Chez Jim
Publication date: 12/20/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 348 KB

About the Author

Pierre Jean-Baptiste Legrand d’Aussy, born in Amiens June 3, 1737, died December 6, 1800 in Paris was a French historian, best known for his three volume history of French food: Histoire de la vie privée des Français depuis l’origine de la nation jusqu’à nos jours. He also curator of the national library at the end of his life and wrote a number of other work on historical subjects.

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