Date of Degree

6-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

French

Advisor(s)

Francesca Canadé Sautman

Committee Members

Julia Przybos

Antoinette Blum

Sara McDougall

Subject Categories

Cultural History | French and Francophone Literature | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Political History

Keywords

gastronomy, french, cuisine, Curnonsky, regionalism, France

Abstract

France is far from being a uniform culture and yet the food of French provinces is often subsumed into one universally known “French cuisine.” While 19th-century haute cuisine ignored regional differences, gastronomes of the early 20th-century, such as Curnonsky, Marcel Rouff, Austin de Croze, and Pampille, defined a new French culinary identity based on appropriating and incorporating the diversity of the regional cuisines. Regional cuisine at the time was, however, quite diverse. Some of the regions of France were newly added to the country, such as Savoie and Nice, while others had been in contention for some time, such as Alsace. In addition, peasant cuisine differed greatly from that of bourgeois and upper-class households. Nevertheless, gastronomic works emphasized that an inherent “Frenchness” made them uniform, a concept put to work in the service of French national identity, even as one witnessed a rising regionalism. I argue that regionalism intersected with French gastronomy at the time and played a defining role in the construction of what is currently referred to as French Cuisine, exemplifying the profoundly political nature of culinary discourse at the time.

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