Sep 17, 2010

The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine?

In a London Review of Books review this book (see left): Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine by Michael Steinberger supplies us with some interesting quotes:
"The quarter-pounded conquest of France was not the result of some fiendish American plot to subvert French food culture. It was an inside job, and not merely in the sense that the French public was lovin’ it – the architects of McDonald’s strategy in France were French."
"Chefs need prosperous patrons. Notwithstanding their other effects, the Reagan and Thatcher eras made the rich richer and spawned vast new wealth, money that bankrolled gastronomic revolutions in the United States and Britain. The French economy stagnated and French cuisine did likewise."
 And seemingly it was all forecasted by Mr. Paris to the Moon Adam Gopnik:

And so France has a unique power to let Americans down. One of the first and most influential of the disappointed was Adam Gopnik. Writing in the New Yorker in 1997, Gopnik asked whether there was ‘a crisis in French cooking’. The question was rhetorical. ‘The muse of cooking’ had abandoned France and, shockingly, ‘migrated across the ocean to a spot in Berkeley, with occasional trips to New York and, of all places, Great Britain’.
 Don't know if the French would agree with Mr. Steinberger though...

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