If you’re looking for cuisine-related things like ccu food crew blog posts, there are probably a few more engaging than what you’re about to read. But if you want in-depth knowledge of French cuisine in the 20th century and how it shaped the world, this one’s for you!
This is an exploration of French cuisine as told through history books and translated from scholarly texts. It will tell tales of political intrigue, culinary prowess, and culinary culture that have shaped Western society as we know it today.
1. The Rise of French Culture
The first half of the 20th century was dominated by the rise of France as a world power. At the beginning of World War I, France was considered a superpower in terms of military might and cultural influence. They had crowned kings over their territory for centuries, and exported fashions, art, and political ideals across Europe for hundreds of years.
French cuisine was considered one of the finest in the world during this time period. This status is reflected in Paul Morand’s 1923 essay “The Seven Wonders Of The French Republic,” which describes French cuisine as “the seventh wonder” of the world.
2. The Influence of French Cuisine
During this time period, the cuisine of France had influence over all of Europe. Many European monarchs and statesmen began to try their culinary creations, and develop their own leaders in the kitchen.
The influence of French cuisine can be seen in many parts of Europe’s history, from the Spanish Inquisition to the disappearance of ‘chocolate’ from Italian cuisine to the German occupation of France during World War II. Even today, other countries import various French culinary staples like baguettes, quiche lorraine, or continental breakfast pastry.
3. The Focus on French Cuisine in the 20th Century
While French cuisine had widespread influence and was expensive, it remained relatively unchanged for decades. However, by the end of the 19th century, France began to decline as a cultural superpower. The Industrial Revolution drove large changes in culture and cuisine, with more rural families moving to cities for work. This was reflected in the change from the traditional farm-to-table style of cooking that dominated French cuisine at this time.
French restaurants also saw a decline in quality during this period as a result of advancements like refrigeration. Chefs no longer took pride in their local ingredients; they ended up serving frozen or preserved foods shipped by rail from distant locations.
4. Foreign Influence on French Cuisine
French cuisine continued to decline in terms of quality and cultural relevance during the first half of the 20th century. This decline was partially due to increased influence from other cultures, particularly Italian and German cooking.
German cooking began to become more prominent in France starting in the 1870s, when Germany began winning wars against the French. The Germans had a reputation for serving larger dishes with more meat-based meals, and this was reflected by menus throughout France at this time period. Regional cuisine also began to diverge due to increasing differences between rural and urban areas. Rural areas were still dominated by farm-to-table food while urban areas quickly began importing their foods from other locations around Europe.
5. The Rise of Slow Food
The decline of French cuisine continued for decades after the end of World War I. As the political and military influence of France shrank, so did its culinary influence. French cuisine had fallen far behind other European countries, particularly Italy and Germany.
By the 1960s, urbanization was in full swing in France, with an increasing number of residents living in cities. While these city residents appreciated good food like those in rural areas, they also craved convenience and variety. This created the boom for fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King that rose to prominence during this time period.
6. The French Paradox
French cuisine slowly began to recover in quality and popularity around the 1970s. A major event that helped drive this recovery was the 1965 publication of ” The French Paradox .” This book argued that the consumption of rich foods like foie gras, cheese, and steak didn’t show any correlation with heart disease.
The book revealed an inconvenient truth to many Europeans: while they were eating healthier and cooking lighter meals at home, they were still getting sick due to lower-quality fast food. This book also drove an increase in interest among foreigners in French cuisine for its health benefits.
7. The Influence of McDonald’s
McDonald’s has been a major player in the revival of French cuisine since its opening in France during 1972. In the 1980s, McDonald’s introduced its now-famous “McMuffin” breakfast sandwich that became so popular it was renamed the “McBaguette” in France. The brand has continued to grow in popularity since then by continuing to introduce new items such as the Big Mac, which eventually spawned its own international chains.
McDonald’s popularity also led to fast food restaurants becoming a major force in the French market. These new chains began to draw customers away from traditional French restaurants by offering larger portions for less money. This created an ever-increasing demand for cheap and convenient food, leading French cuisine to gradually regain popularity around the world.
8. The Rise of La French Tech
French cuisine is now enjoying a period of time that can be compared to the height of the Roman Empire, with France poised to become the world’s largest cultural superpower. This rise began in 2000, when French president Nicolas Sarkozy held an international competition for startups that would receive funding and office space in France. The goal of this initiative was to improve France’s reputation as an international center for business, and to help combat growing unemployment through job creation.
French cuisine has enjoyed a tumultuous history, but it’s now more relevant than ever before. The health benefits of its traditional cooking have become widely known throughout the world, which has helped increase its cultural reach. Additionally, France’s efforts to encourage startups have helped reverse the country’s economic decline through increased global entrepreneurship and employment.
While France still lags behind America in terms of economic and military prowess, it has begun to overcome this through advancements in technology and culture (such as cuisine). It remains to be seen if France can continue on this path of dominance, but for now it seems to be moving in the right direction.