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              Exoticism in French gastronomy: From medieval spices to modern day fusion cuisine by Denis Saillard

              Le Cordon Bleu conferences: A taste for knowledgE

              Exoticism in French gastronomy: From medieval spices to modern day fusion cuisine

              As soon as the first cookbooks appeared in France at the end of the Middle Ages, a taste for exotic foods and ingredients became apparent. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the aristocracy revelled in dishes made with spices from the East. Then plants from the Americas (cocoa beans, tomatoes…) and colonial produce (tropical fruit, rice …) slowly edged their way into French cuisine. What is the place and role of exoticism in a national cuisine so defined and standardized as that of the country of Brillat-Savarin and chef Auguste Escoffier?

              Our expert: Denis Saillard

              Denis Saillard is doctor in history and associate researcher at the centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (chcsc) at the university of Versailles/Saint-Quentin (upsay) and at the cercle (university of Lorraine).
              His research examines the history of representations and social practices linked to gastronomy (food, cuisine, diet).
              In 2015, in partnership with Didier Francfort, he published le goût des autres. De l’expérience de l’alérité gastronomique à l’appropriation (europe 18th-21st centuries), Nancy university press, and with Françoise Hache-Bissette, “A table!” Médias et médiations de la gastronomie, in le temps des médias, n° 24, spring 2015.

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