[FoRK] National Identity - Canada

Albert S. albert.scherbinsky
Sun Oct 16 19:40:09 PDT 2005

--- "Albert S." <albert.scherbinsky at rogers.com> wrote:

> --- Owen Byrne <owen at permafrost.net> wrote:
> > "Just think, Canada could have had American
> > technology, English culture 
> > and French cuisine.
> > Gad, they ended up with American culture, English
> > cuisine, and French 
> > technology."
> I do think we got shafted out of the French cuisine,
> but we did get putine, so it's not all bad. :)

A quote from the following website perhaps explains
why Canada did not inherit haute cuisine from France:


"What is perhaps less widely recognized is that
France's reputation for fine food is not so much based
on long-held traditions but on constant change. In
fact, the general expectation of good eating is a
relatively new experience for the French. At the time
the Bastille was stormed in 1789, at least 80% of the
French population were subsistence farmers, with bread
and cereals as the basis of their diet, essentially
unchanged since the time of the ancient Gauls nearly
two millenia before. In the mid-nineteenth century,
following the demise of the aristocracy, food was a
conspicuous symbol of social position, swiftly adopted
by a new ruling class of bourgeoisie, who recreated
the sumptuous meals of the very aristocracy they had
once criticized. At the same time, two-thirds of
Parisians were either starving or ill-fed, five times
more likely to be nourished from vegetable proteins
than from any meats or dairy products. The golden age
of haute cuisine benefited only those at the very top
of the social ladder.

It took a world war at the beginning of the twentieth
century to halt the gross inequality of wealth at the
table, and to bring about a more even distribution of
the nation's produce. The advent of improved
transportation, especially by train, brought culinary
revolution to the regions, and slowly the spreading
affluence could put a chicken on every peasant's
table. Eventually, tourism fanned the flames of change
in France's commercial kitchens, as chefs were obliged
to create dishes appealing to an ever-widening
audience of British, Japanese, Middle Easterners, and
Americans, as well as French travelers hungering for
new experiences. In some instances the reasons for
change in regional products were a pragmatic reaction
to a decline in other industries (such as silk) or to
the economic disaster brought about by the Phylloxera
pest, which wiped out most of France's grape vines at
the turn of the century."

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