Title

Toward a Historical Dialectic of Culinary Styles

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Historical Research

Department

History

ISSN

0950-3471

Volume

87

Issue

238

DOI

10.1111/1468-2281.12073

First Page

581

Last Page

590

Publication Date

11-1-2014

Abstract

Culinary styles through history follow a recurring and predictable pattern shifting from complexity to simplicity and then back again. Each new aesthetic nonetheless incorporates elements, either ingredients, techniques or modes of service, from its immediate predecessor, such that the process is more dialectical than strictly oppositional. This article provides numerous concrete examples drawn from cookbooks and gastronomic literature which illustrate this complex pattern of evolution, driven largely by the process of social emulation though also influenced by economic trends, trade and the business of selling food.