Culinary Aesthetics and Practices in Nineteenth-Century - download pdf or read online

By Marie Drews, Monika Elbert

Culinary Aesthetics and Practices in Nineteenth-Century American Literature examines the preponderance of nutrients imagery in nineteenth-century literary texts. Contributors to this quantity examine the social, political, and cultural implications of scenes regarding nutrients and eating and illustrate how “aesthetic” notions of culinary training are usually undercut via the particular practices of cooking and consuming. As participants interrogate the values and meanings in the back of culinary discourses, they complicate average notions approximately American id and query the facility constitution in the back of meals creation and intake.

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Instead, men are represented as the connoisseurs of the table, making decisions about the garden, the cook, the arrangement of the kitchen, guest lists at parties, acceptable drinks, and the types of food eaten. The male authors and narrators of country books used culinary aesthetics and practices to assert control over their homes and wives as well as to create a sense of community among men and between author and reader. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-14 22 23 the ice cream they made, the meats they ordered, the spirits they brewed, and the meals they enjoyed invite new considerations of the relationship between men and the home in the nineteenth century.

With prices known to all, an order became a statement of wealth as well as taste. At an eating house, the communal service dictated by a common meal required set meal times. As European visitors discovered, coming late to table meant missing out on the best parts of some dishes and on all of others. But at a restaurant, diners could order what they wanted when they wanted. The timing of meals had long been connected with social class, with lower class mealtimes set in response to work environments and the upper class frequently distinguishing itself through later dining hours.

As Jefferson Williamson explains, “Delmonico’s unquestionably did more than any other institution to change and elevate the standards of American cookery. Its style and menu were imitated everywhere” (217). Delmonico’s success, though based on its attention to the finest cuisine and service, grew largely from its responsiveness to the dramatic social changes in the last third of the nineteenth century. With New York City’s population exploding through parallel increases in immigration and urbanization, the city’s elite felt pressure from the growing ranks of the nouveau riche to further separate itself from the mass of society.

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