Feeding France is the first comprehensive study of the French food industry in the decades surrounding the French Revolution of 1789. Though the history of gastronomy and the restaurant have been explored by scholars, few are aware that France was also one of the first nations to produce industrial foods. In this time of political and social upheaval, chemists managed to succeed both as public food experts and as industrial food manufacturers. This book explores the intersection between knowledge, practice and commerce which made this new food expertise possible, and the institutional and experimental culture which housed it. Ranging from the exigencies of Old Regime bread-making to the industrial showcasing of gelatine manufacture, E. C. Spary rewrites the history of the French relationship with food to show that industrialisation and patrimonialism were intimately intertwined.
E. C. Spary is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge.
1. Economic eaters; 2. The kingdom of bread; 3. The matter of nourishment; 4. Health foods and the medical marketplace; 5. The potato republic; 6. Making more out of meat; 7. Political palates; 8. The empire of habit; Conclusion; Bibliography.