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Arranging the Meal

A History of Table Service in France

Jean-Louis Flandrin (Author), julie johnson (Translator), Beatrice Fink (Foreword)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 229 pages
ISBN: 9780520238855
October 2007
$42.00, £28.95
The sequence in which food has been served at meals has changed greatly over the centuries and has also varied from one country to another, a fact noted in virtually every culinary history. Most food writers have treated the more significant alterations as stand-alone events. The most famous example of such a change occurred in the nineteenth century, when service à la française—in which the stunning presentation made a great show but diners had to wait to be served—gave way to service à la russe, in which platters were passed among diners who served themselves. But in Arranging the Meal, the late culinary historian Jean-Louis Flandrin argues that such a change in the order of food service is far from a distinct event. Instead he regards it as a historical phenomenon, one that happened in response to socioeconomic and cultural factors—another mutation in an ever-changing sequence of customs. As France's most illustrious culinary historian, Flandrin has become a cult figure in France, and this posthumous book is not only his final word but also a significant contribution to culinary scholarship. A foreword by Beatrice Fink places Flandrin's work in context and offers a personal remembrance of this French culinary hero.
Foreword, by Georges Carantino
Foreword to the English Language Edition: Jean-Louis Flandrin’s World Order, by Beatrice Fink
Preface

PART ONE. THE STRUCTURE OF MEALS IN THE CLASSICAL AGE
1. Composition of the Classical Meal
2. Roasts
3. Entrées and Entremets
4. Composition of Meatless Meals

PART TWO. FOURTEENTH TO TWENTIETH CENTURIES: VARIATIONS IN THE SEQUENCE OF COURSES IN FRANCE
5. French Meals in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
6. Sixteenth-Century Overview
7. Classical Order in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
8. Innovations from the Revolution to World War I
9. Hidden Changes in the Twentieth Century

PART THREE. OTHER COUNTRIES, OTHER SEQUENCES
10. English Menu Sequences
11. Polish Banquets in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries

Postscript
Appendixes
A. Additional Material for Part Three
B. Dietetics and Meal Sequences
C. The Cuisine of the Renaissance
D. Additional Printed Sources
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Jean-Louis Flandrin was Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris-VIII and Head of Research at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociale. His many books include Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, which he coedited. Beatrice Fink is Professor of French Emerita at the University of Maryland and is a former Secretary-General of the International Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. She has researched French culinary history for many years, and her publications in this area include Les Liaisons Savoureuses.
“Offered to us in an elegant translation . . . superb . . . tantalizing.”—Jean-Michel Rabate Modernism/Modernity

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