What history interests me 1

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What history interests me 1

  1. 1. WORLD CUISINE<br />
  2. 2. At the moment, the history of cultures specific foods interests me. <br />This curiosity started when I read the book My Life in France by Julia Child a few months ago. In this book Julia Child documents her journey into learning how to cook then learning all aspects of French cooking techniques and traditional cuisine. <br />What actually got me interested in this topic was when she was trying to find a standard recipe for bouillabaisse, a traditional French seafood stew but was unable to do so. When the question came to mind I decided to do research using the internet, which was not obviously available to Julia Child in the 1960’s. <br />
  3. 3. Bouillabaisse<br />According to tradition, the origins of the dish date back to the time of the Phoceans, an Ancient Greek people who founded Marseille in 600 BC. Then, the population ate a simple fish stew known in Greek as 'kakavia.' Something similar to Bouillabaisse also appears in Roman mythology: it is the soup that Venus fed to Vulcan.[8]<br />The dish known today as bouillabaisse was created by Marseille fishermen who wanted to make a meal when they returned to port. Rather than using the more expensive fish, they cooked the common rockfish and shellfish that they pulled up with their nets and lines, usually fish that were too bony to serve in restaurants, cooking them in a cauldron of sea water on a wood fire and seasoning them with garlic and fennel. Tomatoes were added to the recipe in the 17th century, after their introduction from America.<br />In the 19th century, as Marseille became more prosperous, restaurants and hotels began to serve bouillabaisse to upper-class patrons. The recipe of bouillabaisse became more refined, with the substitution of fish stock for boiling water, and the addition of saffron. Bouillabaisse spread from Marseille to Paris, and then gradually around the world, adapted to local ingredients and tastes.<br />Generally similar dishes are found in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; where these kind of dishes have been made since the Neolithic Era. What makes a bouilabaisse different from these other dishes are the local Provençal herbs and spices, the particular selection of bony Mediterranean coastal fish and the way the broth is served separately from the fish and vegetables.<br />
  4. 4. Wikipedia: History and legend of Bouillabaisse<br />According to tradition, the origins of the dish date back to the time of the Phoceans, an Ancient Greek people who founded Marseille in 600 BC. Then, the population ate a simple fish stew known in Greek as 'kakavia.' Something similar to Bouillabaisse also appears in Roman mythology: it is the soup that Venus fed to Vulcan.[8]<br />The dish known today as bouillabaisse was created by Marseille fishermen who wanted to make a meal when they returned to port. Rather than using the more expensive fish, they cooked the common rockfish and shellfish that they pulled up with their nets and lines, usually fish that were too bony to serve in restaurants, cooking them in a cauldron of sea water on a wood fire and seasoning them with garlic and fennel. Tomatoes were added to the recipe in the 17th century, after their introduction from America.<br />In the 19th century, as Marseille became more prosperous, restaurants and hotels began to serve bouillabaisse to upper-class patrons. The recipe of bouillabaisse became more refined, with the substitution of fish stock for boiling water, and the addition of saffron. Bouillabaisse spread from Marseille to Paris, and then gradually around the world, adapted to local ingredients and tastes.<br />Generally similar dishes are found in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; where these kind of dishes have been made since the Neolithic Era. What makes a bouillabaisse different from these other dishes are the local Provençal herbs and spices, the particular selection of bony Mediterranean coastal fish and the way the broth is served separately from the fish and vegetables.<br />
  5. 5. Finding out that different cultures and countries have their own variations of this dish made me wonder what other food dishes where shared across the world. If the recipes were spread through travel and commerce or if each culture developed similar dishes purely by chance because local vegetation and game (meats) were similar.<br />Through my research I was able to find that it is a mixture of both trade and geographical location as well as when empires expand they spread their culture, often forcefully. When an empire ran a campaign to invade other countries their armies usually consisted of various cultures that where already incorporated into the empire. The soldiers would share their traditional foods of each of their cultures with each other and also who introduce their foods to the new conquered cultures. <br />
  6. 6. One major contributor was Alexander the Great. This was brought to my attention while reading Peoples and Empires by Anthony Pagden’s account of Alexander’s story. Many historians have pointed out that Alexander incorporated all the conquered peoples into his army. These people eventually settled in every part of Alexander’s empire taking with them their culture, religion, and cuisine.<br />Alexander integrated foreigners into his army, leading some scholars to credit him with a "policy of fusion." http://www.crystalinks.com/alexanderthegreat.html<br />“Alexander sought to bring about a blending of Greek and Persian cultures, even encouraging his men to take Persian wives. ...”<br />www.conservapedia.com/Alexander_the_Great<br />

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