French cuisine may or may not be the world's best, but it certainly is the most widely influential cooking style, and it is unquestionably the standard against which all other cuisines are measured. In this culinary history, Ferguson traces how the cooking of the French nation survived revolutions and changes in fashion to reach the summit of good taste. She contrasts the aesthetic of French dining with the raucous, undisciplined cuisine of America. But she does find America's attitude toward a single meal, Thanksgiving, a revealing exception to the general rule. In a striking epilogue, Ferguson minutely analyzes the film Babette's Feast,
showing how French cooking came to stand in the film for art in general. She also delves into the differences between the film and Dinesen's original story, which gave Babette a harder edge than did the movie. Although this work is determinedly academic, those interested in the history of food will discover a wide-ranging, intelligent, and original approach to the preeminent role of French cooking in the history of civilization. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Today more than ever in the culinary world we have a curiosity for how cooking has developed. French cuisine has been nurturing chefs and diners alike since its emergence. Priscilla Ferguson sensibly captures the essence of French cuisine by following the steps of its evolution as one of the most influential cultures in the world. Accounting for Taste is truly a remarkable contribution to gastronomical literature." - Chef Charlie Trotter"