Food Cultures of France
Recipes, Customs, and Issues
by Maryann Tebben
March 2021, 216pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6965-5
$63, £47, 55€, A86
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6966-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The French baguette has only existed since the 20th century. Before then, most bread was round, and before the 18th-century vogue for leavened, white bread, most French bread was dark and heavy.

As a comprehensive overview of French food from fine dining to street food and from Roman Gaul to current trends, this book offers anyone with an interest in French cuisine a readable guide to the country and its customs.

In France, food is integral to the culture. From the Revolutionary cry for good bread at a fair price to the current embrace of American bagels and “French tacos,” this book tells the full story of French food.

Food Cultures of France: Recipes, Customs, and Issues explores the highs and lows of French cuisine, with examples taken from every historical era and all corners of France. Readers can discover crêpes from Brittany; fish dumplings from Lyon; the gastronomic heights of Parisian restaurant cuisine; glimpses of the cuisines of France’s overseas territories in Africa and the Caribbean; and the impact of immigrant communities on the future of French food. Learn how the geography of France shaped the diet of its people and which dishes have withstood the test of time. Whether the reader knows all about French cuisine or has never tasted a croissant, this book will offer new insights and delicious details about French food in all its forms.


  • Gives readers an easy-to-follow historical overview of French cuisine from ancient times to the present, with more in-depth coverage than is offered by most books on the subject
  • In clear language, explains key terms and ingredients in French gastronomy and cooking
  • Offers a portrait of present-day French food, including fast food, trends, and fusion cuisine
  • Includes information on French overseas territories and influential immigrant communities inside of France
  • Covers both well-known elements of French cuisine, such as gastronomy and fine dining, and lesser-known facets, including the "ham sandwich index" and the French love for Nutella
  • Includes simple recipes for French classics and authentic dishes central to French cooking
Maryann Tebben, PhD, is professor of French and head of the Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon's Rock. She is author of Sauces: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2014) and Savoir-Faire: A History of Food in France (Reaktion Books, 2020).

The Global Kitchen

One of the most important cultural traditions in a country is its cuisine. Every country and culture has a national dish, an iconic “flavor” that is recognized as symbolic of that location, from Brazil’s feijoada to Russia’s pelmeni. The Global Kitchen series explores food culture around the world, with an emphasis on typical meals and recipes.

Each volume in the series focuses on the food culture of a specific country or, in some cases, a small group of countries. Volumes follow the same chapter outline, written in a narrative style interwoven with recipes for hands-on engagement. Coverage begins with a general review of food history in the country as well as a detailed discussion of staple ingredients that play a major role in the cuisine. Several chapters break down specific meals into appetizers and side dishes, main dishes, desserts, and beverages, looking at common meals and recipes that contribute to the country’s culinary flavor. Additional chapters examine food shared on holidays and special occasions, street food and snacks, and restaurants. A final chapter investigates food issues in the country, including dietary and health concerns. Numerous recipes appear throughout the text, and a glossary, a timeline, a bibliography, and sidebars round out each volume.
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