A Bite-Sized History of France by Stephane Henaut

A Bite-Sized History of France

A French cheesemonger and an American academic join forces to serve up a sumptuous history of France and its food, in the delicious tradition of Anthony Bourdain, Peter Mayle, and Pamela DruckermanNearly 3 million Americans visit France every year, in addition to the more than 150,000 American expatriates who live there. Numerous bestselling books attest to American Francophilia, to say nothing of bestselling cookbooks, like those of Julia Child ...

Details A Bite-Sized History of France

TitleA Bite-Sized History of France
Release DateJul 10th, 2018
PublisherThe New Press
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Cultural, France

Reviews A Bite-Sized History of France

  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    I have been reading this book for a little over a week now. I finally finished it last night, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It isn't the type of book you sit down and read cover to cover, but it works well as an in between type of read. It was packed full of interesting facts and anecdotes about the history of France and its gastronomy. From Roquefort cheese to the wines of Bordeaux (and everything in between). It was a delightful read and one th...
  • Rosemary Standeven
    I love French food (actually I love food full-stop), I love visiting France, and I am really interested in history, so this book was made for me. It is a staggering tour de force covering 2500 years of French history from the pre-Roman Gauls to the present day, showing the influence historical events had on the eating habits and cuisine of the time, and how they in turn influenced history. The authors’ aim is to show “how ludicrous it actuall...
  • Randal White
    A fantastic way to learn history! Rather than another boring list of dates, people, and events, the authors take a completely different route. Use the deliciously wonderful foods of France to explain history!Why did the Romans consider the Germanic tribes barbarians? One big reason was because they cooked their food with butter, rather than olive oil! They also drank beer instead of wine. How uncouth!Did you know why soldiers called the Germans k...
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- A French cheesemonger and an American academic join forces to serve up a sumptuous history of France and its food, in the delicious tradition of Anthony Bourdain, Peter Mayle, and Pamela DruckermanNearly 3 million Americans visit France every year, in addition to the more than 150,000 American expatriates who live there. ...
  • Christina Dudley
    This was a fun book for history- and food-lovers alike. The French-and-American author couple go from pre-Roman times right up to the present, regaling us with lots of mini food histories, collisions of culture, and who-knew? moments.Food often served as class markers, nobles disdaining root vegetables in the Middle Ages, for instance, since that's what the peasants had to eat. At least they could plant a variety of root vegetables. By the 18th c...
  • Tracy Rowan
    This is the sort of book that will get you up out of your chair to root around in the refrigerator for something really tasty to eat. It deals with bread, and cheese, and wine, of course. How could it not? But it also gives the reader an insight into how the potato came to be so loved in France, or what fruit excites the most anticipation in the summer (It's the plum. Who knew?)It is a history of France, seen through the lens of its culinary inte...
  • Adrienne
    A week ago I listened to a podcast episode of "Stuff You Missed In History Class" on Marie-Antoine Carême, the first 'Celebrity Chef'. I learned so much about the history of cooking in France in the 30 minute episode and was wondering whether there was a book out there on this very topic. Fortuitously, I came across this book on Netgalley and devoured it in just a couple of days. I was not disappointed and I learned so much more about the histor...
  • Stephanie Dagg
    This book is deliciously fascinating. What better way to learn about a country’s history than by being introduced to it around a certain food item, such as artichokes, wine or cheese. The author explains how politics, economics and culture link with food in ‘foodways’, which reveal a great deal about a country. We discover many such foodways in this book. The book is like a plate of nibbles – bite-sized chunks of history and food at a tim...
  • Shoshana
    What a charming and delightful book this is. From rustic kitchens to haute cuisine, French food and gastronomy are the best in the world. This terrific book tells the story of how French cuisine came about. Starting with the Celtic Gauls and ending with the post WWII wrangles between France and the United States, this volume is chock-a-block with interesting tidbits about French foodways and French history.Written by a Frenchman and his American ...
  • Beth Cato
    I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.The book proposes to tell the vast and complex history of France through its foods, and it succeeds. As a foodie and a history buff, I found the approach fascinating and amusing. The authors directly confront the contemporary insistence of the far-right that France's foods should be kept "French" by emphasizing that most every food France is known for has a lineage in ingredients or innovations from el...
  • Margaret Sankey
    This is a fun book with short chapters digging in to the culinary history of France--linking the Muslim invasion of the 8th century with goat cheese, Louis Xiv and his fondness for oranges (not Dutch people, oranges), the French Revolution and bread riots, the olive oil/butter and chocolate/coffee lines of demarcation in early modern Europe, the mother sauces and Julia Child's friend Simca and her dynastic connection to making Benedictine (and he...
  • Amanda
    If you are interested in France or French food, you'll love this book. It's written in an easy, entertaining style and a lot of fun to read and learn. Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
  • Chelsea Sawyers
    This is a fun little read for anyone who loves the history of food. French cuisine is hailed as on of the hardest and most revered cuisines in all the world. This book follows French food and it's advances from the Roman invasion to Julia Child's benedictine. It is one that will have you looking up recipes and grabbing some cheese and wine out of the fridge as you follow the next chapter.
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)Culinary and national history pair like cheese and wine in this lovely read. Each chapter is easily digestible, yet also informatively packed, and they all open up separate but equally fascinating doors into France's long past and rich food history. Every part makes for a delightful mental meal of its own, and one can read through this one single snack-sized section ...
  • Jim
    This was so much fun, i kept reading sections to whoever was in the area and it made me sooo hungry and thirsty. Well written, easy to quote or drop bits from at a bar and the weirdest thing - the notes are great! The book is almost an aphrodisiac.
  • Francesca
    Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book previous publication in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I thought I would, because it belongs to my favourite literary subgenre: people who tell me a variety of things I don't know. I love stories, history, France and food, so this had the perfect recipe for sucess. It is amusing and entertaining, and very interesting. It is far from being an academic ...
  • David
    “Stepping out on your other book, eh?” was the response of the Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) when I told her that I was taking a summertime break from my difficult and serious Important Modern Novel to have a reading fling with this sweet young thing from France. It's not what it looks like, I swear. My relationship will this celebration of Gallic gustatory delights and historical quirks was very cerebral and purely platonic. Really. For example,...
  • Eustacia Tan
    I requested this book from Netgalley purely because it’s about food (even though I don’t really know or eat a lot of French Food).A Bite Sized History of France tackles French history through its food, from the Gauls (before the Roman Empire) to modern day France. Each chapter is relatively short and focuses on one food, such as honey, wine, many types of cheeses, the croissant (a relatively new invention, it seems), salt, how the potato beco...
  • Anne Morgan
    How do you explore and understand the history of a country like France, which prides itself on being a Mecca of fine foods and wines? Through the development of its' foods and wines of course! What started as stories told by a French cheesemonger to try and convince his (non-French) wife that the cheeses he wanted her to try were not smelly and disgusting once you knew the story behind them eventually became A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastro...
  • Amy
    "A Bite-Sized History of France" provides a feast of Francophile and culinary history served up in easily digestible morsels. Not only do you learn how certain foods and drinks and phrases came to be, you are also introduced to the French history occurring around the food. This book fills the trivia banks on numerous fronts - world history, food, drink, folklore, colloquialisms and more. I plan to purchase a copy of this book for my sister who te...
  • Rachel
    This is a great concept for a book, and the authors have hit on several things I adore: France, food and history. I think readers may enjoy the chapters as occasional "bites," but in my attempt to read the book cover to cover I found my mind wandering. The emphasis on short chapters means that the authors treat devastating events like the Spanish Inquisition as a two-sentence aside. I just can't recommend the book, as much as I wanted to.
  • Cat
    Very enjoyable read! I was sort of worried it might be a very dry history type deal and was pleasantly surprised to find a fun story of French culinary history from wine to foods to wars and culture and history! Francophiles will surely enjoy this book, but I think anyone interested in food, drink and France will find it a pleasant and entertaining read. I received a Kindle ARC in exchange for a fair review from Netgalley.
  • Renee
    I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this book when I first picked it up. Having finished reading it I can now say that I liked it very much! I thought the authors were very clever in the way that they combined French history with food history. They kept me interested and I never felt as though I was drowning in boring facts. Well done Henaut and and Mitchell!
  • Sarah
    Thanks to net galley for this digital ARC. What a delightful Gallic gastronomic adventure! I loved the history—completely engaging, written with humor and insight. Some of the anecdotes left me with my mouth watering, others, not as much, but rarely have I so enjoyed learning about another culture. These petite pieces have sold me on France. I’ll be updating my passport tout de suite!
  • Pia Vidal
    This book is loaded with fascinating information about French food and it history.Wine, cheese, balsamic vinegar, coffee, potatoes, plums, Oyster...and docens of othersubjects.Written in a very informative way, amusing and sometimes humorous.Perfect coffe table book, to enjoy as a good wine, small sips at a time.You will become a master on French cuisine trivia.
  • Boz
    A very accessible, unpretentious collection of vignettes about the history of French foods that shaped France's culture ranging from crepes to croissants, cheese to chocolate . Just make sure not read it on an empty stomach.I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
  • Jennifer Muller
    I  received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.This book has short, fun chapters that will be sure to entertain anyone interested in food and France. I am a Francophile and this was a pleasure to read.
  • Shari Suarez
    A history of France through food, it is both witty and intriguing. It starts with the with Roman era and runs through today. You will learn about French wine and cheese (along with other French foods) and how they influenced or were influenced by history. A fun and quick read.
  • Literary Soirée
    I love France, food and history, so A BITE-SIZED HISTORY OF FRANCE was a perfect read! Left my tummy hungry for French gastric delights but satiated by a great historical review. 5/5Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.