History of European food

Maciamo

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Europe has a great diversity of food reflecting its linguistico-cultural mosaic. In this age of globalisation we are brought to eat food from more and more countries. But what did our ancestors eat ? When and where were each dish invented ? The purpose of this article is to answer some of these questions. Many dishes are so old, often dating back to ancient times, that their origin is unclear.


Famous sauces

- Mustard : most likely developed by the Romans.
- Béchamel sauce : first mentioned by by François Pierre La Varenne in 1651.
- Mayonnaise : invented by a French chef in in 1756.
- Bearnaise : likely first made by the chef Collinet in 1836 near Paris.
- Worcestershire Sauce : invented in 1835.

Famous dishes and snacks

- Roast beef : Already known of the Romans (military food).
- Lasagna : probably first cooked in England in the 14th century.
- Chicken Kiev : invented by French chef Nicolas François Appert in the mid 18th century.
- Bouchée à la reine (individual vol-au-vent) : named after King Louis XV of France's wife, Marie Leczinska. Invented in France in the mid 18th century.
- Bouillabaisse : term first appearing in Marseilles in the 1830's.
- Hot-dog : probably invented in Germany in the mid 19th century.
- Pizza : invented by Raffaele Esposito in Naples in 1890.
- Croque-monsieur : first served in a Parisian café in 1910.

Famous deserts or sweets

- waffle : invented in Medieval Times (13th century), probably in France.
- choux (pastry) : invented by Popelini in Italy in 1540.
- (modern) ice cream : invented in the 17th century in Italy.
- Tarte Tatin : invented (by accident) in France in 1889.
 
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Maciamo, those names of dishes are making me hungry...

I didn't know balsamic vinegar was almost unknown outside Italy until 1980s. It is very common for salad dressing in North America now.
 
What a pleasant surprise,roast beef was once a Roman meal.I've always thought,it's good old American food like " fried chicken ".
 
There are dishes in europe that are hard to find in other countries.

Things like kebap( although now exported by immigrants), baklava, burek yoghurt salad & so forth
 
This thread title reminds me of one period awhile back as I was glued to cable TV Food Network channel's variety of 1/2-1 hour programs on introduction of American foods/snacks with many have European-origin and detailed explanation how they arrived to America's shores through out US history.

Donuts incidently invented by a French nun in a convent,so they say.

I have a soft spot for all things history or cultural related :)
 
For me it is easy... there is Itlian food on one side and everything else in the world on the other.....
 
What did ordinary Europeans eat before potato?
As far as I know, the great culinary culture in Europe spread among ordinary people just after WWI.
 
What did ordinary Europeans eat before potato?

Bread, of course, ever since Roman times (and before that). In some regions crepes/pancakes were also common (e.g. North-West France), or pasta in Italy since the late Middle Ages.
 
I always thought Lasagna is Italian...I didn't know Worcestershire Sauce is a French invention. The rest of the foods that are invented by France I knew before hand.

My husband took me to the town where mustard is invented, very interesting visit! I love mustard!:blush:
 
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Bread, of course, ever since Roman times (and before that). In some regions crepes/pancakes were also common (e.g. North-West France), or pasta in Italy since the late Middle Ages.

Thanks, but I doubt wheat was as common as now. I mean wheat was an expensive product, so potato was called as something like wheat for the poor.
I heard they ate more buckwheat which is grown even in poor soil, though it is only consumed in just small part of Europe like Northern Italy or else now.
 
Thanks, but I doubt wheat was as common as now. I mean wheat was an expensive product, so potato was called as something like wheat for the poor.
I heard they ate more buckwheat which is grown even in poor soil, though it is only consumed in just small part of Europe like Northern Italy or else now.
No, wheat was the most common agricultural product, much more readily available than potatoes. In fact potatoes were only imported from the Americas in the 16th century and were not commonly eaten before the 18th or 19th century in most of Europe. Ireland was one of the first country to adopt it as a staple food in the mid-17th century.

So we can say that in 11,000 years of agriculture in Europe, wheat and barley have been the main crop from the earliest days of farming to this day. Potato has only reached a similar status in some countries (more in Northern Europe) in the last 200 years only.
 
Famous deserts or sweets

- waffle : invented in Medieval Times (13th century), probably in France.

Hmm didn't you tell us before waffle is Belge?
 
The consumption of dairy products (milk, yoghurt, farmers' cheese) makes an interesting corollary to questions about the migrations of ethnic groups. Eating dairy products is a part of pastoral life but not necessarily a part of agricultural life or hunting and gathering. Does it track Indo European culture? European culture is a dairy-eating culture, but what about the Middle East, Central Asia, India, etc? Does any culture not touched by Indo-European culture consume dairy? It would be an interesting hypothesis to follow.
 
There is a sort of tuber simmilar to patato, but I don't know its name in english, it is native to Europe, and its color is brown.
 
The consumption of dairy products (milk, yoghurt, farmers' cheese) makes an interesting corollary to questions about the migrations of ethnic groups. Eating dairy products is a part of pastoral life but not necessarily a part of agricultural life or hunting and gathering. Does it track Indo European culture? European culture is a dairy-eating culture, but what about the Middle East, Central Asia, India, etc? Does any culture not touched by Indo-European culture consume dairy? It would be an interesting hypothesis to follow.

it seems you really made a research on these. BTW thanks for the info..
 
What a pleasant surprise,roast beef was once a Roman meal.I've always thought,it's good old American food like " fried chicken ".
 
European culture consume dairy? It would be an interesting hypothesis to follow.
 
RiceCake,

Sorry, (I'm American too), Good old Fried Chicken did NOT originate in America.

FYI According to Wikepedia http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Fried_chicken, there is evidence that Chicken was being fried in West Africa, also "Fritter" had already existed in Europe since medieval times, and it's called pollo fritto in Italy

Melusine
 
I think turnips were common in Europe as a root crop that fed poor and rich a like.
Wikipedia said:
Pliny the Elder writes that he considered the turnip one of the most important vegetables of his day, rating it "directly after cereals or at all events after the bean, since its utility surpasses that of any other plant." Pliny praises it as a source of fodder for farm animals, and this vegetable is not particular about the type of soil it grows in and because it can be left in the ground until the next harvest, it "prevents the effects of famine" for humans.

Another favorite of mine are Pretzels, all their different varieties. I saw them all over Germany.
 

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