Enjoy your meal!

Enjoy your meal!

"Only fools are not gourmets" (Norman wisdom)

Of course, everyone knows that food is something that accompanies a person all his life from the first to the last day, something without which he, in principle, cannot live. Nevertheless, over many millennia, mankind has turned this necessity into a deeply revered, even cult element of its existence and development. In the end, given that each of us spends many months and even years of his life, namely, in the process of cooking or eating food, then such an attitude towards it is quite logical. Even in ancient times, Socrates argued that "Bad people live in order to eat and drink, virtuous people eat and drink in order to live." And the French philosopher and culinary expert of the IXX century Brillat-Savarin wrote about it this way: "The animal is fed, a person eats, an intelligent person knows how to eat."

And, indeed, with the evolution of ancient man into Homo sapiens around 150 thousand years BC. the use of fire for cooking became widespread. Tortoise shells, shells and clay pots were used as pots and pans. And 40 thousand years BC. man prepares food already by chopping, grinding, baking and frying. The most powerful impetus in the development of the culture of food and food preparation was the development of human skills in the artificial cultivation of plants - a kind of prototype of "agriculture" about 10 thousand years BC.


Plowing in Ancient Egypt

The cult of food in different parts of the world either ascended to a pedestal or was considered so low that even talking about it was an unworthy topic. And if in ancient Sparta they preferred modest food, then the cooks of Ancient Greece could approach their work quite philosophically, for example, they baked a bull on a spit, inside which there was a fried sheep, in a sheep - a goat, in a goat - a dove, and in a dove - an olive! The Greek fashion for gourmet eating was passed on to Ancient Rome, where the house where the talented chef worked was recognized as a house of honor; not surprisingly, it was there that culinary science began to be taught. But not only in ancient Europe, the culinary art was actively developing. For example, as early as 1300 BC, the world's first recipe was recorded in China - a salad with spicy pickled carp.

Painting "Roses of Heliogabalus" (1888), illustrating a feast at the ancient Roman emperor Elagabal

An important role in the transformation of the culture of cooking in a particular region was played by the arrival of new peoples as a result of wars and simply resettlements. For example, the Norman conquerors in the 11th century brought their French and Italian cooking techniques to Britain. And with the discovery of new lands and the development of trade relations between countries and peoples, it became possible to use new products and ingredients in cooking. So in 1226 sugar was brought from the Middle East to England and presented to Henry III. Well, the potato was brought to Europe from America in 1551. This most important event for European cuisine is attributed to the Spanish geographer Cieza de Leon on his return from Peru.

A special moment in the development of world cuisine was the use of spices in the cooking process. The first mentions of spices are found in the sources of the ancient civilizations of the East: in China, India, Egypt and date back to a historical period of about 3000 years BC. In Europe, the use of spices was quite limited due to the high cost of the overseas product (mainly on the territory of the Roman Empire). But as a result of colonial conquests and the development of trade in the Middle Ages (especially since the 18th century), the use of spices in the cuisines of European countries became widespread and widespread.


It should be noted that the flow of goods from the East has taken European cuisine to a new level. And the leading place here has long belonged to Italy. As for French cuisine, the history of this country's culinary was given an impetus under Louis XIV - that's when the "war" began among European chefs and culinary specialists. And in 1765, a broth seller named Boulanger opens the world's first restaurant in Paris. This name was used for the first time in relation to a catering establishment. The fact is that he placed a sign in Latin above the entrance to his establishment: "Venite ad me omnes, qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos" - literally meaning: "Come to me all those suffering from stomach and I will restore you." And the word "restaurant" comes from the Latin "restauro", which means: restore, strengthen. However, restaurants in the form in which they exist today were invented by the Chinese back in the 7th century. One of the oldest restaurants in the world - Bakit Chicken House, opened in 1153 in the city of Kaifeng. The oldest restaurant in existence today is Sobrino de Botin in Madrid, which opened in 1725.

Sobrino de Botin

Speaking about the formation of English cuisine at that time, it should be noted that the influence of French traditions increased after the return of Charles II to the British throne. His exile took place in France and with him he brought a love of champagne and generous food. Another popular tradition - in the form of tea - was introduced to Britain as a result of the conquest of India in the 1730s. In 1798, England's oldest restaurant, Rules, opens in London. In the 19th century, the first culinary school appeared in England, and in 1891, a similar institution, divided into male and female groups, opened its doors in the French capital.


England's oldest restaurant Rules

The development of Russian cuisine was influenced by both Eastern and European traditions. True, it should be noted that the prototype of modern vodka - bread wine (bread alcohol) was invented in Russia itself in 1505. In 1547, the boyars presented tea to the Russian Tsar for the first time. Subsequently, tea ceremonies became popular among the upper strata of society at court thanks to Empress Catherine. And during the reign of Peter I, Russia began to import not only refined products, but also culinary specialists. At the same time, Russian chefs are sent to Europe to master the best techniques of European kitchen art. In 1779, the first culinary book "Cookery Notes" by Sergei Drukavtsev was published in Russia. To this day, Russian cuisine has already been recognized as one of the best among the sixty diverse cuisines in the world.

Coffee and tea service of Catherine II, 1790

Improvement in the methods of cooking and preserving food moved industry and science to create new technologies and inventions. In 1812, the Englishman Brian Donkin opens the first tin canning factory. In 1924, American inventor Clarence Frank Birdsay created the General Corporation Seafood to deep-freeze seafood to preserve its taste for a long period. This technology leads to the fact that in 1929 the first sales of products in the form of frozen semi-finished products begin. Another American engineer, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, invented a bread slicer in 1928. In 1947, the first Radarange microwave oven was launched on the market. It is interesting that the purpose of the very first microwaves was, rather, not cooking, but defrosting food. All these and many other inventions were primarily aimed at intensifying and facilitating the cooking process. This contributed to the rapid development of fast food and fast food establishments - "fast food". The most popular brand of such establishments is the McDonalds chain. The very first establishment of brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened in 1940 in the Californian town of San Bernardino. It was a typical motoring cafe. It brought them about $ 200,000 a year, but Richard and Maurice were constantly looking for ways to improve it. The very first restaurant was called "McDonald's Famous Barbeque" and offered its visitors about forty types of grilled meats.

The very first McDonald's restaurant in its original form

Although fast food establishments are the most popular all over the world due to their availability and relative cheapness, in terms of culinary art, in terms of the quality and sophistication of food for true gourmets, they will never be able to compete with restaurants focused on cooking according to the best recipes of national cuisines. that have preserved traditions and secrets, allowing you to enjoy the taste and aroma of amazing dishes.

Steak from marbled beef of Japanese Wagyu cows