Meals that changed the world

The Course of HistoryYesterday we posted about six people who changed an entire country’s (and perhaps even beyond its borders) cuisine. In addition to people, meals themselves have shaped the course of world affairs for centuries. Whether in the form of celebratory banquets or intimate dinners, this “dining diplomacy” helped negotiators get the upper hand when it came to treaties, drawing borders, and more, says Struan Stevenson in The Telegraph.

Stevenson recounts several occasions where food helped sway opinion. The first example he provides dates to 1814, when Prince Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, the French Foreign Minister, was asked by King Louis XVIII what he needed in negotiations at Vienna Congress held that year. Perigord reportedly said: “Sire, I need saucepans more than instructions. Let me do my work and count on Carême.” 

This example and more can be found in Stevenson’s book, The Course of History: 10 Meals that Changed the World. In the book, Stevenson brings to life ten such moments, exploring the personalities, the issues and of course the food which helped shape the course of history. Accompanying Struan’s analysis are the actual recipes, researched and recreated by acclaimed chef Tony Singh. Making the recipes, which have been refashioned to suit modern cooking methods, is an excellent way to immerse yourself into the history. 

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