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French Soul Food from the Old Empire?

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French Soul Food from the Old Empire?

Gary Bridgman | May 23, 2002 05:17 PM

If you know the culinary heritage of Indo-China or former French territories in Africa, North America or the Caribbean, please read on...

I’m researching food from former French colonies, and would appreciate your input. Also, if you share an interest in this topic and would like to ask me questions, feel free.

I’m interested in the interplay between French haute cuisine (or French provincial cuisine) and cookery from former territories. I know that historically the “Keepers of the Flame” in Paris resisted any potential culinary influences from the empire (resisting mutations to the language as well), but some innovations may have crept in. More likely, the real fusion is in the ways that French cookery affected indigenous food in the colonies (Vietnamese pho is basically consommé, e.g.)

If you were to pick two or three examples of SIMPLE dishes for a “casual quick” eatery (counter service) that featured representative dishes from various former French territories, what would they be?

I'm also open to good sources of info.

For background, the only former French territory I’ve ever been to is Louisiana, and half the French I can speak is contained in Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” and the Beatles' "Michelle, My Bell" so sadly, my research must be all in English.

-best
Gary

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