Paris Meets Brooklyn: The Global Reach of Contemporary American Dining

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Melt Restaurant 75017

Since the reign of the Sun King Louis XIV almost two hundred years ago, French food is considered a sign of French culture, inspiring tourists, food lovers, and dedicated foodies to travel to France to seek authentic foods and dining experiences. In today’s global society, where diners can enjoy recognizably French cuisine outside of France, food critics and tastemakers have recently acknowledged that nouvelle cuisine—integrating new ingredients and cooking techniques—has changed both French and international dining. I was among a group of food historians invited to contribute essays on how dining practices honed in Brooklyn, NY, became a worldwide phenomenon, for Fabio Parasecoli and Maeusz Halawa’s new book Global Brooklyn: Designing Food Experiences in World Cities (2021).

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Foie Gras, France’s Favorite Holiday Delicacy

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Foie Gras Laguilhon

France takes its gastronomy extremely seriously, and this is especially true when it comes to the end-of-year holidays. Of all the holiday delicacies that might feature on the festive menus in French homes and restaurants, foie gras is a must. Despite the controversies surrounding it, there’s no denying that it is highly cherished by the French. Read more

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Les Potirons, France’s History and Love of Pumpkins

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While pumpkins are generally associated with the Americas, and rightfully so, the French have a particularly strong affection for this New World vegetable. Although you will never find a pumpkin pie served for dessert in a French home, in autumn the country’s markets abound in every shape and size of pumpkin. Here is how this fondness of potirons came to be and a recipe for the preferred way for the French to consume pumpkins, in a velouté, a thick and creamy soup.

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Surprising Stories: Chantilly Cream

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Chantilly cream is a crowd-pleaser: from a dollop on fresh summer berries to a transformative spoonful that makes a cup of coffee into a tantalizing dessert, Chantilly cream is a world renown gastronomic delight. This week’s Surprising Story looks at the history of this Chantilly cream—whipped milk combined with sugar—and how it was concocted for celebrations at the most famous garden parties in seventeenth and eighteenth century France.

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