Eating out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining, and Snacks since the Late Eighteenth Century

Eating out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining, and Snacks since the Late Eighteenth Century

Eating out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining, and Snacks since the Late Eighteenth Century

Eating out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining, and Snacks since the Late Eighteenth Century

Synopsis

Europeans are eating out in unprecedented numbers - in cafs, pubs, brasseries and restaurants. Globalization brought about changes in patterns of leisure and consumption, as well as a democratization of restaurant culture. But what if we open up this concept of 'eating out' to include any eating that takes place outside the home? What cultural shifts can we see through time? What differences can we discover about pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial societies?Eating Out in Europe addresses such questions as it examines changes in eating patterns through time. 'Eating out' is broadly conceived to cover everything from nibbling a pizza at work to dining in an exquisite restaurant, from suffering an institutional lunch at the school cafeteria to enjoying the natural world with a picnic. The meaning of eating out clearly varies enormously depending on the setting, circumstances and significance of the meal. The contributors describe and interpret the huge changes that occurred in eating habits throughout Europe by analyzing such factors as urbanization, technological innovation, demographic growth, employment patterns and identity formation. Case studies include the evolution of the pub, the rise of the fast food industry in Britain, picnicking in nineteenth-century France, snack culture in the Netherlands, industrial canteens in Germany, the rise of restaurants in Norway and countryside traditions in Hungary, among others. Fully comprehensive and illustrated, the contributors draw on examples throughout Europe from the late eighteenth century to the present day.

Excerpt

This book serves coarse bread eaten during harvesting in 1840, a cordial meal at a Berner inn in 1870, the robust food of a factory's canteen in 1900, a sophisticated dinner at a three-star restaurant in 1950, as well as a hamburger consumed just outside a school gate in 1990. Each form testifies to distinct worlds with different meanings and aims, prices and services, quality and quantity, prestige and localization, and technological and organizational requirements. The histories of these worlds intertwine. Although there is a wide difference between picnicking, dining out, having an ice-cream and nibbling on a sandwich, and although it is necessary to tell the proper history of each, we think each history can hardly be written without awareness of the history of other forms. Indeed, people could have these four forms of eating out in one day, and, moreover, these forms require certain economic conveniences (such as cooking technology, adequate transportation and appropriate space), as well as certain social conditions (such as spare time, purchasing power, leisure preference and work obligation). They also confront and interfere with each other.

For optimal digestion we have ordered the twenty-one chapters of this book in two three-course meals. The first three courses are part of a substantial meal, imbued with traditional elements, partly exploring occasions of eating in the open air or in inns, sprinkled with Alpine, Central European and other beers. The second three-course dinner evokes and explores a world of restaurants in modern Europe. This results in a breath-taking and appetizing panorama of expensive restaurants, canteens and the fast-food industry. In fact, each contribution is a dish on its own. Hence, other combinations are possible and can offer new insights. Several chapters cover both the old and the new, tradition and innovation, stressing collisions . . .

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