Not by Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage
illustration

The Elegant Table
horizontal rule
Although French food had long enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s most elegant cuisines, a taste for French cooking had never entered the American mainstream. On the contrary, many Americans harbored native suspicions of anything fancy or pretentious, and their deeply ingrained thrift and practicality often provoked hostility toward perceived foreign "foppery."

French cuisine did not catch the imagination of a large number of Americans until the end of the 19th century. By 1880, however, American tastes were becoming more sophisticated. A rapidly expanding economy and a growing wealthy class fueled the desire for a new elegance in food, fashion and design. In urban centers, especially, Americans turned to France for inspiration.

continue to Temperance & Prohibition

home
introduction
early cookbooks
american taste
gastronomy
the elegant table
temperance and prohibition
food nutrition and science
corpulency, leanes, and dietary reform
kitchen technology
food processing and manufacture
credits

 

Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

Copyright 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524

For reference questions, send mail to: rareref@cornell.edu
If you have questions or comments about the site, send mail to: webmaster.