CU 356 - French Gastronomy: Food, Wine and Etiquette

In 2010, UNESCO declared that French cuisine met all of the conditions to be considered “a culture recognized and classified in the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.”  This course will be an anthropological, cultural, sociological, historic, artistic and regional study of what food used to be and is for French people from historic times to today. 

During the semester we will study French gastronomy as a social phenomenon inherited from a long history and shaped by local traditions, economic evolutions and religious influences.  We also will use famous texts and paintings to understand the importance of food in literature and art. Then, we will look at the specificities of every region of France to discover numerous products and understand wine-producing geography and wine production. We also will focus on the gastronomy and cooking tradition in Nantes and the area of the Loire valley, the Atlantic coast and the marshes. And lastly, we will explore and demonstrate the appropriate behavior for sitting around a French table according to French societal norms.   

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Cultural Studies

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