A small volume of essays on food, food science, food culture and related topics, illustrated by a pioneering gastronomic map of France.
Author Cadet de Gassicourt (1769-1821) was an illegitimate son of Louis XV and a lawyer, chemist and apothecary. He was also a member of the Caveau Moderne, a men’s dining and social club that met monthly at the Rocher de Cancale on rue Montogueil. In the Cours Gastronomique he sought to combine his professional interests and personal passions by ““making scientific knowledge an obligatory part of gastronomic expertise.” Using “current medical and chemical accounts of the operations of taste, …the “Cours Gastronomique” asserted a scientific foundation for gastronomic theorising.” (P.J. Mode, citing Emma Spary, “Making a Science of Taste,” in Maxine Berg and Helen Clifford, eds., Consumer Culture in Europe 1650-1860.)
The Cours Gastronomique is illustrated by a delightful gastronomic map of France, the first of its kind for any part of the world. “Less a geography lesson than a testament to the depth and variety of French food and wine” (Mode), the map uses hundreds of tiny pictorial vignettes of cheeses, livestock, barrels and bottles, roasts and sausage links, and the like to depict the country’s staggering culinary wealth. The large cartouche, a tribute to the Caveau Moderne, features a large grotto, a table set with food and wine, musical instruments, and the names of past and present members of the club.
OCLC #13821198 et al, listing numerous institutional holdings. Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection, 1033.