History of Cooking

The following document is a chronological frame of events throughout history that have a director indirect influence on food, wine and related topics. It is by no means the be all and end all, and in no way pretends to represent every event. It is continually being updated as the author uncovers new facts, figures and subjects of relevance. Every effort has been made to cross reference, but I am only human and a mistake may have occurred.

“Cooking is the art and science of preparing food for eating by the application of heat”. The term also includes the full range of culinary techniques: preparing raw and cooked foods for the table; final dressing of meats, fish, and fowl; cleaning and cutting fruits and vegetables; preparing salads; garnishing dishes; decorating desserts; and planning meals.

The origins of cooking are obscure. Primitive humans may first have savoured roast meat by chance, when the flesh of a beast killed in a forest fire was found to be more palatable and easier to chew and digest than the customary raw meat. They probably did not deliberately cook food, though, until long after they had learned to use fire for light and warmth. It has been speculated that Peking man roasted meats, but no clear evidence supports the theory. From whenever it began, however, roasting spitted meats over fires remained virtually the sole culinary technique until the Palaeolithic Period, when the Aurignacian people of southern France began to steam their food over hot embers by wrapping it in wet leaves. Aside from such crude procedures as toasting wild grains on flat rocks and using shells, skulls, or hollowed stones to heat liquids, no further culinary advances were made until the introduction of pottery during the Neolithic Period.

The earliest compound dish was a crude paste (the prototype of the pulmentum of the Roman legions and the polenta of later Italians) made by mixing water with the cracked kernels of wild grasses. This paste, toasted to crustiness when dropped on a hot stone, made the first bread.

Culinary techniques improved with the introduction of earthenware (and, more or less concomitantly, the development of settled communities), the domestication of livestock, and the cultivation of edible plants. A more dependable supply of foodstuffs, including milk and its derivatives, was now assured. The roasting spit was augmented by a variety of fired-clay vessels, and the cooking techniques of boiling, stewing, braising, and perhaps even incipient forms of pickling, frying, and oven baking were added. Early cooks probably had already learned to preserve meats and fish by smoking, salting, air-drying, or chilling. New utensils made it possible to prepare these foods in new ways, and such dishes as bacalao a la vizcaina (“dried cod”) and finnan haddie (smoked haddock) are still eaten.

The cultivation of soybeans in China predates recorded history and spread from there to other countries in eastern Asia before the modern period. So essential was the soybean to Chinese civilisation that it was considered one of the five sacred grains (the others being rice, barley, wheat, and millet). The popularity of soybeans in the Orient was due to their wide use as a food

11000 B.C.
Flint-edged wooden sickles are used to gather wild grains.

Bronze Age
Lentils from this period have been discovered at a settlement site found near Lake Biel in Switzerland
Almonds dating from this period have been found on the Island of Crete

9000 B.C.
Plant cultivation begins in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East.
Sheep are domesticated in the Middle East.

7000 B.C.
Mesoamerican (what is now Mexico and Central America) peoples begin domesticating plants –gourds, peppers, avocados, and a grain, amaranth

6500 B.C.
Evidence suggests that peas were grown in Turkey

6000 B.C.
Cattle are domesticated about this time.

5000 B.C.
The Egyptians begin irrigating crops.
Sumerians using the herbs thyme and laurel as medicine
Dates cultivated in the Middle East
Evidence of avocado use in Mexico

4000 B.C.
Egyptians using yeast as a leavening agent

3500 B.C.
Bread making probably originates in Egypt about this time.
Sumerians using wild mushrooms as a food
Olives known to have been grown on the island of Crete

3000 B.C.
Farmers of Mesapotomia were growing crops of turnips, onions, broad beans, peas, lentils, leeks, radishes and maybe garlic. Probably breeding ducks at this time
The Chinese Emperor; Sung Loong Sze ‘discovers’ the medicinal properties of herbs
Turkey from this era have been found in American Indian refuse sights

2737 B.C.
The origins of tea culture and the brewing of dried tea leaves into a beverage are obscure; experts believe, however, that the tea plant originated in a region encompassing Tibet, western China, and northern India. According to ancient Chinese legend, the emperor Shennong (Shen-Nung) learned how to brew the beverage in 2737 BC when a few leaves from the plant accidentally fell into water he was boiling.

2700 B.C.
The Chinese had a herbal listing 365 plants

2500 B.C.
Corn (zea mays) is domesticated in Mesoamerica.

2000 B.C.
Water-treatment knowledge dates from 2000 BC, when Sanskrit writings indicate that methods for purification of foul water consisted of boiling in copper vessels, exposing to sunlight, filtering through charcoal, and cooling in earthen vessels
Onions mentioned as a food source by Sumerian Scribes

1500 BC
Coriander being used as a culinary herb in Egypt

1450 BC
Egyptians using cinnamon as a spice

1100 B.C.
Chinese making soy sauce

1000 B.C.
The Incas were freezing potatoes in the snow for preservation
Geese known to have been popular in Germany
Chinese thought to be producing a type of alcohol spirit from rice

800 BC
Cultivated tomatoes used in Mexico

776 BC
According to the earliest records, only one athletic event was held in the ancient Olympics–a foot race of about 183 m (200 yd), or the length of the stadium. A cook, Coroibus of Elis, was the first recorded winner.

700 B.C.
Aubergines being cultivated in China

600 B.C.
Assyrian king; Sardanapalus, said to have introduced the first cooking competition with the prize of thousands of gold pieces

500 B.C.
Sugar cane cultivated in India and bananas

206 B.C.
Flour milling introduced into China during the Han era, thus allowing the onset of Chinese noodle making

200 B.C.
The vending machine was probably invented about 200 BC when Hero of Alexandria described a coin-operated device designed to vend holy water in an Egyptian temple.

5 B.C.
Palm sugar being used by the Chinese
Woks being used in China
Tofu being used in China
Broccoli being cultivated in Europe
Pepper (corns) introduced to Java by Hindu settlers and into Europe by Arab Traders

4 B.C.
Archestratus, a Greek, wrote the first cookbook, Hedypathia (Pleasant Living), in the 4th century BC.
As early as the 4th century BC, the Chinese had codified the five basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, briny, spicy, and bitter. Around these elementary sensations, they built a cuisine of subtlety, variety, and sophistication.

3 B.C.
Athenaeus described the well-equipped Greek kitchen, which included such sophisticated utensils as a specially constructed dish in which the eggs of peacocks, geese, and chickens could be boiled together in graduated concavities.
Although the diets of peoples of the ancient world are well documented, little is known about their cooking techniques. In the Sumerian capital of Ur, street vendors hawked fried fish and grilled meats to passers by. In Egypt, small, raw birds were pickled in brine and eaten cold in the 3rd millennium BC, but excavations from the same period indicate that more sophisticated cooking methods were in use and that the rich particularly liked elaborate stews. Leavened BREAD seems to have first appeared in Egypt, although the time and place are uncertain.

1 – 1000 A.D.
Maybe the most famous of all meals is served and partaken of: the last supper of Christ
Oranges appear in India in the first century A.D. from China

25 to 200 AD
One of the first applications of metals was to build a stove. Cast iron was used for this purpose in China, through a process in which melted iron was poured into sand moulds.

97 A.D.
The most notable ancient water-supply and waste-disposal systems were those of Rome. In AD 97, Sextus Julius FRONTINUS, then water commissioner of Rome, reported the existence of 9 aqueducts of lengths varying from 16 to more than 80 km (10 to 50 ml), with cross sections of 0.5 to 4.5 sq m (7 to 50 sq ft). Such a system had an estimated aggregate capacity of 84 million gallons per day. In addition to this system, Rome had a great sewer known as the Cloaca Maxima, which drained the Roman Forum, and which is still in service

1st Century A.D.
Roman Emperor Traygon (Trajon), created a guild for Bakers

3rd Century A.D.
Mary or Marianne an alchemist of Alexandria lived. She is credited with the discovery of the properties of the bain marie, from whom the name is derived: Mary’s bath.

6th Century A.D.

St. Benedict founds the Benedictine order and builds an abbey at Monte Cassino, Italy.

The coffee aribica first thought to be cultivated about this time

7th Century A.D.
The Patron Saints of cooks lived in this century: Fortunat; a famous poet and Bishop of Poitiers is the Patron saint of Male cooks and Radegonde; the patron saint of female cooks, founded a monastery that Fortunat became chaplain of

Windmills are in use in Persia for irrigation.

15th Century
Europe begin to use cast-iron stoves several hundred years after the Chinese
Haricots beans introduced into Europe from South America
In the middle of the 15th century chillies are being grown and used in Europe after being introduced from the Americas
Aubergines introduced into Europe
Christopher Columbus mentions the virtue of allspice in his journals in the latter years of this century

The word ‘brioche’ first appears in use. Though the actual products history no doubt precedes this.

Production of the spirit Armagnac recorded

The French Butchers Guild that had reigned supreme for centuries was dissolved by Royal Decree, they lost all their privileges and their shops destroyed.

Caviar is first mentioned as an hors d’oeuvres in Rabelais’ work; Pantagruel. It was not to become famous in France for another 500 years.

An edict is granted to allow the selling of prepared pork dishes; sausages, pates etc. The start of what we now know as the charcuterie and the masters of the profession Charcutieres. The name is derived from the old French: chair, ‘flesh’ and cuit, cooked.

Portuguese vessels reached South Africa by 1488 for purpose of spice trading

Portuguese vessels reached Calicut in India by 1498 for purpose of spice trading

Christopher Columbus introduces sugar cane into Hispaniola (Haiti-Dominion Republic)

The toothbrush is invented by a Chinese dentist.

16th Century
Celery cultivated from the wild and poisonous variety in Italy sometime in the 16th century
Kidney beans, and vanilla pods introduced into Europe from the Americas
Rice and limes introduced to Mexico by Spanish Traders
Avocadoes ‘discovered’ by the Spanish in Mexico
Cashew and peanuts were introduced into Europe by Portuguese Traders from the Americas
Cauliflower is introduced to France from Italy in the middle of the 16th century.

The first sugar cane mill is established in the Americas.

Portuguese vessels reached Canton, China, by 1513 for purpose of spice trading

Chocolate is introduced into Spain as a beverage. The term “chocolate” was originally applied to a drink similar to today’s hot chocolate. The Spanish Conquistador; Hernan Cortes introduced the drink to Spain upon returning from his Mexican expedition, during which he was given some by the Aztec King Montezuma II. Gradually spreading from Spain through Europe and into England, the chocolate drink became increasingly popular.
Catherine de Medicis, born in Florence, Italy; April 13

Corn (Zea mays) is imported into Spain from the West Indies by Hernan Cortes and Christopher Columbus

The Spanish Conquistador; Hernan Cortes introduces the cocao beans to Europe

Catherine de Medicis arrived in France from Florence with a retinue of master chefs. She brought Italian staples: milk-fed veal, baby peas, artichokes, broccoli, and various pastas. The French court tasted, for the first time, such delicacies as quenelles (fish dumplings), zabaglione (a rich egg yolk and wine custard), and scaloppine. With her arrival, French cookery embarked on a course that produced the most complex and refined cuisine in the Western world.

Tomatoes from South America are cultivated in Europe.

The worlds first Café was opened in Constantinople.

Calvados is mentioned in the diary of ‘a gentleman’ of the Cotentin; Gilles de Gouberville.

A strange law in France is passed, forbidding Bakers to wear breeches other than on Sundays. Which meant they could not go out in public without being immediately identified, this law was passed to force them to stay at the oven all day. They were also forbidden to gather in groups, carry a sword or any other weapon. So was the importance of the Baker in those days.

The potato is brought back from the Americas and cultivated in Spain.

The Corporation of Pasta Makers is founded in Genoa, Italy.

The ‘Regolazione dell’Arte dei Maestri Fidelari” (rules for the Pasta Masters Art Corporation) were drawn up in Savona, Italy.

1586: July 28th
First potatoes arrive in England from Colombia, brought by Sir Thomas Harriot

Catherine de Medicis died at Blois 2 weeks after her husband, on January 5

17th Century
In the 17th century, chocolate houses were the social meeting places of the day
First made in 17th-century Holland, the manufacture and popularity of gin spread quickly throughout Europe, and variations of the Dutch formula began to appear. Gin is an alcoholic beverage made by distilling fermented mixtures of grains and flavouring the resulting alcohol with juniper berries. The name is derived from the French word genievre (juniper).
Jerusalem artichoke introduced to Europe from its native North America early this century
Parsley introduced to America by British colonists
Italy denounces coffee as “Satan’s Brew”

British merchants formed the East India Company (1600-1858) and introduced teas into England and the American colonies

The Dutch East India Company is founded
The Massachusetts Bay colonist are introduced to clams by the native Indians

The first inn built in the original American colonies was the Jamestown Inn in Virginia, established about 1610. Lodging houses–called inns or taverns in the north, and ordinaries in the south–were soon established near seaports, canals, river landings, and post roads. An 18th-century Massachusetts law provided penalties for any town that did not offer lodging for travellers
The principle of vending did not emerge again after its first known mention in 200 B.C. until the 17th century, when coin-operated honour boxes holding tobacco were common in English taverns.

Pierre Francoise de la Verenne born: (died in 1678) author of Le Vrai Cuisinier, published in 1651
Ann of Austria introduces drinking chocolate to the French Court

Wild turkeys found by the Pilgrims in the New World

Last known specimen of ‘aurochs’ (ancient breed from where domestic cattle were bred) recorded in Poland.

Louis de Béchameil born, he was a French financier, farmer-general, and steward to the house of the Duke of Orleans. It is thought that Béchamél sauce is named after him.

Dijon in France granted the exclusive rights to make mustard

The drink; COFFEE, was introduced into Europe in the mid-17th century, by a traveller named La Royne.

A blast furnace at Saugus, Mass., was casting iron stoves. Many of these early stoves were jamb stoves, which were intended to make a fireplace more efficient and distribute its heat more effectively. The most common was the five-plate stove, made of five flat iron plates that formed a rectangular box with one open side. A hole was cut in the back of the fireplace completely through the wall to the room behind it, and the stove was inserted into the opening with the open end of the stove being flush against the rear wall of the fireplace. The remainder of the stove protruded into the room to be heated. When a fire was built in the stove, it served to heat both areas. Designers of these early stoves delighted in casting intricate designs into the visible portions.

In English, spellings of coffee and coffy were established; the former becoming the single standard by 1700

Le Vrai Cuisinier published, the first cookbook to summarise the French Nobilities cooking practices. Written by Pierre Francoise de la Varenne.

French writer; Nicolas de Bonnefons publishes a work called, ‘Les delices de la campagne’, it was to prove a turning point in French cuisine. The book was responsible in the French turning away from the practices from the Middle ages of spice overuse and being concerned with the natural flavour of food.

American cultivated strawberries introduced to Europe from the New World

Coffee introduced to the Americas

The Ambassador of the Turkish Government to Louis XIV; Soliman Aga, popularises coffee at the French Court.

Coriander being cultivated for the first time in the USA in Massachusetts

At the Saint Germain fair in Paris an Amenian gentleman named Pascal set up a stall selling coffee, his success however was fleeting as coffee was yet to become a sociably acceptable drink.

French botanist M. Marchant demonstrated that mushrooms grew from spawn, thus starting the cultivation of the vegetable

The Café and coffee drinking is firmly established in Vienna, Austria after the invading Turks left behind hundreds of sacks of beans. Given to the victor; Kolschitzky, it was he who created the now famous Vienna coffee.
Around this time the croissant was created in Vienna, Austria in celebration of defeating the Turks. The shape mirrors the Turkish crescent symbol.

The English, who had previously imported distilled liquors, began to encourage the domestic manufacture of spirits from English grain; and gin, which could be cheaply made and sold, rapidly became the solace and the scourge of the nation’s poor.

Lloyd’s Insurance takes its name from the late-17th-century London coffee house of Edward Lloyd, where marine insurers met to do business.

The first Parisian café was opened by an Italian; Café Procope

18 th Century
Jean Naigeon; a merchant from Dijon, France creates what is now known as Dijon mustard

In Naples pasta was made by mixing the dough by foot. Ferdinando II (the king of Naples) unhappy with this production method, hired the famous engineer Cesare Spadaccini who designed a (the) bronze machine that did this work.

Thomas Twining opens the first Tea House for ladies in London

Sandwich, John Montagu, 4th Earl of {mahn’-tuh-gue} born November 3, 1718, d. A British politician, John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich, Apr. 30, 1792, was a leading member of Lord North’s administration during the American Revolution. His butler/cook is credited with the invention of the sandwich.

The first glasswork to specialise in bottles for wine is set up Bordeaux, france by an Irishman. It was not until 1866 that the shape and size of the bottles for Bordeaux, Burgundy and Macon are legally defined.

Giovanni Giacomo was born in Venice (died at Dux, Bohemia in 1798). A gastronome of his time, he sometimes went to great lengths and travels to taste certain foods. Better known by his pseudonym of Casanova.

A literary, epicurean and gastronomic society founded in Paris by Piron, Gallet, Collé and Crébillon the Younger at Le Caveau on the Rue Buci. A famous restaurant at the time, where they were dining. A society that remained in one form or another until around 1834.

Parliament passes the Gin Act to discourage public drunkenness in England.

Venice issues a licence to Paolo Adami, so he may open the first pasta factory.

Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius invents the Celsius scale for temperature.
The Franklin stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1742, was made of cast iron, originally with a partially open front, and was designed to fit into a fireplace. It radiated more heat and burned less fuel than an ordinary fireplace and was widely used for heating
The first American cookbook is published in Virginia, entitled; ‘The Compleat Housewife’

The first recorded instance of cooling is credited to William Cullen at the University of Glasgow, who in 1748 evaporated ethyl ether under subatmospheric pressure to produce refrigeration. His process was successful but non-continuous and never advanced much beyond the laboratory stage. 1751
The Worcester Royal Porcelain Company is founded in England.

French Chef Antoine Beauvilliers is born in Paris (died in 1817). Beauvilliers is credited with having the first real restaurant in Paris. In 1814 he wrote, ‘ L’art de cuisiner’ and also collaborated with Careme on La Cuisine ordinair.
Jean Jacques Regis de Cambacéres was born in Montpelier (died Paris 1824). A

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, born April 1, d. Feb. 2, 1826; gourmet and first philosopher of the kitchen. He was the author of La Physiologie du gout (1825), a treatise on the fine art of gastronomy. Published in English as The Physiology of Taste (1825), it was the first work to treat dining as a form of art, and gastronomy as “the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns man’s nourishment.”

Jean Joseph Close born Dieuze, Moselle, France – died 1828 Strasbourg. While extremely debatable that he actually invented foie gras is name is never the less synomenous with it. After being the chef to the Maréchal de Contades; governor of Alsace for a number of years, Close stayed behind when his master left Strasbourg. Close married the widow of a pastry chef and opened a shop to sell his creation pâté a la Contades (foie gras wrapped in a thin veal farce encased in a pastry) resulting in the first production centre of Alsatian foie gras (1788)

It is maintained that chaud froid was created in this year by the Chef of the Marshal of Luxembourg, at the Château de Montmorency and that it was the Marshal that gave it its name.

Don Ferdinando of Bourbon; the Duke of Parma, gives one Stefano Lucciardi the right to a 10 year monopoly for the production of Gonoa style dried pasta.

Public eating places have existed since ancient times, but the modern version of the restaurant (from the French restaurer, “to restore”) did not appear until the 18th century. The word was first applied in its current usage by A. Boulanger when he opened an eating establishment in Paris in 1765.

Joseph Berchoux born in Saint Symphorien de Lay, died 1839 at Marcigny. Berchoux was a french solicitor and poet who amongst other things introduced the word gastronomie to the French language and the world.
Vicomte de Chateaubriand b. 1768, d. 1848. It is thought that his Chef; Montmiriel named the cut of beef after him.

Oranges established in California.

American apples being sold in London along with rhubarb imported from Central Asia (probably Uzbekistan)
The first marmalade was made by the wife of James Kieller, a merchant who, bought some cheap oranges for his shop, only to find they were too bitter for eating purposes. His wife turned them into marmalade after following the same recipe she used for quinces.

The café; Cadran Bleu on the Boulevard du Temple, is opened in Paris. Famous for being the meeting place of the leaders of the French uprising on August 10 1792. During the Revolution in 1848 a battery of artillery shook the building and it was subsequently demolished in 1860.

American inventor Oliver Evans develops the first automated flour mill.
Antonin Careme, born June 8
Pierre Francoise de la Varenne, born. Wrote the first cookbook to summarise the cooking practices of the French nobility and the development of the first true French sauces.

A crop failure in France leads to bread riots.

The first national Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the U.S.

Sandwich, John Montagu, 4th Earl of {mahn’-tuh-gue} A British politician, John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich, died April 30, 1792, was a leading member of Lord North’s administration during the American Revolution. Credited with the invention of the sandwich.
Gioacchino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, d. Nov. 13, 1868, was one of the most significant and influential composers of opera in the 19th century. The classic dish, ‘Tournados Rossini’ was named in his honour, by the Café Anglaise.

Brillat-Savarin fled the French Revolution, he lived for three years in the United States, supporting himself as a violinist and by teaching French.

The American-born physicist and adventurer Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson) produced the first of a series of devices that ultimately evolved into the closed-top cooking range. By means of an ingenious system of flues and dampers, the range made adjustable heat possible and enormously expanded the scope of culinary activities.

The canning process, like so many other developments in the FOOD INDUSTRY, was developed in response to the problem of feeding military forces in the field. In an attempt to overcome the problem of food spoilage, a prize was offered by the French in 1795 for the invention of a method of keeping food safe for troops. Nicolas APPERT, a chef in Paris, accepted this challenge and developed the canning process. The immensity of his undertaking becomes clearer when it is recognised that he had to fashion containers in which to package his product. Using bottles closed with cork and wire, he won the prize for his canning process in 1810. At about the same time, the tin-coated metal can was patented in England, giving rise to the term canning. Today virtually all types of food are canned commercially, and the products are available in cans of all sizes. Unlike the freezer necessary for frozen foods, no special device is needed for prolonged storage of cans

Napoleon Bonaparté’s Chef is said to have created the dish ‘Chicken merengo”
Brillat-Savarin returned to France and his legal career in 1796
German chemist; Franz Karl Achard, perfected the first method for extracting sugar from sugar beet, proving too costly though he died in poverty in 1802

H.L.Pernod, the first commercially manufacturer of the liqueur ‘absynthe’

City Hotel, the first American structure designed as a hotel, opened in New York. Which and operated until the 1840s.

Honoré de Balzac born in Tours, France (died Paris 1850). A french author of some repute mainly for his gluttony. His great fondness for food and drink were apparant his books as he often used famous restaurant or Hotels as his settings, describing thier specialities of the time. as such his fictional work is of great benefit to us inresearching food, ideas and menus of that era. He also edited a collection of gastronomic texts such as; Le Gastronomie Francais ou l’Art de bien vivre in 1828, Physiologie de gastronomique in 1830 and to the new edition of Brillat Savarin’s Physiologie de Gout in 1839, he wrote a treatise on stimulants as an appendix.

19 th Century
The early 19th century marked the beginnings of large-scale candymaking, especially in England.
Saw the start of the cultivation of watercress
In the early 1800’s at the kitchen of Parker House; one of the USA’s oldest Hotels, the famous Boston Cream Pie was given its chocolate glaze topping
In the late 19th century the common variety of celery that we use today, was developed in the USA 1800
The word ‘Balthazar’ in use to describe a large bottle of Champagne, that is equivelent to 16 regular bottles. Named after the last King of Babylon, Balthazar’s father also has a bottle size named after him; the Nebuchadnezzar, which holds 20 bottles.

A massive 560.18kg is produced in the USA, as a present for President Thomas Jefferson.

The Café Anglais is opened in the Boulevard des Italiens. It was named in honour of the peace treaty just signed between England and France. Originally just a coffee house for coachman and servants, it became famous when it was bought by a Paul Chevreuil who turned it into a fashionable eating establishment. Although it was not until the arrival of the great Chef Adolphe Dugléré that it truelly gained its gastronomic reputation. One of its private rooms was made famous for etenity in Offenbach’s; La Vie parisienne. It was finally demolished in 1913.

The seven-story Boston Exchange Coffee House, opened in 1804, was in its time the largest and best-equipped hotel in America, with more than 200 apartments and a total of 300 rooms. These included stores, offices, banquet halls, ballrooms, dining rooms, numbered private bedrooms, a billiard room, a hairdresser’s room, and a large number of bathing rooms. Its central, domed area, the Exchange, was used as a commercial meeting place.

Frenchman Nicolas Appert develops the first effective method for canning food.

Alexis Benoit Soyer born: October, 14th in Meaux-en-Brie (north west of Paris). One of the greatest and most underated of the master chefs), Soyer was not just a chef but also an inventor and notable charity worker. He was Chef at the famous Reform Club in London for a quarter of his life.

The canning process, like so many other developments in the FOOD INDUSTRY, was developed in response to the problem of feeding military forces in the field. In an attempt to overcome the problem of food spoilage, a prize was offered by the French in 1795 for the invention of a method of keeping food safe for troops. Nicolas APPERT, a chef in Paris, accepted this challenge and developed the canning process. The immensity of his undertaking becomes clearer when it is recognised that he had to fashion containers in which to package his product. Using bottles closed with cork and wire, he won the prize for his canning process in 1810. At about the same time, the tin-coated metal can was patented in England, giving rise to the term canning. Today virtually all types of food are canned commercially, and the products are available in cans of all sizes. Unlike the freezer necessary for frozen foods, no special device is needed for prolonged storage of cans
The British chemist Sir Humphrey Davis, separates the molecules of salt into its two elements; sodium and chlorine, thus starting others to understand the process/ chemical reactions that take place when using salt in curing, freezing etc. This in turn led to better preserving processes.

Baron Léon Brisse born; died at Fontenay aux Roses in 1876. Brisse began his career in the services of the Water and Forestry, though was forced to leave after a scandel. He began a career in journalism specialising in articles on food. In the newspaper La Liberté he had the idea of printing a different menu everyday. In 1868 these were eventually published in a collection; Les Trois Cent Soixant Six Menus du baron Brisse or The 366 Menus of Baron Brisse. His other published works were:
Recette a l’usage des menages bourgeois et des petit menages (1868)
La Petite Cuisine du baron Brisse (1870)
La Cuisine en Careme
Not being able to cook himself he was often taken to task for some of his ‘ridiculous’ recipes. However his name was given to a garnish for large joints of meat; onions, chicken forcemeat and stuffed olive tartlets.

The worlds first commercial biscuit factory is set up in Carlisle, Scotland; The Carr Establishmnet

Louis Bignon born in Hérisson, France; died in Macau 1906. A great restauranteur, he started his career as a waiter at the Café d’Orsay before moving on to the Café au Foy. He later purchased it and handed it over to his brother in 1847. Taking over the Café Riché he made it one of the best in Paris. Made a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour in 1868 and and officer in 1878. Bignon was the first restaranteur to wear the rosette of the Legion of Honour.

American surgeon William Beaumont begins his study of the gastric process.
Sometime around this era Chef’s hat started to appear

French engineer Ferdinand Carré born at Moislains, Somme. Carré pioneered methods of refrigeration. In 1862 he exhibited at the Universal London Exhibition, a machine to produce ice that had an output of 200 kg per hour.

December 8, Brillat-Savarin’s; great work: La Physiologie du gout (1825) is published, a treatise on the fine art of gastronomy. Published in English as The Physiology of Taste (1825), it was the first work to treat dining as a form of art, and gastronomy as “the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns man’s nourishment.”

In February, Brillat-Savarin died in Paris.

English inventor John Walker introduces the first friction matches.

The Dutch made chocolate powder by squeezing most of the fat from finely ground cacao beans. The cocoa butter from pressing was soon being added to a powder-sugar mixture, and a new product, eating chocolate, was born.

Sometime in the 1830’s it is thought that in a restaurant at Saint Germain en Laye, Collinet creates Bearnaise sauce.

Cyrus McCormick invents a mechanical reaper.
Professional chefs had existed in Europe at least since the emergence of Athens as the cultural center of the classical world, but no single individual’s impact on a national cuisine even remotely approached that of Antonin CAREME, (born June 8, 1784, died Jan. 12, 1833) who revolutionised French cooking (and northern European cooking in general) during a career spent in the kitchens of Europe’s social and political leaders. Stressing “delicacy, order, and economy,” Careme systematised and codified French cooking, brought symmetry and logical progression to the service of meals, and introduced a new awareness of freshness and sanitation into the French kitchen. Careme wrought culinary miracles with the inadequate equipment at his disposal. The charcoal-burning stoves with which he worked brought his delicately constructed dishes into direct contact with live embers, often scorching or setting them ablaze. Ovens had to be stoked and emptied of ashes repeatedly and, with no effective means of temperature control, armies of cooks were required to give their undivided attention to individual dishes.

Parisian caterer and food retailer, Germain Charles Chevet dies in Paris. He set up a shop in the Palais Royal and subsequently founded a dynasty of caterers. His shops were frequented by the likes of Brillet Savarin and Rossini for the high quality venison, pâtés, foie gars and seafood he supplied. His son Joseph took over the business after his death.

Marie Antonin Careme died January 12, 1833
George Huntington Hartford, born Augusta, Maine, Sept. 5, 1833, d. Aug. 29, 1917, was an American merchant who helped develop what became for a time the largest U.S. grocery chain.

Jacob Perkins, an American engineer living in London, patented (1834) the first practical ice-making machine, a volatile-liquid refrigerator using a compressor that operated in a closed cycle and conserved the fluid for reuse.

Charles Ranhofer born: (died 1899); the first internationally famous Chef from an American establishment.

John Lea and William Perrin ‘produce’ their first successful batch of their world famous sauce. A Lord Sandy asked them a few years earlier, to produce a sauce from a recipe he brought back from Bengal. After following the recipe to the letter they found the resulting sauce was far from palatable, so it was barrelled and left in their cellar, only to be rediscovered years later after it had fermented into what we now know as Worcester sauce.

French politician and fianancier; Marie Vicomte de Botherel (b.1790 at La Chapelle du Lou, died 1859) has the idea of installing mobile kitchens on buses operating in the suburbs of Paris. While all of Paris seemed to admire his venture it failed as a business. However it is regarded as the forerunner to the modern day ‘restaurant car’.

Gas was first used for cooking, and interest grew as the availability of gas spread.

James Dewar a Scottish physicist is born. James Dewar invented the vacuum flask. He died in 1923 aged 81.

The first successful refrigeration machine in the United States was developed in 1844 by John Gorrie. His device did not use a volatile liquid but operated by the principle that air gets hot when compressed and cools when it expands. The air refrigerating principle was extensively used during the latter part of the 19th century and during the early years of the 20th century, although it is little used at the present time
Henry John Heinz, b. Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 11, 1844, d. May 14, 1919, the founder of the H. J. Heinz Company, Inc., manufacturer of prepared foods.

Failure of the potato crop leads to a famine in Ireland.

Georges Auguste Escoffier, born October 28, 1846, d. Feb. 12, 1935

The Pastry Chef, Chiboust creates the Saint Honoré gâteau in honour of the Paris district in which he workd and also the patron saint of Pastry Chefs and bakers.

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, b. Glasgow, Scotland, May 10, 1850, d. Oct. 2, 1931, was the founder of the tea and provision company, Lipton, Ltd. Lipton made his fortune primarily on cured meats, eggs, butter, and cheeses. His small store in Glasgow grew to include a chain of shops throughout the United Kingdom; he also owned foreign tea, coffee, cocoa, and rubber plantations; fruit orchards, bakeries, and jam factories in England; and a meat-packing house in Chicago. Lipton was knighted in 1898 and made a baronet in 1902. An ardent yachtsman, he tried unsuccessfully to win the America’s Cup in the races of 1899, 1901, 1903, 1920, and 1930

Another type of refrigeration unit, the absorption-type machine, was developed by Ferdinand Carre in France between 1850 and 1859. Such devices, which can operate exclusively by burning natural gas or other fuel, were commonly used prior to the widespread availability of electricity. The first machines of this type used water as a refrigerant and sulfuric acid as an absorbent, but in 1859, Carre switched to an ammonia-water system that is still in use. The public, however, resisted the use of artificial ice, fearing that it was unhealthy. Resistance declined after the American Civil War; during that war a number of Carre’s machines had been slipped through the Union blockade and were able to provide much-needed ice to the southern states

A Belgian peasant discovers wild chicory cultivated in warmth and shade grew elongated shoots with edible leaves. A Belgian botanist; Brezier managed to cultivate it further to give us the modern day chicory salad plant.

Jacob Fussell begins making ice cream in commercial quantities in Baltimore. The first ice cream factory was built Jacob Fussell, and the industry thereafter grew rapidly.

American physician John Gorrie, b. Charleston, S.C., Oct. 3, 1803, d. June 16, 1855, was issued the first U.S. patent for “a machine for the artificial production of ice.” In Apalachicola, Fla., where he practiced, Gorrie noticed that his patients seemed to recover more quickly in cool weather. He began to develop methods for artificially cooling the air and eventually invented and patented a mechanical refrigeration device that operated much like a present-day refrigerator. Unable to find investors willing to back the manufacture of his machine, he died of a “nervous collapse” at the age of 52

French inventor Ferdinand Carre develops a refrigeration system.

Nellie Melba, b. Helen Mitchell in Richmond, Australia, May 19, 1859, d. Feb. 23, 1931, was a fabulously successful operatic soprano and for whom Escoffier created and named his dish; ‘Peach Melba’.

The first successful food-store chain was the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which was founded in this year, but began its great expansion after World War I.

Will Keith Kellogg, b. Battle Creek, Mich., Apr. 7, 1860, d. Oct. 6, 1951, the creator of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. As a young man he worked with his brother, Dr. John H. Kellogg, at the latter’s Battle Creek Sanitarium, where they developed toasted wheat flakes and other vegetarian health foods. In 1906 he organised the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company and merchandised his product with heavy advertising. He added other breakfast foods to the company’s line, making it the world’s largest manufacturer of prepared cereals. He established the philanthropic W. K. Kellogg Foundation in 1930 and gave it a total of $47 million

In the U.S.A. the railroads developed refrigerator cars.

Margarine, or oleomargarine, is a butter like product made primarily from vegetable oils, fats, and milk. (The name oleomargarine was once used for margarines that contained animal fats, principally lard and oleostearin from beef.) The original margarine, developed in the late 1860s in France, used beef fat as the principal ingredient. Later margarines used animal fats and vegetable oils. Most of the margarines available today contain only vegetable oils, usually derived from SOYBEANS, CORN, and cottonseed.

Chewing gum, a uniquely U.S. product, discovered during the search for rubber materials in the 1860s. It is a mixture of natural or synthetic gums and resins, sweetened with sugar and corn syrup, with added colour and flavour.

French engineer Ferdinand Carré, exhibited at the Universal London Exhibition, a machine to produce ice that had an output of 200 kg per hour.

The Bofinger, one of Paris’ top bar/restaurants established on the Rue de la Bastille. It is still open today (1997).

Escoffier starts his Military service and here he learns the art of wax flower making

Baron Brisse on the 6th June wrote a column in a French publication, which seems suggest the creation of the dessert; baked Alaska, was introduced into France by the chef of a visiting Chinese delegation at the Grand Hotel in Paris.

The shape and size of the bottles for Bordeaux, Burgundy and Macon are legally defined.

On June 7th, the Cafe Anglaise in Paris serves what has become known as the ‘Three Emperors Dinner’, served for the King of Prussia; William I, the Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his son

McIlhenny introduces his Tabasco sauce to the world

The first manufacturing patent is issued for chewing gum.

Escoffier was made the Chef de Cuisine for the French Army Officers when war broke out

During the siege of 1870, the French Chef Choron, whom created the sauce named after him, was serving dishes at the Voisin Restaurant based on elephant meat

The haricot bean variety; flageolets first grown in Europe

Margarine was introduced into the United States in 1874 and immediately aroused the opposition of the dairy industry. Taxes were imposed on the substance; in some states yellow-colored margarine could not be sold; and federal laws required, among other stringencies, that restaurants serving margarine post a conspicuous notice of that fact.

A Swiss firm added condensed milk to chocolate, producing the world’s first milk chocolate
Henry John Heinz formed a company to manufacture pickles, condiments, and other prepared foods.

Machines vending postage stamps and chewing gum won public acceptance in the United States in the late 1880s, and machines offering candy bars and cigarettes were later marketed.

Anna Pavlova, born January 31, 1881, d. Jan. 23, 1931, was one of the world’s best-known ballerinas and after whom the dessert is named after.

Chinese artichokes (which actually originated in Japan) are cultivated in France by the agronomist Pailleux at Crosne.

The word Bistro enters into the French language

Evaporated milk is patented by John Mayenberg, of St Louis, USA on November 25th

Clarence Birdseye born in New York, died 1956. An American businessman and inventor, who during a trip to Labrador in 1920 noticed that fish caught by the eskimos and left exposed to the air froze rapidly and was told they would remain edible for months. On his return to the USA he perfected a method of ultra rapid freeze, in 1924 he formed a company to distribute the products. Economic crisis later forced him to sell the company and his name.

Conrad Hilton, b. San Antonio, N.Mex., Dec. 25, 1887, d. Jan. 4; founder of the Hilton Hotel Chain

The French nightclub, Moulin Rouge, opened its doors for the first time on October 6th. Escoffier was later to cook there

In the early 1890s, the health-foods innovator, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, developed processes for producing a number of new foods–among them wheat flakes, various coffee substitutes, and several vegetable products that bore some resemblance to meats. As a protein base, Kellogg used fresh wheat gluten with added meat like flavourings

Cordon bleu (cooking) – {kohr-dohn’ blu} The Cordon Bleu is a famous school of cooking in Paris, founded in 1895 by Marthe Distell to teach the principles of French cuisine to the daughters of upper-class families. Today it attracts amateur and professional cooks from throughout the world. The term cordon bleu is probably derived from the blue ribbons worn by knights of the Order of the Holy Ghost, a chivalric order renowned for the excellence of its table. The ribbon was first used as a gastronomic order of merit by King Louis XV, who bestowed it on Mme du Barry’s chef, a woman; and for many years, the decoration was given only to top-ranked female cooks

March 12
Coca cola first sold in bottles

The famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel was completed on Fifth Avenue in New York, USA. (see 1929 also)

Cesar Ritz and Escoffier opened the Hotel Ritz in Paris: the Ritz was inaugurated on June 1, 1898, on the historic Place Vendôme, constructed by Hardouin-Mansart, the architect of Versailles.

Escoffier and Cesar opened the Carlton in London which served 500 covers at service with a kitchen brigade of 60.
The standard can for processed food was first used in the early 1900s

The famous team of Cesar Ritz and Escoffier broke up when Cesar had a nervous breakdown.

The first Goncourt Prize was awarded at the Champeaux Restaurant, on the Place de la Bourse, Paris.

The teabag was invented in America
Iced tea was created at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Ice cream cone reportedly invented by Charles E Menches during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis, Missouri. The story goes that he was selling waffles when the stall next to him selling ice cream, ran out of containers. A fresh waffle was wrapped into a cone and the ice cream placed inside??

Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle leads to the U.S. Pure Foods and Drugs Act.

Until the early 1900s most city hotels in the United States were either luxurious and expensive, or inexpensive and uncomfortable. Ellsworth STATLER, however, established a chain of middle-class hotels that set new standards for comfort and cleanliness at moderate prices. His first important hotel, the Buffalo Statler (1907), offered “a room and a bath at a dollar and a half.” Convinced that private rooms with baths would give him a vital competitive edge, Statler designed a plumbing shaft that permitted bathrooms to be built back to back, providing two baths for little more than the price of one and allowing him to offer many private rooms with adjoining private baths. Statler was the first to put telephones and radios in every guest room, as well as full-length mirrors, built-in closets, and a special faucet for ice water. Restaurant recipes were standardised, and identical silver, china, and linens were purchased in quantity for use in all the system’s hotels. Eventually, Statler hotels were opened in many major cities in the United States, and Statler’s success inspired the formation of other hotel chains. The Statler chain was bought by the late hotel mogul Conrad HILTON in 1954. Hilton’s chain is now among the world’s largest. The world’s largest lodging systems are the Memphis-based Holiday Inns, Inc., and Best Western, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gastronomie pratique published by Henri Babinsky (born Paris 1855, died

Clarence Birdseye; an American physicist, introduced a new commercial process for freezing foods.

Harry MacElhone takes over as owner of Harry’s Bar in Paris, famous for his cocktail creations: Bloody Mary (1921) and the Sidecar (1931). It was his son, Andrew who later created the Blue Lagoon cocktail in 1972.

The electric range was introduced

The first store designed as a self-service, departmentalised food market was opened in 1916 in Memphis, Tenn., by Clarence Saunders. From it grew the first supermarket chain, Piggly Wiggly, precursor of the giant A&P, Safeway, and Kroger organisations

Cesar Ritz died

August Escoffier retires aged 73 from the Carlton in London
Conrad Hilton bought his first hotel; the Mobley Hotel in Cisco, Texas.

Escoffier was awarded the Legion d’Honneur.
The beginnings of cellophane manufacture in the 1920s opened the era of transparent wrappings.
After World War I, particularly in the 1920s, the domestic refrigerator began to displace the icebox

Caviar introduced to France at the Universal Exhibition

French Chef Paul Bocuse born in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or.

Demolition of The Famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, commenced; to make way for the equally famous Empire State Building. (See 1897)

Abundance of Brazilian coffee beans sees thousands of tonnes of beans tipped into the ocean or burned
The first instant coffee introduced.

Joy of Cooking published; a cookbook that ranks with Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook (1896) in its impact on the American diet, Joy of Cooking has clarified American cooking techniques and considerably enlarged the American cuisine. Written in 1931 by Irma Starkloff Rombauer and her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker (who also provided the original illustrations), the work–now in its 13th edition–is an encyclopedic compendium of classic American and European recipes, lucid explanations of culinary techniques, and detailed discussions of every important aspect of food preparation. A perpetual best-seller, the book to date has sold about 8,000,000 copies

Georges Auguste Escoffier, died February 12, 1935
Insitut National des Appellations d’Origin created in France to control the production, quality of wine. It is made up of wine professionals and representatives of other interested/concerned bodies.

Nestlé introduce their nescafé brand of instant coffee
Prosper Montagne publishes the “Larouse Gastronomique

Major advancements in food technology and preservation, born out of the need to get fresh foods to the troops during the second world war.

Films made of polyethylene, polyester, and other plastics came into use after World War II. Plastic bottles and aerosols were first introduced.

Conrad Hilton formed the Hilton International Company
Aaron Lapin, invents whipped cream in a can (USA)

French Chef Raymond Oliver is recognised as the first Chef to use the media of television for cooking demonstrations.

The Statler chain was bought by the late hotel mogul Conrad HILTON in 1954.

April 15: Ray Kroc opens the first of the McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois, U.S.A. after buying the rights of the name from a hamburger stand’s owners in San Bernadino, California. The burger were 15 cents and the fries 5 cents.

Norman Borlaug wins the Nobel Peace Prize for breeding miracle wheat strains.

Restauranteurs in Marseille, Provence sign a charter designed to protect how bouillabaisse is made. All who sign the charter agree to only prepare the famous regional dish only from certain ingredients and to a certain method. Lee way is given for individual flare.

60 Responses to History of Cooking

  1. Lungile Gaulana says:

    Why all cooking developments started in Europe, Asia and the middle East? Does this mean people living in South America, Africa and Australasia new nothing about cooking for so long?

    • This article seems very sinocentric. It also doesn’t mention the invention of cheese, how bread is mentioned as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh, or while we’re talking about the Last Supper, what about the original Passover? In short, this article stinks.

  2. Pingback: Outdoor Cooking Traditions Around the World

  3. Pingback: What’s on Tab: How to Feed Your Fantasy…Worlds – V. M. Lavigne

  4. Hassan modu says:

    Please full depenation of cooking

  5. Pingback: Reheating Frozen Edamame – The Best Methods For Enjoying A Delicious And Nutritious Snack Safely | legendarySpicemn.com

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