In this book we trace the origin of gastronomy, the custom of luxury eating and drinking for the pursuit of pleasure, that the elites of ancient times invented. Who first sat at a table to enjoy an opulent banquet? Why did they do it? How did they organise it? What did they eat and drink? In this volume of Bullipedia we tell the story of the historical evolution of luxury dining, which, in Paris in 1780, resulted in the cultural phenomenon of the fine dining restaurant.
In these pages we take you on a journey through the intriguing history of ancient times in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. We examine the sumptuousness of its dining tables, the lavish waste of its banquets and the uninhibited hedonism of those who savoured the pleasures of the body through all five senses.
Fascinating documents embellish our analysis: the first written recipes of the human race. For the first time we have unearthed evidence of extravagant, luxurious and refined elaborations destined for the most privileged palates.
The book is organised into four chapters that correspond to each of the civilisations studied. The chapter begins with a description of the most relevant aspects of each culture, providing context for the gastronomic analysis that follows. In the final section of the book, we dedicate a few pages to examining the food that was available for public consumption, through establishments such as taverns and inns, whose traditions our contemporary fine dining restaurants also owe a debt to.
Each culture offers up surprises: in the refined stews of Mesopotamia, the wines and sweets of the Egyptians, the respect that the Greeks held for the product, and in the incredible modernity of the Romans.