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Type Content Here


A gastronomic time-line - with links

This time-line comes from Barr A. & Levy P, The Official Foodie Handbook, Ebury Press, 1984   and it has been edited.  Smaller text and links are additional to editing some of the original entries.  You can see the almost-original text here.

In 1584, potatoes arrived in Britain.  British cuisine's dependence on the spud has a long history.

Restaurants were started in Paris in 1765 and the first "real" restaurant in 1782.  Seven years later there were a hundred and 500 - 600 in 1804.

Marie Antoinette's "cake" is changed to "brioches" - see 1789 again.  Cake is changed to koulibiac in the entry for 1917. You note other comment designed to capture interest.  Verification of "fact" is within your domain.   

In 1939, you will see, Europeans were robbed of cuisine.  There will be other additional comment on various topics leading up to 1976 and beyond.  Under that year, you will see mention of cuisines nouvelle and minceur which are looked at on other pages.  In the main, comment is made in smaller text  after some individual entries .

Dates that changed the Food world

  • 30,000 BC - Homo sapiens appears

  • 8,000 BC - First agricultural settlements. Chasseur does not at first realise 
                      what  has happened  The first word perhaps needing clarification is chasseur.  It is taken 
                              to  mean hunter


  • 5,000 BC  - First loaf to leave a trace - (Bulgaria)  30,000 years ago - Bulgaria not mentioned under the History section here.

  • AD 135  - Dispersion of Jews from the Holy Land sends a nation of future
                    Foodies out into the world

  • 13th C - Hangzhou goes food-mad: the first Foodie city

  • 1256-1323 - Marco Polo publishes an account of his travels to China, India and 
               other eastern countries which alerts the West to different ways of eating

  • 14th C - Japan becomes vegetarian. Raw fish given a 200-year sabbatical

  • 1453  - Constantinople taken by Turks, to the constanternation of traders
                (Venetians, Genoans, etc) who had shipped eastern spices from there,
                 the end of the overland spice route, to sell in Europe

  • 1488 - Bartholomew Diaz rounds Cape of Good Hope. Spices can come by sea

  • 1492 - Christopher Columbus discovers the West Indies. A new land for food to
                come from

  • 1499 - Amerigo Vespucci charts the South American coast. A new land for food to 
                     come from

  • 1519 - Magellan begins first round the world voyage, linking the food sources

  • 1570 - First printed picture of a place setting with fork: in Cuoco Secrets di
                Papa Pio Quintos by Bartolomeo Scappi  See this website here.

  • 1584 - Sir Walter Raleigh begins colonising Virginia and brings potatoes to     
                Britain   Test the facts here.  Blame him for mens' earings.  Try Wiki.

  • 1600 - English East India Co founded, start of the British love affair with curry
                and kedgeree

  • 1620 - Pilgrim Fathers settled in New England, with their English recipe books

  • 1641 - Japan excludes all foreigners in order to refine cuisine  Website here.

  • 1765 - The first 'restaurant' in Paris opened by Boulanger the soupseller. The
                traiteurs sued in 1765 to stop him selling his dish of sheep's feet in 
                white sauce; he won. His soups were called 'restaurants' because
                restorative and after the lawsuit the name moved to the shop

  • 1770 - Captain Cook lands in Australia, linking the other continents with the 
               New Zealand kiwi fruit that was to put the novelty into nouvelle cuisine

  • 1782 - The first real restaurant, La Grande Taverne de Londres, opened in Paris 
                by Beauvilliers with a choice of dishes served at individual tables  Look at 
                     the fifth paragraph and ignore the funny stuff here.

  • 1789 - Marie Antoinette says 'Let them eat brioches' Read comment made above here.

  • 1789 - The French Revolution puts the aristocrats' cooks on the market. There
                are already about 100 restaurants in Paris

  • 1800 - The stove is invented by Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford:
                American  born, lived in Britain. He also invented a keep-hot coffee pot

  • 1803 - First restaurant guide: the Almanach des Gourmands in Paris

  • 1804 - There are 500-600 restaurants in Paris: a 500 per cent growth in five 

  • 1845 - Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery published

  • 1850s - Service a la Francaise (all food on the table at once) gives way to service a la Russe (courses)

  • 1861 - Mrs Beeton's Household Management published

  • 1864 - Phylloxera starts its 30-year creep through French vineyards from the Gard in the south

  • 1869 - H. J. Heinz starts canning in Pittsburgh. First British factory 1925. The
                slogan '57 varieties' underestimates the number.

  • 1874 - The Wine Society founded in Britain   Yes - here

  • 1900 - Michelin run a motorist's guide to French restaurants

  • 1903 - Escoffier's Guide Culinaire published

  • 1905 - Emigration of Russian and Polish Jews to US and Britain. Lower East Side and 
                Whitechapel burst with borscht and bagels

  • 1906 - Vitamins discovered by F. G. Hopkins

  • 1906 - Kellogg's start making cornflakes in Michigan. First British factory in 1938

  • 1917 - Bolshevik Revolution: the end of cooking in Russia. 'Let them eat koulibiac'

  • 1917 - Prohibition in USA, until 1933

  • 1919 - Break-up of the Austro- Hungarian Empire: beginning of the end of a great
                cooking style. Goodbye gulyas. Sacher Torte stays

  • 1923 - Clarence Birdseye starts frozen food in US

  • 1926 - Michelin starts merit star system

  • 1928 - 'Ali-Bab' publishes Gastronomic Pratique

  • 1930s - German Jews moving to Britain and US. The spread of strudel

  • 1939 - Second World War robs Europeans of cuisine and, often, adequate food

  • 1940 - Food rationing starts in Britain

  • 1941 - Gourmet magazine founded in America

  • 1946 - First shipment of bananas for six years arrives in Britain - the ship that 
                launched a thousand bananas flambees

     1950 - The Good Food Club founded in Britain  

  • 1950 - Elizabeth David's A Book of Mediterranean Food published

  • 1951 - First Good Food Guide published, editor Raymond Postgate

  • 1950s - Frozen food taking over from tins

  • 1955 - Fernand Point, of La Pyramide, Vienne, father of nouvelle cuisine, dies 
                    We see him later.

  • 1954 - Commercial television in USA. Television Act in Britain. Food advertising on the
                box [TV]. Food rationing ends in Britain

  • 1955 - McDonald's hamburgers begin McDonaldisation of the world. They reach 
                Britain in 1974 

                     McDonaldisation has since become the topic of a book here.

  • 1956 - America's first Kentucky Fried Chicken appears. Colonel Sanders sells his
                chicken for a 'royalty' of one cent per piece. Originally, he'd had a store that 
                had closed down - this was the beginning of the KFC empire. In 1984, it is
                selling 16-20 - million meals a week in 50 different countries

  • I950s - Marks & Spencer diversifies into food - late 1950s

  • 1959 - Mario and Franco's Trattoria Terrazza opens in London, launching the
                tiled-floor, red- chaired, deafening-din Italian restaurants

  • 1961 - Craig Claiborne publishes the New York Times Cook Book

      1962 - Henri Gault and Christian Millau publish the Guide Juillard to Paris, 
                  which becomes the Gault-Millau(1969)

  • 1962 - Sunday Times starts colour magazine, bringing Foodism to the massed 
                middle classes of Britain

  • 1960s - The whole-food movement gives Foodies something to half-like - 'the
                  speckled beige band'

  • 1960s - A barbecue in every garden. And Tandoor ovens come to western 

  • 1963 - Mr Kuo, chef of the Chinese Embassy in London, defects and starts first
                non-Cantonese restaurant in Britain, at Willesden. This short step is like
                the Long March to Foodiea

  • 1968 - Claudia Roden's A Book of Middle Eastern Food published. A new planet
                swims into Foodies' ken understanding

    1971 - Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) founded in Britain. Foodies don't say I am a
                CAMRA, but the Cs are on the right track Perhaps the "C's" are campaigners.

  • 1972 - Richard Mabey's Food For Free published in Britain

  • 1973 - 'Nouvelle cuisine' christened by Gault and Millais in an article in the
                Gault-Millau magazine October issue

  • 1973 - Sainsbury, British Foodie grocers since 1869, goes public

  • 1974 - Heinz take salt out of its baby foods

    1974 - Piers Paul Read publishes Alive, an account of cannibalism in the Andes

  • 1975 - Commercial television starts in France

  • 1976 - First book by a nouvelle cuisine chef- if only Michel Gufirard had called 
                it  that instead of Cuisine Minceur

  • 1977 - Monosodium glutamate scare. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome was the
                herpes of the Seventies

  • 1977 -  John and Karen Hess's The Taste of America grills American food critics 
                 and the food business for their disservices to food

  • 1979 - Alan Davidson publishes the first number of Petits Propos Culinaires

  • 1979 - Alan Davidson and Theodore Zeldin hold first International Food
                Symposium at St Antony's College, Oxford Still going strong

  • 1980s - New York goes food-mad. Paris goes food-mad

  • 1982 - Wine boxes arrive, but not for Foodies

  • 1982 - MadhurJaffrey's book and BBC television programme Indian Cookery: another
                new planet swims into Foodies' ken

  • 1982 - 'Foodies' described and christened in Harpers Queen August issue

  • 1984 - The Harpers & Queen Official Foodie Handbok by Ann Barr and Paul
                Levy  published in Britain

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Readers devoted to looking at as much info as possible could explore another time-line here.  It could be very useful.  As with anything you read on the Internet, you need to verify everything yourself.

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