"Livres en Bouche"

Joined Jul 24, 2001
Five centuries (14th-18th ce) of the French Art de la Cuisine are presented in the exhibition “Livres en bouche", an exhibition which is organized by the National Library of France (will be hosted in the Library of Arsenal (Biblioteque de l’ Arsenal”) in the area of Bastille.

The lovers of the Grand Cuisine will have the opportunity to enjoy and understand the historical evolution of the Art of Gastronomy with the help of rare exhibits in print, some of them unique!

Among them, some distinctive pieces. For example : The manuscript of Cuillaume Tirel, the famous "Taillevent" who was the personal chef of Charle le IV that dates back to the 14th ce!!

This famous manuscript that carries the title " Le Viandier" has a special emphasis on meats. Something that characterizes the medieval cooking in central europe but you can find in it usefull tips on spices and sauces.

The most important of course is that this book launches the culinary terminology for the first time.

This exhibition opens with " Le Viandier" but ends thriumphly with the famous " Almanach de Gourmands" (1804) of Grimod de la Reyniere.

Grimod de la Reyniere was a lawyer that had tried to become a chef (...), a personality bigger than life, who lived an eccentric life and since he was involved in many scandals from times to times, he was hidding to evade his persecutors in monasteries of the French Province...

In one of those monasteries, he wrote this monumental work under the guidance of a gourmee monk... : rolleyes:

In this exhibition, the visitor will have the opportunity to admire other manuscripts, with a social interest in food. The first guides of Savoir Vivre they will wait for you there, in order to be admired.
Some of them are written in verses , in order to memorize them easily.

" Wipe your mouths before drinking wine"
Of course! In Medieval Europe they shared the same glass of wine on the table.
"Wash you hands after dinner"
Of course!! They had to wait until the Greek Empress Theofano got married to Charlomagne and brings with her to Europe the Greek invention of Fork!! :)
( she was the one who taught them to wash their teeth also :D...)

Later you can see the books of Rainnaissance when people emphasized in food conservation and the new ingredients : tea, coffee and chocolate.

In the 18th ce, the invention of printing mulitplies the cooking books and spreads the culinary arts to the masses.

If someone visits , I would appreciate his/her comments


"Livres en Bouche" , Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, 1 rue de Sully,75004 Paris.
The exhibition will be open for the public until the 17th of February from 12:00 - 18:00 everyday ( Mondays excluded):
Joined Jul 24, 2001
With the courtesy of the great food historian Cindy Renfrow ( she has posted in this site also) here is the site of the exhibition.

But I am afraid that you have to be a French speaking North American, because the site is in French.

It also has ancient recipes!!!
It worth the visit anyway. It's very... French (from France and not from North America)


Livres en bouche (Bibliotheque National de France)
Joined Jul 24, 2001
That's why I posted this while we were discussing the best seller in another thread.

Yes, the French State gives money to support the French Kitchen.
French Kitchen is a National Affair in France.

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