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Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between "food and culture, art of preparing and serving rich or delicate and appetizing food, a style of cooking from particular region and the science of good eating. One who is well versed in gastronomy is called a gastronome, while a gastronomist is one who unites theory and practice in the study of gastronomy. Practical gastronomy is associated with the practice and study of the preparation, production, and service of the various foods and beverages, from countries around the world. Theoretical gastronomy supports practical gastronomy. It is related with a system and process approach, focused on recipes, techniques and cookery books. Food gastronomy is connected with food and beverages and their genesis. Technical gastronomy underpins practical gastronomy, introducing a rigorous approach to evaluation of gastronomic topics.
Etymologically, the word "gastronomy" is derived from "Ancient Greek γαστήρ, gastḗr, "stomach", and νόμος, nómos, "laws that govern", and therefore literally means "the art or law of regulating the stomach". The term is purposely all-encompassing: it subsumes all of "cooking technique, "nutritional facts, "food science, and everything that has to do with palatability plus applications of "taste and "smell as human "ingestion of foodstuffs goes.
Gastronomy involves discovering, tasting, experiencing, researching, understanding and writing about food preparation and the sensory qualities of "human nutrition as a whole. It also studies how nutrition interfaces with the broader culture. Later on, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking has become known as "molecular gastronomy, yet gastronomy covers a much broader, interdisciplinary ground.
Pascal Ory, a French historian, defines gastronomy as the establishment of rules of eating and drinking, an "art of the table," and distinguishes it from good cooking (bonne cuisine) or fine cooking (haute cuisine). Ory traces the origins of gastronomy back to the French reign of "Louis XIV when people took interest in developing rules to discriminate between good and bad style and extended their thinking to define good culinary taste. The lavish and sophisticated cuisine and practices of the French court became the culinary model for the French. Alexandre Grimod de La Reyniere wrote the first gastronomic work Almanach des gourmands (1803) elevating the status of food discourse to a disciplined level based on his views of French tradition and morals. Grimod aimed to reestablish order lost after the revolution and institute gastronomy as a serious subject in France. Grimod expanded gastronomic literature to the three forms of the genre: the guidebook, the gastronomic treatise, and the gourmet periodical. The invention of gastronomic literature coincided with important cultural transformations in France that increased the relevance of the subject. The end of nobility in France changed how people consumed food; fewer wealthy households employed cooks and the new bourgeoisie class wanted to assert their status by consuming elitist food. The emergence of the restaurant satisfied these social needs and provided good food available for popular consumption. The center of culinary excellence in France shifted from Versailles to Paris, a city with a competitive and innovative culinary culture. The culinary commentary of Grimod and other gastronomes influenced the tastes and expectations of consumers in an unprecedented manner as a third party to the consumer-chef interaction.
The French origins of gastronomy explain the widespread use of French terminology in gastronomic literature. Gastronomic literature, Pascal Ory criticizes, is conceptually vague relying heavily on anecdotal evidence and using confusing, poorly defined terminology. Despite Ory’s criticism, gastronomy has grown from a marginalized subject in France to a serious and popular interest worldwide.
The derivative "gourmet has come into use since the publication of the book by "Brillat-Savarin, "The Physiology of Taste. According to Brillat-Savarin, "Gastronomy is the knowledge and understanding of all that relates to man as he eats. Its purpose is to ensure the conservation of men, using the best food possible."
There have been many writings on gastronomy throughout the world that capture the thoughts and esthetics of a culture's cuisine during a period in their history. Some works continue to define or influence the contemporary gastronomic thought and cuisine of their respective cultures as listed below: