In France various honors are awarded to cooks. Accomplished chefs de cuisine are by compliment called cordon-bleu, which is an ancient and princely order. A successful culinary production takes the name of the inventor, and by it his fame often lasts longer than that of many men who have achieved positions in the learned professions. Cooking is there esteemed a service of especial merit, hence France ranks all nations in gastronomy.
Although definite honors are not conferred on cooks elsewhere, good cooking is everywhere appreciated, and there is no reason why it should not be the rule instead of the exception. In large establishments it may be said to prevail, but in many moderate households the daily fare is of a quality which satisfies no other sense than that of hunger, the hygienic requirements and esthetic possibilities being quite unknown or disregarded. This is what Savarin designates as feeding, in contradistinction to dining.
The author believes that the women of to-day, because of their higher education, have a better understanding of domestic duties; that hygiene, economy, system, and methods are better understood and more generally practised. Children are not only more sensibly clothed, but they are more wholesomely fed, and households are directed with more intelligent care.
It is hoped that this book will inculcate a desire to learn the simple principles of cooking for the benefits which such knowledge will give, and that it will be of material assistance to any woman who wishes to establish and maintain a well-ordered cuisine. Receipts are given for simple and inexpensive as well as elaborate and costly dishes, and they are intended to be of use to the inexperienced as well as to the trained cook. The rules are given in precise language, with definite measurement and time, so that no supervision by the mistress will be required for any receipt given the cook.
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