Viennese delights : remarks on the history of food and sociability in eighteenth-century Central Europe
Title: Viennese delights : remarks on the history of food and sociability in eighteenth-century Central Europe
Author: DO PAÇO, David
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2014/23
This paper aims to connect Franco-Italian and Anglo-American historiographies on the history of food thanks to a focus on sociability in a cross-cultural context. As an original case-study, eighteenthcentury Vienna allows us to develop an ecological approach to food, diet and food supply, contrasting interactions between the social actors and their intellectual, natural, economic, social and cultural environments. The history of food is an intellectual history and a history of science of the German Enlightenment, since studying cookbooks fits in with the history of books and statistics. The history of Viennese food also highlights the vibrant urban economy of supply as a key-element to understand the gentrification of the city and the reconfiguration of its markets as places of sociability. Contrary to both the London and Parisian models, the presence in Vienna of numerous foreigners also contributed to the emergence of taverns and coffeehouses as selective and private social places allowing moral transgression and the strengthening of social bonds within the different groups of newcomers, making up the new social elite of the city. Finally, the Viennese history of food is also a history of power; the circulation of food between social actors provides historians with a better understanding of the nature of social bonding and the different possible ways to strengthen, maintain, adjust or contest it.
Subject: History of food; Eighteenth-century; Central Europe; Sociability; Intellectual history; Trans-imperial history
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess