Food in the French Recife

À-francesaA book recently came out that sheds light on the French Recife, by way of its culinary arts. The study, called À Francesa: A Belle Époque do comer e beber no Recife, was written by Federico Toscano and looks at French influence in a specific manner, through the lens of a city and its food. You can read the beginning of the book (in Portuguese) here, via Revista Continente [1]. For more on French Recife, see this post.


“The most interesting aspect of Frenchness in Recife for me is the importance of gastronomic sociability that began to emerge in the country. By the mid-19th century, one could not imagine leaving home just in order to eat. People didn’t eat for fun, but rather by necessity. There was always someone to cook at home. The influence of French culture, which was a necessity, became normal,” says Frederick.

Among the interesting bits of the book is the first vegetarian restaurant in the country, located in Recife. “I read several periodicals of the time that spoke of the opening of the restaurant. It’s curious that gastronomy only started to deserve more space in the newspapers in recent times. But back then, the vegetarian restaurant received a lot of attention from journalists. They even took a photo of the manager.


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