Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
A Time and a Plate with Claire Thomas
Up until now, nearly every episode of this podcast has been seasoned with spice. Sweet, savory, sour, and heavily perfumed were the flavors of history. Back to the honeyed courts of Babylonian kings through the spectacle of Renaissance feasts across Italian city states, spices were a constant; a constant symbol of power, a constant purpose for trade, a constant reason for battle. The world was shaped by the pursuit of spices. And then they went away. Their trade slackened, battles hinged on new commodities, and most simply, they just weren’t cool anymore. At least, in the west it seemed that way.Sure, you’ll find cinnamon in some desserts, maybe a sprinkle of nutmeg - and let’s just choose to ignore Spain’s obsession with paprika for a moment so I can make an argument, but by and large, the sweet, savory, sour, and spiced flavors of the past disappeared from the western palette. When a swift, immediate change upending the status quo occurs, it’s called a revolution. And a revolution did happen. A revolution of the mind shook the western world from it’s gilded past. Crowns were replaced by Phrygian caps, and spices with nouvelle cuisine. The modern world had begun.On today’s episode, we follow Antonin Careme, the chef of kings and the king of chefs as he cooks his way through revolution, war, and across a Europe in upheaval. Later on in the episode, we’re joined by Jonathan Gold to discuss the creation of the restaurant, and what exactly is modern food.