Sunday, August 12, 2007

Justification For Our Napoleonic Menu

Napoleon. The name itself inspires fear and admiration, even the occasional bit of merry-making. The impact he had on the world is staggering... He inspired so many throughout history to market themselves under a single name, like Cher, and later, Madonna. He even inspired the development of canned food (pictured at left)...

As the Napoleonic Wars raged, Napoleon realized something important after observing his army decimated by scurvy and malnutrition, namely that "an army marches on its stomach" and "soup makes the soldier", and that feeding the troops was one of his greatest logistical challenges. He offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could develop a way to keep food from spoiling. The prize winner, a candy maker named Nicolas Appert, opened his first vacuum-packing plant by 1804, the technology of which leaked across the English Channel and helped create the canned food industry.

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