Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Meals That Changed History

Cuisine, Food, Italian, Antipasti Earlier I looked at food that changed the world but did you know there are a few meals that changed the world by changing history?  I didn't until I read this short piece on the topic.

A little bit of background before I begin the actual topic.  We all know that if you eat a really good meal, you feel great and are open to persuasion.  Lobbyists know this and use it all the time when they invite politicians out for dinner where they can wine and dine them. Its in these settings they make deals, get their pet projects passed through congress, and change minds.

This idea was used back in 1814 after Napoleon was defeated and several countries wished to divide up his empire. The French king,  King Louis XVIII, had his Foreign Minister take control of the conference by bringing his world renown chef with him.  He did and the rest is history.

We've done this in the United States, just after the Revolutionary war when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison squared off against Alexander Hamilton over the question of how the states would pay for the Revolutionary war.  Hamilton wanted the debt evenly divided but Madison and Jefferson felt that would put undue stress on the poorer states so over a well cooked dinner with lots of great wine, Hamilton agreed to a compromise that made everyone happy.

In 1914 when rumors spread about a planned attempt on the life of Grand Duke Ferdinand, he decided to head home rather than visit Sarajevo because he'd finished inspecting the military but over a great dinner, his advisors convinced him to go ahead with his original plans otherwise the people in Sarajevo would see it as an insult.  He was convinced and on his short Sunday visit, he was assassinated setting off the events leading to World War I.

It's well known that The Pretender to the Scottish throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie, lost at Culloden but one thing that is not usually shared about this event is that Prince Charlie and his commanding officers drank a lot of whisky and wine, ate lots of wonderful food while discussing their upcoming victory.  The soldiers starved and the next morning as they recovered from the alcohol, they lost 1200 men in a one hour battle to the British.

Four historical events changed due to having a good meal with alcohol and great food.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  have a great day.

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