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Cooper, James Fenimore

The American novelist (1789-1851) who spent many years living in France. On his return, he wrote -

"The Americans are the grossest feeders of any civilised nation known. As a nation, their food is heavy, coarse, and indigestible, while it is taken in the least artificial forms that cookery will allow. The predominance of grease in the American kitchen, coupled with the habits of hearty eating, and of constant expectoration, are the causes of the diseases of the stomach which are so common in America".

In his book The Chainbearer, a Southern-character called pork "the staff of life". "I hold a family to be in a desperate way" she said, "when the mother can see the bottom of the pork barrel".

The term "pork barrel" became American slang for a federal government appropriation secured by an elected official for local improvements to ingratiate himself with the voters.

But the term pork barrel in its literal sense has remained a fixture on the rural American scene. See'Chasseboeuf', 'Constantin François'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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