Explore the Origins of French Cuisine With This 200-Year-Old Map

Michele Debczak

France is known as the unofficial culinary capital of the world to many, and for good reason. French products like brie, cognac, and champagne are enjoyed far beyond the nation’s borders. For a look at where France’s most beloved gourmet exports originated, refer to the early 19th-century map above.

As highlighted on Atlas Obscura, the "Gastronomical Map of France" was created by Jean François Tourcaty in 1809. A scan of the map takes viewers through the country’s most delectable landmarks, from Roquefort, home to the region’s pungent blue cheese, to Dijon, the birthplace of the world-famous mustard. While some places are no longer producing their signature delicacies, many of them are still home to the food and wine they were known for 200 years ago.

The map first appeared in the book Cours Gastronomique, which was written by Charles Louis Cadet de Gassicourt, the possible illegitimate son of Louis XV. The culinary tome was published a decade after the French Revolution, around the same time the fine dining industry was starting to explode in France.

For more unique maps from history, check out Cornell University’s PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography online.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

All images: Cornell University // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0