Julia Child has been beloved by home cooks for decades. She’s particularly well-known for her meticulous recipes for French classics, like this coq au vin.
It surprised everyone, then, when Julia decided to showcase a lasagna on her show, The French Chef. Rather than the carefully translated recipes cooks had come to expect, Julia dissed the classic Italian dish. After the episode aired, Italian-Americans sent her scathing letters, offended by everything from her lack of familiarity with lasagna to her bizarre ingredient choices. Here’s the scoop on this culinary scandale.
For Italian purists, lasagna is an occasion. The layered pasta dish is a labor of love to create, from mixing and rolling homemade noodles to making sauce from scratch to carefully layering the meat, cheese and noodles. It’s a special occasion dish that, done right, is a true showstopper.
Rather than sharing the pride and joy of Italian cookery with her viewers, Julia declared that lasagna was “a great way to use up leftovers,” and proceeded to prepare what she called Lasagne a la Francaise. During the half-hour show, she called lasagna “peasant food,” used …read more
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