“The word “ratatouille” comes from the Occitan ratatolha. With garlic, olives and onions, it is the “Bohemienne du Languedoc.” The origin of the dish is in the area around Provence and Nice. Originally, the word “ratatouille” means from 1778 a motley stew. The abbreviation “rata” means, in military slang a mixture of beans and potatoes and mixed vegetables and fatty meat. The rata is in fact the basis of the military canteen, quick and easy to make.
It is composed of pieces of cooked vegetables, especially eggplant, onions, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, and garlic. Like any recipe “generic” there is no precise recipe but guiding principles.
For the ratatouille, two methods are possible: cooking all the vegetables or cooking vegetable by vegetable separately.
Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but can also be served as a main dish (when accompanied by rice or bread). In France, it is usually served with fish, like tuna; however, it is also possible to pair with quiche or souffle.
If the name of the dish is new, the dish is older, but what is it really?
It is fun to take one at a time the main components of ratatouille and determine their origin:
Eggplant is a vegetable traveler who comes from India, which has appeared to Europe in the sixteenth century, when it was seen as an ornamental plant poisonous.
Tomato comes from pre-Columbian America, from Mexico, brought to Europe in the sixteenth century, it was then the size of a cherry tomato, and has only slowly spread.
Zucchini is of American origin. Only in the family of gourds, melons and cucumbers are from the Old World. We did for long serve only the squash. Zucchini are squash harvested before maturity: the first meaning of the word dates from 1929.
In view of the arrival of these vegetables on the plate of our ancestors, it seems difficult to imagine today that the famous ratatouille who treats us in the summer may have been invented before the seventeenth century!”
According to Frenchcountryfood.com
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