Italian to FrenchYeah, Pete; what you said!
Didn't Catherine de Medici marry a French royal?
I believe that the Italians gave the idea of using forks to the French as well.
Anyway, what difference does it possibly make, when one wishes to apply the traditions of either to one's own kitchen?
For years, I believed that the French was "da bomb", the epitomy, the jewel.
Then, as fine Italian grew to be more prevalent, Mediterranean "diet" recognized as healthy, etc., it displaced French as the ideal or most prevalent haute cuisine here in the U.S. I submit that the "nouvelle cuisine" with it's weirdness and vagaries, not to mention the ubiquitous Gallic arrogance, contributed to this unseating of the French.
I can never forget a highly touted French chef from Chicago stating in an article, around 1974 or so- "I never use any flour in my sauces; butter and cream- that's light."
When America was composed of colonies, European and English observers wrote of our cuisine (disparagingly), " ...all their sauces are made of butter."
An observer of today might state ('specially after a heavy dose of B. Flay or other current celebrities) that all of our sauces are vinaigrettes and salsas.
I will agree, it can get tedious cracking and roasting bones, deglazing and simmering, straining, skimming and reducing for hours and hours, just to arrive at what is still only a basis for sauces.
Let's see, where did I leave the Italian/French topic?
Then, too, I agree with both of Diane's posts, that technology, metallurgy, fuels, transportation, etc. all play a huge factor, as does migration, legal or not.
What's real is real, and what's good in this world is really good. A lot of our trendy, current stuff is about as real and lasting as bellbottom jeans.