Let them eat cake

The Good Life at Versailles on the Eve of the Revolution, by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (© Priv. Coll. Wikimedia)

On July 14th, France celebrated Bastille Day, commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution and the ideas of equality and liberty for all. Popular history credits the start of the uprising as a response to Marie Antoinette’s famous words: “Let them eat cake.”

The peasants were indeed starving from a bread famine, but did the unfortunate monarch really think substituting cake was a solution? And, as one historian claims, was this particular cake responsible for changing the course of modern European history? Mindy Ran visits the Dutch country kitchen of food historian Lizet Kruyff to cook up a tasty edition of Aural Tapestry.

Producer: Mindy Ran

Broadcast: September 26, 2003