So I mentioned in my post Bulgur: The Epically Delicious Grain that Mirepoix, the mixture of chopped onions, celery and carrot used as a base for French soups and sauces, had an interesting history.
First off, I should mention that a lot of cultures have their own versions of a soup/sauce base, depending on what vegetables are regionally available. In Germany, for example, it is called suppengrün which literally means ‘soup greens’ and consists of a leek, a carrot and a piece of celeriac.
What’s particular about Mirepoix is the name. As in it is an actual name of a person, not a term to describe what it is in essence. He was a French Aristocrat with so many names that I chose to copy and paste it rather than type it out. Let’s be real, I have a baby sleeping on one arm… Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix. Holy Aristocracy that’s a lot of names! I don’t feel so bad about my kids’ names, now.
Even better, he isn’t the one who actually invented or used a mirepoix. I don’t know what French Aristocrats did with their time; hunt? contemplate cheese? powder their wigs? But I do know it wasn’t cooking. His chef did that. Whose name is lost to history while Mirepoix is too cemented to the vegetable base for it to make any difference at this point.
So there’s history for you; in spite of being described as an ‘incompetent and mediocre individual‘ Mirepoix has become the pathway and maybe even the gate guard to delicious soups and sauces. Go figure.
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