Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do Invaded Countries Often Feel Inclined to Provide Food?

Napoleon I has arguably one of the largest influences on modern France than any other historical figure (and will once the Napoleon theme park gets running. I, for one, want to go on the Russian Campaign Ski Slope). As it turns out, he was also responsible for the invention of canned goods. Unsurprisingly, the Emperor wished to better feed his army "when an invaded country was not able or inclined to sell or provide food" and set up a cash prize for it. The confectioner Nicolas Fran├žois Appert invented a process to preserve food by heating, boiling and sealing it in glass jars, a process which (with some modifications) is still in use today. This was also very useful for (here we come full circle) the Russian Campaign, where the Russian winter obviously did not provide much food. However, canned food did nothing against Russia's snows, storms and low temperatures, giving us all the frozen corpses of men and horses set to decorate the Russian Campaign Ski Slope.

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