Once, food was defined by a very small geographic zone, prescribed by the products and traditions in that area. Where there were wars, food was modified. Arabs conquered Europe; cane sugar went with them. The Chinese entered Japan and the soybean entered the Japanese diet. Immigration left a mark, too. Jews fleeing Portugal brought chocolate to southwestern France. African slaves brought frying and okra to the Caribbean and the American South. It seemed every time a royal marriage was arranged in France, the cuisine gained a few ingredients and dishes. Modern historians question the influence of Catherine de’ Medici when she arrived in Paris in 1533 at the age of 14, with an extensive Italian cooking staff. The event probably did no..