As we spooned up portions of the fragrant stew, a few of the guests admitted to being familiar with ratatouille only because of the popular animated movie of the same name. At this, Alli and I were both a bit aghast.
But our conversation made me curious about the origins of the dish, and with a little digging, I found this explanation from La Tartine Gourmande, a well known French food blogger in Boston:
What is Ratatouille?
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the name was used to refer to a coarse stew. It derived from tatouiller and ratouiller, both expressive forms of the French verb touiller which means to stir up. This dish originated in Nice and is known all around Provence and France now, with a lot of different variations. The base however stays the same: zucchinis,eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion cooked in olive oil. All the beautiful flavours of the South of France. It is known that the word ratatouille was in use in Nice whereas the word bourbouillade was used in Nîmes.For Beatrice's recipe for Ratatouille Tatin Tartlets, you can visit her blog.
For Alli's recipe, you will first have to get to know her.
But under no circumstances should you consider seeing the film an appropriate substitute for trying this dish.