Napoleon: An Innovator in the Fields of Race-relations and Mayonaise?
I picked up the belief somewhere that Napoleon invented Mayonnaise. Is this true? There seems to be no evidence to support the idea, and many reasons to doubt its veracity, but I find it a compelling fiction nevertheless, and plan to hold on to it for as long as possible. My thinking was that it had some military value; since Napoleon is famous for having said that an army marches on its stomach, perhaps mayonnaise had some kind of preservative quality? I rationalized to myself. On asking friends who make their own mayonnaise, I find that this is not even remotely plausible. Oh well.
Napoleon did, however have a surprising notion on how to solve American racial problems, which he picked up by observing what he saw as the great racial harmony in the Near East, writing in his memoirs:
“When one wishes to give liberty to the blacks in the colonies of America and establish a perfect equality, the legislator will authorize polygamy and permit at the same time a white wife, a black one, and a mulatto one. Then the different colors making part of the same family will be mixed in the opinion of each. Without that, one would never achieve satisfactory results. The blacks would be more numerous and cleverer and they would hold the whites in abasement and vice versa.”
Interracial polygamy and mayonnaise; he was a man with vision.