From “Europe Viewed Through American Spectacles” by Charles C. Fulton. Text published in 1874.
The next most deleterious article to cold water, in the estimation of a Frenchman, is bread that is eaten before it is twelve hours out of the oven. It is then nearly all crust, and requires the best of masticators to chew it. Most elderly French men and women have their teeth worn down to stumps, probably from long service on the very hard bread universally eaten by rich and poor.
Those who expect to find superior cakes in the confectionery stores will be greatly mistaken, as they all seem to be made out of greasy pie-crust. Nothing can be more beautiful than the display of cakes and condiments in the stores, but to an American fond of home-made cakes they are both unpalatable, and unwholesome. If an ice-cream is called for they serve it with a tasteless kind of wafer-cake so thin as to be curled up in little rolls, and so brittle that it will break to pieces with the slightest pressure. This is the only cake that can be had in the ice-cream saloons. The cost of small wineglass of ice-cream is twenty cents, and it is much inferior in quality to our American cream. Ice-water is served with it, the ice being frozen by chemical process. This may possibly be costly, and adds to the price of the cream.