Médici, Catherine de (1519–1589), the sometime queen, queen mother, and regent of France, never had it easy. In her own day, she was vilified for exerting too great an influence on the affairs of France, and excoriated for surrounding herself with Italians. Writers over the last two centuries have attributed to her the introduction to France of everything from artichokes to ice cream, some even claiming that she brought the very idea of haute cuisine to her adopted homeland. More recently, food historians have dismissed anything of the sort, relegating the poor queen to little more than a footnote in the history of French cuisine. The truth is undoubtedly more nuanced.