Fans of the movie Ratatouille may have wondered about the version of the title dish that Remy the rat made at the dramatic climax of the film. Well, I certainly did, anyway, as I had never heard of it being made with thin slices of vegetables. But the above article from Slate explains:
Unfortunately, the adorable rat was doing ratatouille wrong. The version of ratatouille featured in Ratatouille, also known as confit biyaldi, is a visual delight: razor-thin slices of tomato, zucchini, and eggplant arranged artfully over a bell-pepper purée and baked for hours. But ratatouille is not supposed to be a visual delight; it’s supposed to make short work of as many late-summer vegetables as possible simultaneously. Ratatouille was invented by Provençal peasants, and Provençal peasants possessed neither the time nor the inclination to slice vegetables with such precision or to bake them as gently and slowly as possible. What they had the time and inclination for was stew.The article then goes on to explain, roughly, how to made the real version of ratatouille. I've never been that big a fan of the dish, but I'm half tempted to give it a go again.