When did we first serve meals at regular hours? Why did we begin using individual plates and utensils to eat? When did "cuisine" become a concept and how did we come to judge food by its method of preparation, manner of consumption, and gastronomic merit? Food: A Culinary History explores culinary evolution and eating habits from prehistoric times to the present, offering surprising insights into our social and agricultural practices, religious beliefs, and most unreflected habits. The volume dispels myths such as the tale that Marco Polo brought pasta to Europe from China, that the original recipe for chocolate contained chili instead of sugar, and more. As it builds its history, the text also reveals the dietary rules of the ancient Hebrews, the contributions of Arabic cookery to European cuisine, the table etiquette of the Middle Ages, and the evolution of beverage styles in early America. It concludes with a discussion on the McDonaldization of food and growing popularity of foreign foods today.
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of pages: 624
Weight: 1049 g
Dimensions: 236 x 178 x 36 mm
From the Bible and ancient Egypt to the 'banquets'of the Middle Ages and the 'McDonaldization'of Europe, Food: A Culinary History covers the immense history of the table throughout the world. Well researched and scholarly, it is essential reading for the historian and the lover of social studies as well as the modern cook and gourmet. -- Jacques Pepin Vastly informative... Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari have done a marvelous job of making all these aspects of food history make sense from prehistory to the present. -- Eugen Weber Times Literary Supplement Although written in a sophisticated manner, this is a thorough, up-to-date overview of a universally appealing topic. School Library Journal Now that gastronomy and the culinary arts in general are finally being accepted as legitimate academic subjects, it is time we had available to us a copious and worthy sourcebook. The Flandrin and Montanari Food: A Culinary History is exactly what we have needed. Literally overflowing with facts, anecdotes, and histories, it is a major compendium for those in the profession as well as a delightful store of knowledge for anyone who loves to read. -- Julia Child A massive but tasty compendium called Food: A Culinary History demonstrates that the art of dining has gone through some astonishing changes through the centuries. -- Herbert Kupferberg Parade Magazine Food: A Culinary History is essential reading for students of the rich and influential culinary tradition rooted in the Mediterranean. It is provocative in providing a framework for a more general history of European foodways. Journal of Social History The dense, illuminating, sometimes delightful, occasionally maddening collection of essays and papers introduced and edited by Flandrin and Montanari... aspires to be nothing short of a complete history of man's experience and conduct at the table... A cornucopia of captivating, subtle, myth de-bunking information, research and insight. -- Michael Frank LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW Food: A Culinary History stands as a remarkable achievement. -- Priscilla Ferguson Journal of Modern History