Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present by Albert Sonnenfeld, [pdf, book store]

Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present

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.

From School Library Journal

YA-The editors have diligently researched and presented the evolution of food, meals, and eating customs from the first prehistoric hunters to the fast-food chains of today, and show how they all have had an impact on culture in general. The fact that social status, geography, diseases, families, and religion have influenced the history of food is also covered. For example, the Black Plague is credited for the use of individual portions rather than a community plate. The chronologically arranged essays are written by different experts in the fields. While the emphasis is strongly European, some Asian influences are mentioned. Although written in a sophisticated manner, this is a thorough, up-to-date overview of a universally appealing topic. Myra Tabish, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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From Library Journal

This English-language edition of L’Histoire de l’alimentation (1996) is an entertaining and informative addition to the study of food and the customs that surround it. The 40 essays comprising this volume were written by historians from various countries and focus primarily on the food history of Europe. The essays are arranged by time period, from prehistoric to modern times, with the bulk of the work concentrating on the medieval period and before. Introductory essays for each section provide a brief overview of the time period and its issues. This is an excellent compilation of consistently well-written articles on a wide range of topics, including the dietary rules of the ancient Hebrews, the origins of the restaurant, and the contribution of Arab cooking to European culture. Recommended for anyone interested in European social history in general and food history in particular. [Bibliographical references and index not seen.]AMary Martin, Manchester, N.-AMary Martin, Manchester, NH Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Comments:

WOW! I’m thoroughly enjoying this book. The various essays cover a range culinary topics that fulfill my interests in history, sociology, anthropology, religion, and of course food. Well written and engaging.

  • Title: Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present
  • Autor: Albert Sonnenfeld
  • Publisher (Publication Date): Columbia University Press; 1st edition (September 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • Download File Format: PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3 (Kindle)

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