From Library Journal
When European explorers and settlers arrived in the New World, they discovered foods that were unknown outside the Western Hemisphere. Chilies to Chocolate traces the biology and history of some of these foods, including tomatoes, potatoes, vanilla, maize, beans, chili peppers, and chocolate. Contributors discuss how the original species that were cultivated by indigenous populations have undergone genetic, agricultural, and culinary changes for adaptation to today's global consumption. In the epilog, the author laments the "Europeanization of the American landscape," the altering of the social organization of native peoples, the loss of most of the original native stock, and the hazards of monocultural agriculture. See also Seeds of Change ( LJ 10/1/91) for additional perspectives on how the agricultural transformation altered the ethnic makeup and power structures of the world. Recommended for all collections.
- Irwin Weintraub, Rutgers Univ. Libs., Piscataway, N.J.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"From the discovery of vanilla to how chilies spread since Columbus, this is packed with culinary lore and regional history, and will complement the shelf of any food enthusiast who loves history." The Bookwatch"If the ecology movement is about saving the planet, then these are food ecologists, committed to saving the planet's agricultural capacity." Los Angeles Times"The stories of these plant foods 'read like biological and historical whodunits,' say the editors and they are right. This is a most readable book. Botanists, biologists, food historians, and anyone who cooks and eats will enjoy it." Academic Library Book Review"Both a celebration of the rich diversity of New World foods and a thought-provoking look at some of the issues facing agriculture in the future, this volume is a timely and stimulating read." Wilson Library Bulletin
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