Choice Cuts and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.00
  • Save: $4.00 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item is Fulfilled by AMAZON - Eligible for FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping. Amazon Customer Service with Delivery Tracking. Receive your item in 3-5 Days!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History Paperback – October 26, 2004


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.00
$2.02 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History + The Last Fish Tale
Price for both: $26.16

Buy the selected items together
  • The Last Fish Tale $13.16

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142004937
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Food is about agriculture, about ecology, about man's relationship with nature ... about nation-building, cultural struggles, friends and enemies ... and at times, even about sex." Thus Mark Kurlansky, author of the award-winning Cod and Salt, introduces Choice Cuts, his anthology of food writing throughout history. Kurlansky has cast his net very wide and presents a legion of food writers on every possible culinary subject.

The usual suspects are here, sometimes in triplicate: Brilliat Savarin on gourmets, female food-love, and how to gain weight; M.F.K. Fisher on bachelor cooking, the dislike of cabbage, and dinner at France's famed Monsieur Paul's in the 1940s; Elizabeth David on the folly of the garlic press, the glories of toast, and English pizza. But Kurlansky's trail starts much earlier with Plato on cooking (food as a branch of medicine, a notion shared by many modern advertisers), Heroditus on Egyptian dining, and, resoundingly, Mencius, a student of Confucius who, in the third century B.C., implored Chinese leaders to observe saner food and environmental policies.

There is a great deal to digest here, but readers can take small bites at their leisure. Enjoyed in this way, the book provides an endlessly fascinating glimpse of humankind's second--or is it the first?--greatest pleasure. --Arthur Boehm --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

James Beard Award-winning author Kurlansky (Cod; Salt), brings together a banquet of historical and modern writings on food. Divided into such chapters as "Memorable Meals" and "Eating Your Vegetables," the book covers the range of writings from food notables to general authors and historians. All the masters are covered, including the father of American food writing, James Beard, with his comments on radishes and hot chocolate; the doyenne of the British post-war kitchen, Elizabeth David, with her rail against the garlic press; as well as M.F.K. Fisher and her witty observations on "bachelor cooking." Kurlansky nicely balances specialist knowledge with just plain love of food, such as Hemingway's descriptive "Fish in the Seine," George Orwell's evocative "Paris Cooks and Waiters," and A.J. Liebling's writing on boxing and food, excerpted from Between Meals. Kurlansky does take readers out of the 20th century and back in history to the Roman Empire, with such writers as Pliny the Elder (writing about bees and honey), Plutarch and the witty poet Martial of Epigrams fame. Folded in between are such food masters as Escoffier, Brillat-Savin, Hannah Glass and Taillevent. Insightful comments and explanations by Kurlansky precede each piece; the resulting volume provides a wide range of tastes certain to tempt any literary palate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mark Kurlansky is a New York Times bestselling and James A. Beard Award-winning author. He is the recipient of a Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for Food Writer of the Year, and the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award for Food Book of the year.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If I were Kurlansky's publisher, I would have liked his book pitch, too: pull together several short essays of food writing into a single book. Kurlansky is an excellent author -- I've read a few of his other books and liked 'em quite well -- but this one doesn't quite make it.

When an essay works, it's a great sampler for the author's work -- which may not be a "foodie" writer. You'd expect to find Lucullus, but not Herodotus (Kurlansky includes a page from The Persian Wars, fifth century BC, with Herodotus' comments on Egyptian dining). I've read _of_ AJ Liebling more than I've read him, but I loved the four pages reproduced here about dining with his parents at Restaurant Maillabuau in Paris, followed immediately by MFK Fisher on Monsieur Paul's.

The book has thirty chapters which group the material by topic: ethnicity, such as The Americans, or food items, such as the Mystery of Eggs. A section on seasoning includes Pliny the Elder on Thyme, the Talmud on Garlic, Platina on Basil and Saffron, Karl Friedrich von Rumohr on Sorrel, and The Aobo Tu on Salt Making.

On the positive side, each of the essays is very short. Most are 2-3 pages, and few are more than 5, making them suitable to enjoy in the john (and I do mean that in a nice way). That's also a negative, however, because by the time you've gotten into an essay (or poem or song lyrics -- Kurlansky mixes 'em up), and figured out whether this one is meant to be funny, or sensual, or instructive, or whatever... it's over. When something doesn't work for me -- and it could be a matter of mood -- I find that I flip forward until I find another essay that attracts. Perhaps that's a strength, too, because there's always something to get my interest. But mostly I'm aware of how much of the book I'm skipping.

The uneven nature of the collection makes it hard for me to recommend this book without reservation. I like it; I don't love it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a mixed selection of food journalism, with some very savory good food expose, and the other rather bland. The problem is that the book is 450 pages long, so sorting is necessary. The titles are deceptive. By them, this would be a fantastic collection. But they are deceiving, and the delectable title does not guarantee savory reading.
I've consumed about half of this collection, and find some very sumptuous cuts, including a most delightful work by Escoffier on the Art of Cooking in Modern Society as well as John Ash's lovely story on lunch with M.F.K. Fisher.
This is diminished by repeated bland works. Thus, unless one is willing to sort and read, this book becomes tedious and makes the price and effort less palatable except for the most interested.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wskrz on September 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
With Mark Kurlansky's reputation as one of the best food writers today, it was only a matter of time before a collection of some of his selections of good food writing came together. "Choice Cuts" is entertaining reading, especially for those who are interested in the history of eating and food. There are few recipes in this book, but this collection is more of a book that you sit down with a cup of coffee or tea after you've finished the dishes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lorenzo Moog on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like to have a small stack of books on my nightstand that I can just pick up and read before sleep that have nothing whatsoever to do with my current daytime/evening reading. The best candidates for that small stack are poetry, short stories and essays and so I have been happy to have Mark Kurlansky's "Choice Cuts" around for that style of casual, drifting away reading. I know from Kurlansky's "Cod" and "Salt" that he's a real bloodhound researcher so I imagine he comes across all kinds of material that catches his attention but doesn't suit his purpose at hand. The book has interesting Contents pages but I rarely use them, I just open the book at random and see where it takes me; it's all interesting to me. For instance Von Rumohr's, "Emotions to be Avoided While Eating" (p.126), Hooker, "On Icelandic Food"(p.67), ALL of Marjorie Rawlings, James Beard on "Radishes" (p.161) and many more delight me. In fact the whole book sooner or later. There are so many books with so many different purposes and uses. This one is just a little buddy to have around to amuse, to entertain and to delight, to accompany me into dreams. Then all of a sudden, too late at night, I'm stirring up a batch of Marjorie Rawlings, "Hush Puppies" (p. 255) to eat with blackberry jam and "Hot Chocolate", James Beard (p.341).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Frost on August 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be highly entertaining and at times even somewhat amusing. Who couldn't laugh at Giacomo Castelvetro's accusation that the English put enough vinegar in their salads to give Morgante a footbath?
Several reviewers have complained about the lack of diversity and the Euro-centric selection of writings. I disagree. I feel that this book represents an accurate cross-section of world-wide food writing. Sure, it contains a lot of writing about French food, but then who has written more about food than the French? One of the prerequisites of writing about food is to have some, lest you will not know what you are writing about. And the massive abundance and variety of food that the French have access to and have mastered the preparation of, lends to them a certain exclusivity regarding the matter. This book was by no means meant to contain every tidbit ever written about food in the history of the world. One will be much more pleased with it if it is viewed as an introduction to many notable and worthwhile food writers, from which one may seek out the other scribblings of these authors.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?