- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 9, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009NOT9VK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Wilson gets down to basics in an informative, wide-ranging, and witty book. What about pots? It was a big step to apply fire to food and another big step to apply indirect fire to food. Humans were grilling and charring food for thousands of years before they tried putting something between the food and the fire. It was some time before they could devise a material that would stand up to fire but allow the food to heat through it. Once that was accomplished, humans could boil food and fry it. It isn't hard to imagine how humans discovered that fire could make unpalatable food edible or good food even better, but I'd never appreciated the gigantic steps it took to reach boiling and frying.
What about something as simple as timing a soft-boiled egg? Before clocks, before egg timers, how did people time their eggs, or anything else? Often by reciting a well-known prayer. The prayers would be familiar since everyone went to church often enough to know the prayers and the standard tempo to recite them. Six Lord's Prayers and the egg is done.
It was only in the past century that measuring amounts became at all standard. Recipes were rather tricky before standard measures. But in America they are still trickier than they need to be, because we are the only country that uses a cup to measure dry volume. The rest of the Western world uses weight measures (and metric weight at that, which we Americans still refuse to adopt.Read more ›
Skillfully the author weaves a tapestry of her own observations while cooking, mixing it with fascinating excursions into history, effortlessly seguing from everyday snapshots to the distant past. Thoroughly researched and wonderfully detailed, but even more so, engrossingly and smoothly written, this book is literally a real treat for everyone even remotely interested into a look at the technology behind everything we eat. As unimportant as the equipment of a kitchen may seem compared to the history of food itself, I was both surprised and delighted by this book. I have always had a great appreciation for books presenting a slightly different angle on historical aspects of things, and this one catered to my taste (pun intended) just perfectly.
In short: A mesmerizing and beautifully written journey into the world of kitchen utensils!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Besides there being two pints in a quart and how the length of a mile was determined (as another reviewer here mentioned), Wilson writes that Handel composed his "Water Music" during the Restoration of Charles II, when in fact Handel wasn't even born then. George I and II were Handel's kings. I can hardly believe a British author would make that mistake, but even worse, how did her editors not catch it?
Wilson explains Americans' supposed "zig-zag" style of eating as (I'm paraphrasing, since I don't have the book in front of me) "The meat is cut completely into lots of little bits and then the fork zigs and zags all over the plate stabbing and picking them up," which is ludicrous. Even if we do switch our fork from side to side (many of us don't), we still know that etiquette dictates that we cut only one bite at a time. The actual reason this style of eating is so called is because we put down the knife after cutting each bite and switch the fork back to the right hand to pick it up and eat it; i.e., the fork zigs and zags from one hand to the other. And I wonder if it was really Emily Post who dubbed it "zig-zag eating"? Who can tell, since Wilson got so much else wrong?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Boring, just boring. Way too long. As someone else noted, full of factual errors. Worse, Ms. Wilson thinks that microwaves can only be used to reheat food and forecasts that they... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Peggy
A lovely cultural anthropological exploration of food and utensils. WELL worth reading.Published 21 days ago by John D
To be honest I forgot that I ever bought this book. I only bought it because of a tumblr post and I haven't even read it. I'm sure its good though.Published 1 month ago by zach collins
Delightful read, full of wonderful stories about all the stuff that filled kitchens since the first kitchens came into being. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sofia Gaviria
Very entertaining read. Highly recommend for anyone interested in food and history.Published 2 months ago by Nicholas Driscoll
Author Bee Wilson tells the story of cooking, kitchens, appliances and utensils through history up to the modern era. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Steve G
I reread this book after reading it several years ago. I've looked at a couple of other reviews and wonder if they read the same book I did. Read morePublished 3 months ago by lyndonbrecht
I very much want to like this book more than I do. While I find it very interesting when the author sticks to the facts, she unfortunately spends much of the book straying from... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rabid Reader
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