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Cupboard Love: A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities Paperback – September 30, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Insomniac Press; 2 Revised edition (September 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894663667
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894663663
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,803,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Morton is an assistant professor of English at the University of Winnipeg, and language columnist for CBC radio's Definitely Not the Opera. Morton lives in Winnipeg with his wife, author Melanie Cameron.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Cupboard Love' by Canadian linguist and professor of English Mark Morton is in a Second Revised Edition, based on a volume that was in its original edition nominated for a Julia Child award in 1997. The author makes it very clear in his original preface that this is a work of etymology, which is a study of word origins, not, like CSI Gil Grissom's subject, the study of insects. This rather trivial distinction is not nearly as important as the difference between etymology (word origins and transformations) and the meaning of words. My Merriam-Webster 3rd Edition clearly distinguishes the two by saying that a dictionary commonly provides both types of information. Even though this book is subtitled `A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities', it is not truly a work of a lexicographer like Samuel Johnson or Noah Webster. It is much more a work of philology as done by the Brothers Grimm (when they weren't writing fairy tales) and H. L. Menchen (when he wasn't scorching the boobiesee with his newspaper columns and other writings).

What all of this means in practical terms is that while the book does an excellent job of explaining the origins of words such as `barbecue', `chowder', and `Caesar Salad', it says very little about what these things are. As such, the book is much more something to be read for entertainment than as a kitchen reference like the great `Larousse Gastronomique' or Alan Davidson's `The Oxford Companion to Food'. Aside from being a pleasure to read, the book is primarily a source for writers of cookbooks who wish to provide entertaining headnotes to recipes for aubergines, rocket, and ramps. But wait, `rocket', the UK name for arugula, and `ramps', the name of a wild garlic does not appear in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Wickes on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
With more than one thousand culinary "word-histories", Mark Morton takes us on a journey of from where that word came. He discusses herbs and spices, everyday food and exotic food, from medieval times and abroad!

Mark Morton is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. This is his second book.

Cupboard of Love has been updated from its earlier 1996 version. It was nominated for a Julia Child Award in 1997. Here, you can be taken on a journey to find where the originations of certain food and food terminologies have come from. This book is like a mini-historical tour across the globe telling us that croissants originally came from Turkey (not France) and that butteries were designed to hold wine not dairy.

This is not a cookbook. There are no recipes inside. Nor are there photographs either. This book is literally a dictionary.

If you are curious where your food has come from, or perhaps where the term "hodgepodge" has come from, then check out this book! It is really quite interesting!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
A reference for people who love food and love words. I keep my copy beside the breakfast table and pull it out regularly to learn a little about what I am eating and how it came to be called by that name. I liked it so much I got copies to give away as gifts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gyldydshadoe on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just gave this book to a friend of mine who is about to become a professional chef, and it seems to be a hit! As mentioned by previous reviewers, this book investigates the origins and histories of words related to food and cooking. The words are organized alphabetically, the linguistic research is well done (I just took a course in linguistics), and the author has untangled all that gnarly word history and presented it in lucid, witty prose. The tongue-in-cheek comments are reminiscent of snappy columnist or non-fiction writing, epitomized by writers like Bill Bryson. Though that flippant humour can get tiresome if you're reading the book for extended periods of time, this book is still well worth getting if you're interested in either food or words - or trivia! It is best read in short stints, it is both educational and highly entertaining, and is certainly a great resource for cocktail party conversation. I was also truly impressed by the range of words, which included those from Asian cuisines as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marty Martindale on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
3/24/2005

Cupboard Love:

A Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities

By Mark Morton

This is the second, revised edition of Cupboard Love and a must-own for etymologists, food etymologists in particular. In 330 pages, Morton defines origins of words such as the bain-marie, what is banyan day? How about the word, cornucopia, the corsned, hyppogastronomy or sesame.

For instance, the word, tiramisu" is: "The name of this dessert comes from the Italian phrase, tira mi su, literally meaning pick me up, probably because the coffee-soaked sponge cake provides a slight caffeine boost. "Tiramisu" began to appear in England in the early 1980s. Much earlier, in the mid nineteenth century, pick-me-up, itself emerged as a name for a stemulationg drink, one intended to perk up the imbiber.

Cupboard Love is full of these morsels, makes a lovely gift.

© Marty Martindale, 2005, Largo FL
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