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Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present Hardcover – September 15, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

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.

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1st edition (September 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231111541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231111546
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By cityg on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent scholarly look at the eating habits of civilizations of the past leading up to modern Europe. This book covers the history of food from a civilization standpoint, rather than covering it on a food item by item basis. For example, it covers what a people such as the Romans ate and how it was prepared and gathered, rather than tell you everything about the history of asparagus or some other food.
If there were anything I would say against this book, it would be that I would like it to have covered the history of food on continents other than Europe. Though, the book made no claims to cover anything but Europe.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Feasts of the ancient and modern culinary dining alike are considered in this extensive survey of food customs and food in different cultures. From the evolution of classic recipes to the origins of foods now known the world over, this provides a lively yet scholarly history of food from prehistory to modern times. Recommended for culinary school collections.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Jourdan on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Interesting moments in our history are those that brought us from eating berries to spending time in fast food eateries. This book explains this most important part of our evolution. This is a great reference for those who wish to know more about man's food habits at any moment of its history. Beautifully researched, and easy to read, this book offers details useful for all to know.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Haven't finished the book but it is a very good one as I am an enthusiastic food history geek. I will reference it over and over often.
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