From Publishers Weekly
Murray, a Financial Times
contributor, takes a look at the literal journey of food through multilayered essays of the history of food transportation. From the banana export business of Central America (which was rife with America's economic gain and political manhandling) to the creation of the barrel (which revolutionized transcontinental trading and contributed a new dimension to the art of winemaking), the dozen chapters each start with a straightforward item-the shipping container, a tin can, a tub of yogurt, etc.-and delve into topics of greater significance like globalization, empire building, localized farming and food aid programs. For example, her essay on the amphora, a container used to carry olive oil throughout the ancient Roman Empire, not only depicts the social and economic importance of olive oil in Roman times but also leads into the contemporary debate of regional designation of origins for foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Newcastle brown ale. Erudite and thoroughly researched, this is a fascinating read for both foodies and those who love how the minutiae of life often provide a fresh lens with which to view the world. (Nov.)
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"A fascinating chronicle of mankind's efforts to move food throughout history."--The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
"[Murray's] investigations are detailed, sophisticated, and intellectually satisfying."--The Washington Post
"Hugely enjoyable . . . I've read more than my share of books about food, and this one really stands out for being well researched and highly entertaining."--Tim Zagat, cocreator and publisher of the Zagat Survey guides
"Packed with fascinating information."--The Washington Post