The Culture of Food (Making of Europe Series)

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This book is about the history of food in Europe and the part it has played in the evolution of the European cultures over two millennia. It has been a driving force in national and imperial ambition, the manner of its production and consumption a means by which the identity and status of regions, classes and individuals have been and still are expressed. In this wide-ranging exploration of its history the author weaves deftly between the classes, regions and nations of Europe, between the habits of late ...

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1994 Hardcover Good Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access ... codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This book is about the history of food in Europe and the part it has played in the evolution of the European cultures over two millennia. It has been a driving force in national and imperial ambition, the manner of its production and consumption a means by which the identity and status of regions, classes and individuals have been and still are expressed. In this wide-ranging exploration of its history the author weaves deftly between the classes, regions and nations of Europe, between the habits of late antiquity and the problems of modernity. He examines the interlinked evolutions of consumption, production and taste, to show both what these reveal of the varied cultures and peoples of Europe in the past and what they suggest about the present.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A history of hunger and scarcity as well as consumption, this account of food in Europe from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, with a glance back and forward, emphasizes class and regional differences in dietary habits. A varied diet has always reflected social status, and Montanari (history, Univ. of Bologna) shows what extremes this has taken. He contrasts royal meals of many dishes with single-food diets and shows how burghers responded to hungry paupers and peasants. In addition, Greco-Roman ideals of moderation are contrasted with Germanic and Celtic ideals of the powerful appetite. There is much about meat and bread, beer and wine, which predated rice, maize, potatoes, pasta (originally a luxury food), tea, and coffee. Though one wishes that Montanari had extended his treatment to the 20th century, this remains a fascinating book that will appeal to curious lay readers as well as scholars. Recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.
—R. James Tobin, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Milwaukee
Booknews
A study of the production systems and consumption models of food, focusing primarily on the era commonly known as the Middle Ages (the author rejects this term as a misleading construct), delving as far back as the third century and forward to the present. Focusing on Europe, Montanari (history, Universities of Catania and Bologna) explores ideas such as famine and abundance, changes in eating habits, consequences of trade, and the connection between food and identity in bourgeois societies.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631182658
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Series: Making of Europe Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Massimo Montanari was born in Imola in 1949. He teaches medieval history at the universities of Catania and Bologna. Among his other publications are The Medieval Countryside (Turin, 1984) and Food and Culture in the Middle Ages (Rome, 1992).

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface
A Proposal
1 The Basis for a Common Language 1
The Age of Famine 1
Barbarians and Romans 5
The Meat of the Strong 11
The Bread (and the Wine) of God 15
Feasting and Fasting 21
Terra et Silva 26
The Colour of Bread 30
Using Nature 33
2 The Turning-Point 38
A Forced Choice 38
Power and Privilege 43
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread... 47
The Throat of the City 51
To Eat Much and Well 55
Gastronomy and Famine 59
3 To Each His Own 68
The Return of Hunger 68
A Carnivorous Europe? 71
A Meatless Diet 78
A Question of Quality 82
A Table to Admire 91
The Abundance of the Poor 94
4 Europe and the World 98
A Wonderful Land Beyond the Sea 98
New Players 100
Bread and Meat 104
Bourgeois Ferocity 108
The Two Europes 110
Changing Tastes 116
Old and New Drugs 121
5 The Century of Hunger 129
Does History Repeat Itself? 129
The Hard-Fought Rise of Maize 133
The Potato, Between Agronomy and Policy 137
Macaroni Eaters 140
Population and Nutrition 144
The Evils of Meat 148
6 The Revolution 152
A Reversal of Trends 152
Meat Redux 153
All the World's a City 156
A Food for All Seasons 159
Pleasure, Health and Beauty 165
Notes 172
Bibliography 194
Index 207
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