Food Culture In South America / Edition 1

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Overview

This volume tells the story of the South Americans and their history through a survey of their food culture. Food in the various countries differs in some ways because of cultural heritage, cooking techniques, and geography, here divided into four zones. The traditions of the primary groups—Indians, Europeans, and Africans—and their five centuries of mixing have still resulted in a stable food culture. The foods of the Indians before European contact still play an important role, along with other foods brought by successive immigrant groups. Europeans tried to establish their staples, wheat and wine, with little success. Many dishes, cooking methods, and food habits have survived with little modification since time immemorial.

Students and other readers will learn much about the South American foodways in daily life today, with special attention paid to historical perspective and any rural and urban differences. For example, in all the major cultural groups, food preparation and cooking have always been women's work, with the exception of the meat roast (asado) by llaneros and gauchos. The rise of the cooking profession is discussed as well. A fascinating look at the daily meal schedule includes insight in to how the European conquerors imposed their eating habits and encouraged overeating, with the abundance found in the New World. Modern life is shown to affect where people eat, as buying meals, often from street vendors, during the workday has become more of a necessity. The survey includes a discussion of special occasions, including agricultural celebrations and Catholic feasts with indigenous elements. The overview is completed by a chapter on diet and health, covering such topics as botanical knowledge and science and an assessment of the nutritional value of the South American staples. Classic recipes from many of the countries and illustrations complement the narrative.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[T]ells of the traditions and culinary history of the primary cultures and groups which make up modern South America….Especially recommended for college-level collections strong in ethnic and food history."

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MBR Bookwatch

"Makes interesting reading and usefully fills out a particular dimension of South America's history. But apart from its value for scholars and students, Food Culture in South America will provide much fascinating background for those who already enjoy eating and/or cooking Latin American food."

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The British Bulletin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313327520
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Series: Food Culture around the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,482,861
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSE RAFAEL LOVERA is Associate Professor, School of History, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, and the Director of Centro de Estudios Gastronomicos (CEGA), Caracas, which trains young chefs and promotes Latin American gastronomy.

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Table of Contents

Series foreword
1 Historical overview 1
2 Major foods and ingredients 39
3 Cooking 77
4 Typical meals 93
5 Eating out 127
6 Special occasions 137
7 Diet and health 153
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