Food: A Culinary History

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Overview

At what point in history did people start serving meals at regular hours? Would we still be eating communally today if the Black Plague hadn't forced diners to eat at a safe distance from each other? What's the real story behind the origin of pasta? These are just a few of the tantalizing questions that are answered in this fascinating history of food from prehistoric times to the present. This comprehensive work explores the culinary evolution of cultures ranging from Mesopotamia to modern America, and explores every aspect of food history, from the dietary rules of the ancient Hebrews to the contributions of Arab cookery. Written by leading world authorities, this volume gives a unique perspective on the social and cultural mores of humankind through the ages, offering cooks, culinary scholars, and food lovers a banquet of information on which to feast.

"Now that gastronomy and the culinary arts in general are finally being accepted as legitimate academic subjects, it is time we had available to us a copious and worthy sourcebook.... Food ...is exactly what we have needed." —Julia Child

"Food excels in its thoroughness, its epic sweep, and its rootedness in culinary tradition ...it's also a pleasure." —Salon.com
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Editorial Reviews

LA Times Book Review
The dense, illuminating, sometimes delightful, occasionally maddening collection of essays and papers introduced and edited by Flandrin and Montanari... aspires to be nothing short of a complete history of man's experience and conduct at the table... A cornucopia of captivating, subtle, myth de-bunking information, research and insight.

— Michael Frank

School Library Journal

Although written in a sophisticated manner, this is a thorough, up-to-date overview of a universally appealing topic.

Julia Child

Now that gastronomy and the culinary arts in general are finally being accepted as legitimate academic subjects, it is time we had available to us a copious and worthy sourcebook. The Flandrin and Montanari Food: A Culinary History is exactly what we have needed. Literally overflowing with facts, anecdotes, and histories, it is a major compendium for those in the profession as well as a delightful store of knowledge for anyone who loves to read.

Parade Magazine
A massive but tasty compendium called Food: A Culinary History demonstrates that the art of dining has gone through some astonishing changes through the centuries.

— Herbert Kupferberg

Journal of Social History

Food: A Culinary History is essential reading for students of the rich and influential culinary tradition rooted in the Mediterranean. It is provocative in providing a framework for a more general history of European foodways.

Journal of Modern History
Food: A Culinary History stands as a remarkable achievement.

— Priscilla Ferguson

Los Angeles Times BOOK REVIEW
The dense, illuminating, sometimes delightful, occasionally maddening collection of essays and papers introduced and edited by Flandrin and Montanari... aspires to be nothing short of a complete history of man's experience and conduct at the table... A cornucopia of captivating, subtle, myth de-bunking information, research and insight.

— Michael Frank

Jacques Pepin
From the Bible and ancient Egypt to the 'banquets'of the Middle Ages and the 'McDonaldization'of Europe, Food: A Culinary History covers the immense history of the table throughout the world. Well researched and scholarly, it is essential reading for the historian and the lover of social studies as well as the modern cook and gourmet.
Times Literary Supplement - Eugen Weber

Vastly informative.... Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari have done a marvelous job of making all these aspects of food history make sense from prehistory to the present.

Parade Magazine - Herbert Kupferberg

A massive but tasty compendium called Food: A Culinary History demonstrates that the art of dining has gone through some astonishing changes through the centuries.

Jacques Pépin

From the Bible and ancient Egypt to the 'banquets'of the Middle Ages and the 'McDonaldization'of Europe, Food: A Culinary History covers the immense history of the table throughout the world. Well researched and scholarly, it is essential reading for the historian and the lover of social studies as well as the modern cook and gourmet.

Times Literary Supplement
Vastly informative.... Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari have done a marvelous job of making all these aspects of food history make sense from prehistory to the present.

— Eugen Weber

LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW - Michael Frank

The dense, illuminating, sometimes delightful, occasionally maddening collection of essays and papers introduced and edited by Flandrin and Montanari... aspires to be nothing short of a complete history of man's experience and conduct at the table... A cornucopia of captivating, subtle, myth de-bunking information, research and insight.

Journal of Modern History - Priscilla Ferguson

Food: A Culinary History stands as a remarkable achievement.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jean-Louis Flandrin is professor emeritus at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes.

Massimo Montanari is professor of medieval history and the history of food at the Institute of Paleography and Medieval Studies, University of Bologna.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Original EditionOne: Prehistory and Early CivilizationsIntroduction: The Humanization of Eating Behaviors, by Jean-Louis Flandrin1. Feeding Strategies in Prehistoric Times, by Catherine Perles2. The Social Function of Banquets in the Earliest Civilizations, by Francis Joannes3. Food Culture in Ancient Egypt, by Edda Bresciani4. Biblical Reasons: The Dietary Rules of the Ancient Hebrews, by Jean Soler5. The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians: The Early Mediterranean Diet, by Antonella Spano GiammellaroTwo: The Classical WorldIntroduction: Food Systems and Models of Civilization, by Massimo Montanari6. Urban and Rural Diets in Greece, by Marie-Claire Amouretti7. Greek Meals: A Civic Ritual, by Pauline Schmitt-Pantel8. The Culture of the Symposium, by Massimo Vetta9. The Diet of the Etruscans, by Giuseppe Sassatelli10. The Grammar of Roman Dining, by Florence Dupont11. The Broad Bean and the Moray: Social Hierarchies and Food in Rome, by Mireille Corbier12. Diet and Medicine in the Ancient World, by Innocenzo Mazzini13. The Food of Others, by Oddone LongoThree: From the Late Classical Period to the Early Middle Ages (Fifth--Tenth Centuries)Introduction: Romans, Barbarians, Christians--The Dawn of European Food Culture, by Massimo Montanari14. Production Structures and Food Systems in the Early Middle Ages, by Massimo Montanari15. Peasants, Warriors, Priests: Images of Society and Styles of Diet, by Massimo MontanariFour: Westerners and OthersIntroduction: Food Models and Cultural Identity, by Massimo Montanari16. Christians of the East: Rules and Realities of the Byzantine Diet, by Ewald Kislinger17. Arab Cooking and Its Contribution to European Culture, by Bernard Rosenberger18. Mediterranean Jewish Diet and Traditions in the Middle Ages, by Miguel-Angel Motis DoladerFive: The Late Middle Ages (Eleventh--Fourteenth Centuries)Introduction: Toward a New Dietary Balance, by Massimo Montanari19. Society, Food, and Feudalism, by Antoni Riera-Melis20. Self-Sufficiency and the Market: Rural and Urban Diet in the Middle Ages, by Alfio Cortonesi21. Food Trades, by Francoise Desportes22. The Origins of Public Hostelries in Europe, by Hans Conrad Peyer23. Medieval Cooking, by Bruno Laurioux24. Food and Social Classes in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy, by Allen J. Grieco25. Seasoning, Cooking, and Dietetics in the Late Middle Ages, by Jean-Louis Flandrin26. "Mind Your Manners": Etiquette at the Table, by Daniela Romagnoli27. From Hearth to Table: Late Medieval Cooking Equipment, by Francoise PiponnierSix: The Europe of Nation-States (Fifteenth--Eighteenth Centuries)Introduction: The Early Modern Period, by Jean-Louis Flandrin28. Growing without Knowing Why: Production, Demographics, and Diet, by Michel Morineau29. Colonial Beverages and the Consumption of Sugar, by Alain Huetz de Lemps30. Printing the Kitchen: French Cookbooks, 1480--1800, by Philip Hyman and Mary Hyman31. Dietary Choices and Culinary Technique, 1500--1800, by Jean-Louis Flandrin32. From Dietetics to Gastronomy: The Liberation of the Gourmet, by Jean-Louis FlandrinSeven: The Contemporary Period (Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries)Introduction: From Industrial Revolution to Industrial Food, by Jean-Louis Flandrin33. The Transformation of the European Diet, by Hans Jurgen Teuteberg and Jean-Louis Flandrin34. The Invasion of Foreign Foods, by Yves Pehaut35. The Rise of the Restaurant, by Jean-Robert Pitte36. The Food Industry and New Preservation Techniques, by Giorgio Pedrocco37. The Taste for Canned and Preserved Food, by Alberto Capatti38. The Emergence of Regional Cuisines, by Julia Csergo39. The Perils of Abundance: Food, Health, and Morality in American History, by Harry A. Levenstein40. The "McDonaldization" of Culture, by Claude FischlerConclusion: Today and Tomorrow, by Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari

Columbia University Press

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    Excellent

    I purchased this book for a Culinary Arts history class. I recommend this book for academic or for personal reading. This book is very informative, and the writing is clear and concise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2002

    the book reads like a recipe of history

    The book shows history of our culinary history in an easy to read, very interesting way. the history of our beginning man show us that we were scavengers that ate the remains of other animals, to the remedies used by the dietetics of the 15 to 17 century, even now as we move forward in time. the nutritional needs of modern man is complete with microwaves and obesity. I enjoyed the way each different authors tells his or her own story in a completely unique way. I hope that you enjoy this uniquely wonderful book. it will keep you interested as you face history in a edible way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2002

    Very informative on our culinary history.

    The reason I like this book is that it informs the reader on our culinary history. It shows the reader how our ancestors eat, what kind of diet they had, and so on. This book also shows the reader why some regions in the world eat what they eat. This book is really good and informative. I recomend this book to any one that loves to cook and learn about cooking.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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