History of Food / Edition 2

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Overview

The story of cuisine and the social history of eating is a fascinating one, and Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat covers all its aspects in this classic history.
  • New expanded edition of a classic book, originally published to great critical acclaim from Raymond Blanc, The New York Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent and more
  • Tells the story of man’s relationship with food from earliest times to the present day
  • Includes a new foreword by acclaimed food writer Betty Fussell, a preface by the author, updated bibliography, and a new chapter bringing the story up to date
  • New edition in jacketed hardback, with c.70 illustrations and a new glossy color plate section

"Indispensable, and an endlessly fascinating book. The view is staggering. Not a book to digest at one or several sittings. Savor it instead, one small slice at a time, accompanied by a very fine wine."
–New York Times

"This book is not only impressive for the knowledge it provides, it is unique in its integration of historical anecdotes and factual data. It is a marvellous reference to a great many topics."
–Raymond Blanc

"Quirky, encyclopaedic, and hugely entertaining. A delight."
Sunday Telegraph

"It's the best book when you are looking for very clear but interesting stories. Everything is cross-referenced to an extraordinary degree, which is great because the information given is so complex and interweaving."
The Independent

"A History of Food is a monumental work, a prodigious feat of careful scholarship, patient research and attention to detail. Full of astonishing but insufficiently known facts."
Times Higher Education Supplement

Now in paperback, here is the fascinating, definitive history of cuisine and eating. Magauelonne Toussaint-Samat looks at the transition from a vegetable to an increasingly meat-based diet, as well as the relationship between people and what they eat, between particular foods and social behavior, and between dietary habits and methods of cooking.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book should be in all libraries where history and food are a concern. It gives information that is not available anywhere else. It is well written and fascinating reading." (American Reference Books Annual, 2010)

"A History of Food is a concise yet massively entertaining read that looks at the earliest hunter-gatherer societies and moves on to bring readers right up to the modern day. … It goes quite well with a cup of tea and a biscuit, and dipping in anywhere will uncover something delicious." (Heritage Key, December 2009)

"The reader will be amazed and fascinated by the dizzying array of details about various foods in this 700-page tome." (Choice Reviews, May 2009)

"Classic text … .[Brought] up to date by including 'the latest scientific and technological discoveries' regarding the food we eat." (Contemporary Review, 2009)

"This densely informed history ranges from the first bread loaves to the low-down on cauliflowers. Fab for food geeks, it's one to dip into rather than devour in one go." (Metro, December 2008)

"The second edition of this dense tome is perfect for the historian on your list." (San Francisco Chronicle, December 2008)

"This densely informed history ranges from the first bread loaves to the lowdown on cauliflowers. Fab for food geeks, it's one to dip into rather than devour in one go." (Metro Food Books of the Year, December 2008)

"A fascinating study that starts with the era when we are all still living in trees. Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that’s as much as you can ask from any food book." (Independent, November 2008)

"Forceful and challenging … A powerful, compelling and readable case against biblical literalism and fundamentalism." (Times Higher Education, November 2008)

"Encyclopaedic in scope, the result is never dull … You will find it, I guarantee, unfailingly witty and comprehensively rewarding." (The Glasgow Herald, November 2008)

"Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that's as much as you can ask from any food book." (The Independent, November 2008)

"A fascinating, enormously impressive work which will delight not just the foodie but anyone in social history." (Tribune, November 2008)

"Toussaint Samat presents not just the historical background but the cultural, religious and social impact of food. Extensively researched with quotations from a wide array of historical sources … .Some areas receive more intense scrutiny—wine for example … .A useful source for students or researchers as a strong first reference point and for anyone with a dedicated interest in food history. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries." (Library Journal, November 2008)

"First published in France in 1987, the second edition of this dense tome is perfect for the historian on your list. It explores the 10,000-year-old relationship between humans and food, including facts about foie gras, the history of olive oil and the symbolism of poultry." (San Francisco Chronicle, November 2008)

"A fascinating study that starts with the era when we were still living in trees (yes, really). Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that's as much as you can ask from any food book." (The Independent on Sunday, November 2008)

"A fascinating, enormously impressive work which will delight not just the foodie but anyone interested in social history." (Tribune, November 2008)

"This excellent guide is an exploration of man's relationship with food from the discovery of fire onwards." (The Independent, October 2008)

"This book should be republished and re-titled THE History of Food. It's probably the most remarkable book on the subject I have ever had the pleasure of reading." (Mostly Food Journal, October 2008)

Praise for the First Edition:

"Indispensable, and an endlessly fascinating book. The view is staggering. Not a book to digest at one or several sittings. Savor it instead, one small slice at a time, accompanied by a very fine wine." (New York Times)

"This book is not only impressive for the knowledge it provides, it is unique in its integration of historical anecdotes and factual data. It is a marvellous reference to a great many topics." (Raymond Blanc, Restaurateur Writer)

"Quirky, encyclopaedic, and hugely entertaining. A delight." (Sunday Telegraph)

"It's the best book when you are looking for very clear but interesting stories. Everything is cross-referenced to an extraordinary degree, which is great because the information given is so complex and interweaving." (The Independent)

"A History of Food is a monumental work, a prodigious feat of careful scholarship, patient research and attention to detail. Full of astonishing but insufficiently known facts." (Times Higher Education Supplement)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although this voluminous compendium, mixing social and natural history, is a worthy resource, it lacks verve and narrative coherence. Toussaint-Samat, a French journalist and sociologist, is more accomplished at describing the past, such as the origins of hunting and gathering, than the uses of food today and the development of modern cuisine. The author canvasses the world but emphasizes Europe and especially France, which may interest Francophiles for Toussaint-Samat devotes more attention to foie gras than to pasta. The book contains interesting information--on winemaking at monasteries and the role of merchants in the Middle Ages--but subjects like chocolate and chilis beg for more creative exposition. Illustrations. Dec.
Library Journal

From hunters and gatherers and the onset of agriculture to the rise of commercial foodways, historian Toussaint-Samat presents not just the historical background but the cultural, religious, and social impact of food. Extensively researched, with quotations from a wide array of historical sources, the volume does tend to focus slightly more on Europe than on other parts of the world, although there is a visible effort to provide balanced coverage. While some areas receive more intense scrutiny-wine, for example, rates over 30 pages-other topics are skimmed over: an entire section of the book covering sugar, chocolate, tea, coffee, and confectionaries, all significant introductions, fills only 50 pages. While not precisely a book to be read from cover to cover, this will be a useful source for students or researchers as a strong first reference point and for anyone with a dedicated interest in food history. Changes include a new preface, epilog, updated bibliography, and chapter addressing recent issues relating to food. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries, although those whose collections include the first edition should not consider it an essential update.
—Courtney Greene

From Barnes & Noble
Covers in one volume the history of foodstuffs, the story of cuisine, and the social history of eating. Discusses such aspects as the domestication of animals, farming, dietary issues, the enjoyment of food, more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405181198
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/10/2008
  • Edition description: 2nd, New and Expanded Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 776
  • Sales rank: 476,734
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat is an historian, journalist and writer. She has written for a variety of periodicals in France and published over seventeen books on cuisine, history, and French regional culture. Her books on the Loire and Perigord received commendations from the Academie Française and the Academie du Perigord. Her principal historical interest is in the medieval and renaissance culture of Europe, in particular the domestic economy, food and clothing. She pursues her research in association with the École des Hautes Études.
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Table of Contents

Foreword to the New Expanded Edition by Betty Fussell xiii

Preface xv

List of Illustrations xvi

Acknowledgements xix

Introduction 1

Part I: Collecting Gathering Hunting

From Fire to the Pot 9

1 COLLECTING HONEY 14

Honey in the Golden Age 14

A Taste of Honey 16

Honey in Legend 18

Honey in Nature and History 21

Honey-Cakes, Spice-Bread, Gingerbread 28

Mead and Sacramental Intoxication 30

2 THE HISTORY OF GATHERING 35

The Ancient Pulses 35

The Symbolism of Beans 40

The Etymology (and Entomology) of Haricot Beans 41

The Holy War of Cassoulet 45

Soya: the Most Widely Eaten Plant in the World 46

Soya: Nutritional Facts and Figures 50

Mushrooms and Fungi 50

Roots 57

Table of Vegetable Nutrition 65

3 HUNTING 66

The Great Days and the Decline of Game 66

Nutritional Facts and Figures about Game 79

Part II: Stock-breeding Arable Farming: Meat, Milk, Cereals

The Evidence of Occupied Sites 83

4 THE HISTORY OF MEAT 85

The Birth of Stock-breeding and Society 85

Table of Areas of Origin of the First Domestic Animals 88

Meat-Eating: Likes and Dislikes 89

The Horse, the Spirit of Corn 95

Fat Oxen and Prosperous Butchers 95

5 THE HISTORY OF DAIRY PRODUCE 103

Cheese and Curds 103

Yoghurt: Fermented Milk 108

Butter: the Cream of the Milk 109

The Symbolism of Butter 113

6 THE HISTORY OF CEREALS 114

Cereals as Civilizers 114

The Symbolism of Wheat 117

Table of the Long March of Cereals 118

Imperialist Cereals 119

The Myth of Demeter 126

Everyday Cereals 127

Harvest Festivals 133

Strategic Cereals 134

Rice in the East 139

The Symbolism of Rice 149

Maize in the West 149

Why Maize is Called ‘I Have No More Gumbo’ 159

Why Corn-Cobs are Thin and Small 160

Zuni Legend of Maize Flour 160

From Porridge to Beer 161

The Technique of Brewing Beer 167

The History of Pasta 170

The History of Grain Spirits 176

Part III: The Three Sacramental Foods: Oil, Bread, Wine

The Fundamental Trinity 183

7 THE HISTORY OF OIL 185

Olive Oil 185

The Dietary History of Olive Oil 187

Olive Oil in Legend and Symbolism 191

Making Olive Oil 193

Other Oils 196

Margarine 199

8 THE HISTORY OF BREAD AND CAKES 201

The Bread on the Board 201

The Symbolism of Bread and Cakes 207

Four Stages in the Development of Bread-Making 209

The Taste of Bread 210

The Technique of Bread-Making 214

Our Daily Bread 215

Special Cakes for Sundays 218

9 THE HISTORY OF WINE 223

From the Vine to Wine 223

Dessert Grapes 230

The Technique of Wine-Making 231

The Symbolism of Wine 233

The Legend of Dionysus 235

The Proper Use of Wine 236

Cooking with Wine 249

Wine and God 251

A Wine of Revolution 258

Part IV: The Economy of the Markets

The Centre of the City 265

10 THE HISTORY OF FISH 268

The Fish of the Ancient World 268

A Who’s Who of Sea Fish 272

The Salmonidae: a family of aristocrats 273

Fishing in Legend 277

Extravagance and Economy in Eating Fish 277

The Symbolism of Fish 281

Uses for Less Profitable Fish 284

The Providential Nature of Salt Fish 287

Drying, Salting and Smoking Fish; an Age-Old Procedure 293

Table of the Nutritional values of Fish 294

Aquaculture and Pisciculture: Fish Farming 294

Blue Europe, or the Common Fish Market 298

From Fishing to Our Plates 301

Table of the Economic and Social Potential of a Common Fishing Zone 302

11 THE HISTORY OF POULTRY 305

Facts about Poultry 305

Choosing Poultry 312

The Symbolism of Poultry 319

Eggs: their Uses and Customs 322

Part V: Luxury Foods

The Revels of the Gauls 333

12 TREASURES FROM THE SEA 338

The History of Garum 338

The History of Caviare 339

A Who’s Who of caviare 345

How to Keep Caviare Happy 347

The History of Shellfish and Crustaceans 348

Facts about Crustaceans 356

The History of Shellfish-Farming 359

The Biology of the Oyster 366

The Biology of the Mussel 368

13 THE TREASURE OF THE FORESTS 369

The History of Pork and Charcuterie 369

About Ham 378

Sausages 381

The Symbolism of the Pig 384

The History of Foie Gras 385

Facts about Foie Gras 392

The Symbolism of Liver 393

The History of Truffles 394

Part VI: The Era of the Merchants

Making a Good Profit 403

14 AN ESSENTIAL FOOD 414

The History of Salt 414

The Symbolism of Salt 429

The Technique of Winning Salt 430

15 SPICE AT ANY PRICE 433

About Spices 433

The Secrets of Spices 437

Cinnamon 439

Pepper 441

Ginger 446

Turmeric and Cardamom 450

Cloves 453

The Great Trading Companies 458

Nutmeg and Mace 461

Chillies and Sweet Peppers 464

Aromatics and the Imagination 467

Saffron 467

Vanilla 471

Everyday Condiments and Herbs 473

Herbs 478

The Proper Use of Spices, Aromatics and Condiments 481

The Grocer’s Trade 488

Part VII: New Needs: Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea

Gluttony and Greed for Gain 493

16 THE LURE OF SUGAR 496

Rum, A Sugar Spirit 504

The Legend of Sugar 505

17 CONFECTIONERY AND PRESERVES 507

18 CHOCOLATE AND DIVINITY 515

Definitions of Chocolate 519

19 COFFEE AND POLITICS 521

Coffee from the Islands 530

Coffee in Legend 532

20 TEA AND PHILOSOPHY 535

Tea in Legend 543

The Symbolism of Tea 544

Part VIII: Orchards and Kitchen Gardens

Instructions for the Garden 547

21 THE TRADITION OF FRUITS 558

The Symbolism of the Apple 558

Grafting 561

Dessert Apples 562

Table of Production of Apples in EC Countries, 1982–3 564

Cider and Calvados 567

Pears 572

Plums 575

Peaches 578

The Peach in Legend 581

Apricots 582

The Dietetics of Apricots 584

Cherries 584

The Dietetics of Cherries 585

Strawberries 586

Melons 590

Oranges 593

Growing and Selling Oranges 600

A Who’s Who of Oranges 602

Grapefruit 602

Figs 603

The Symbolism of Figs and The Fig Tree 607

Dates 607

Pineapples 609

Bananas 610

Avocados 612

22 THE EVOLUTION OF VEGETABLES 620

Cabbages 622

Cauliflowers 625

Salad 626

Chicory and Endive 629

Watercress 630

Asparagus 631

Growing Asparagus 633

Artichokes 636

Tomatoes 637

23 THE POTATO REVOLUTION 641

Sweet Chestnuts 645

Potatoes 646

Soufflé Potatoes 653

Part IX: Science and Conscience in the Diet

The Hows and Whys of Quality 659

24 PRESERVING BY HEAT 662

Canned Sardines 668

The Technique of Canning 670

Food Preservation 671

Pasteurized Milk 673

25 PRESERVING BY COLD 675

Quick-Freezing 677

26 THE REASSURANCE OF DIETETICS 680

Vitamins 683

Chronology of Dietary Progress 684

27 A REASSURING FUTURE 690

Notes 706

Select Bibliography of Recent English-Language Works 723

Bibliography to Original Edition 729

Index 733

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2001

    Invaluable!!

    No culinary student or chef- to -be should be without this book. How important is salt beyond the dinner table? Find out where Saltzburg got its name. What three items were deemed by Moses as the sacrificial foods of choice and why. Its one thing to cook and plate food, its another to understand their history. Make youreself a better food-historian and look beyond current cuissene.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 1999

    Spice is nice!

    Are you a lover of food? This book is great--it tells how all these yummy foods and spices came to be. Did you know that in the old days sailors sailed thousands of miles just to get some spices!? Interesting, eh? More fun tidbits. Reads like a comic book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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