Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal

Overview

A staple of the food-writing genre that prefigured the current locavore and foodist movements by almost two decades, Margaret Visser’s Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat, and a cornucopia of incredible details about the ways we do it.
Presented as a meal, each chapter of Much Depends on Dinner represents a different course or garnish, which Margaret Visser handpicks from the most ordinary American dinner: corn on the cob with butter...

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Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Mea

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Overview

A staple of the food-writing genre that prefigured the current locavore and foodist movements by almost two decades, Margaret Visser’s Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat, and a cornucopia of incredible details about the ways we do it.
Presented as a meal, each chapter of Much Depends on Dinner represents a different course or garnish, which Margaret Visser handpicks from the most ordinary American dinner: corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream. Visser tells the story behind each of these foods and in the course of her inquiries reveals some unexpected treats: the history of Corn Flakes; the secret behind the more dissatisfactory California olives (they’re picked green, chemically blackened, and sterilized); and the fact that, in Africa, citrus fruits are eaten whole, rind and all.
For food lovers of all kinds, this intelligent and unexpectedly funny book is a treasure of information that sheds light on one of our favorite pastimes: eating.

Visser takes us back in time to reconstruct the anthropology , mythology, and technology of simple meals.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this immensely learned and attractive book, Visser gives a chapter to each of the nine ingredients of a simple dinner: corn with salt and butter, chicken with rice, lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice, ice cream. Each of these foods has a ``weird, passionate, often savage history of its own,'' which she relates in spirited prose, rich in surprising facts, unexpected connections, and a well-documented outrage at what modern technology and agribusiness have done to purity and quality. This presents a remarkable amount of information seamlessly and entertainingly. Ruth Diebold, MLS, Upper Nyack, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802144935
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 979,095
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.96 (d)

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