Nectar & Ambrosia

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Now, for the first time, the magic properties and uses of food by both mortals and immortals as represented in the world's myths and legends are brought together and explained in Nectar and Ambrosia. This A–Z volume is filled with an abundance of exotic lore and legend.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fills a major void in the relationship of food to the mythologies, rituals, and rites of many world cultures and peoples."


American Reference Books Annual

"Recommended for academic and large public library reference collections."


Library Journal

"Andrews' work suits the general reader and students and would be a good addition to public and high school libraries."



"Recommended for all collections."



Library Journal
Focusing on foods that have the richest body of myths, Andrews (Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky: An Encyclopedia of Nature Myths) explores the mythical and magical properties different world cultures assigned to various plants, game animals, beverages, spices, and foods. Arranged alphabetically, most entries vary from one to three pages in length and provide the reader with a quick overview of the fabled roles that particular food played in assorted parts of the world. A number of different cultures are represented, including Native American, European, African, and Asian as well as ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome. Two appendixes provide lists of food myths by culture and function such as aphrodisiacs. The nearly exclusive focus on food folklore and legend sets this book apart from standard culinary references like The Oxford Companion to Food (LJ 10/15/99) and Larousse Gastronomique (Crown, 1988. reprint) and folklore references like Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend (1972; HarperCollins, 1984. pap.), which covers fewer food items than Andrews does. Recommended for academic and large public library reference collections.--John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Salmon that granted wisdom, drinks that ensured immortality, and animals and vegetables that bestowed other powers are among the food used by both mortals and immortals for their magical effects that Andrews profiles. The specific foods described include Germanic mead, Aztec amaranth bread shaped like the war god Huitzilopochtli, Babylonian barley wine, beans as a deity to North Americans and evil to Hindus, Chinese edible birds' nests, Roman medicinal cabbage, and Finnish cherries as a fertility drug. The occasional illustrations are monochrome. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
Nectar and Ambrosia draws some unusual and intriguing connections between food and world mythology, examining the magic properties and uses of food through myths and legends. Nectar and Ambrosia will appeal to a wide audience as it provides links between culture and culinary folklore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576070369
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/26/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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