Wall Street Journal
The Oxford Companion to Foodby Alan Davidson
Twenty years in the making and global in scope, this authoritative source is packed with 2,650 A-to-Z entries on food facts and history, food products and how to use them, culinary terms and techniques, food science and diet, and much more. Truly professional in its approach, it features contributions from over 50 specialist authors. From regional and national… See more details below
Twenty years in the making and global in scope, this authoritative source is packed with 2,650 A-to-Z entries on food facts and history, food products and how to use them, culinary terms and techniques, food science and diet, and much more. Truly professional in its approach, it features contributions from over 50 specialist authors. From regional and national cuisines to some of the world's most exotic ingredients, this hefty compendium is a feast for anyone with a serious interest in food.
Wall Street Journal
Alan Davidson, a former British ambassador to Laos and a food expert, spent 20 years assembling this authoritative volume (with contributions from other writers). No recipes but 178 handsome illustrations.
The New York Times
"The 'O.C.F' is so entertainingly written that it's easy to forget it's a work of true scholarship. Published in 1999, it was received with great enthusiasm in and out of the food world and found its way onto thousands of bookshelves."--The New York Times Magazine
"From the day it was published--no, from the day the bound proofs arrived--it became the one basic reference work of food scholarship, the volume to which we will all turn first whenever we have a question about food--historical, cultural, or botanical.... It is undoubtedly the most important encyclopedic volume about food published in our lifetimes."--Vogue
"A food book for all time.... The canon of great food literature just got one fat volume greater.... A must-have for any serious food follower."--Gourmet
"The publishing event of the year, if not the decade.... Alan Davidson, the legendarily learned (and eccentric) former British diplomat and international authority on seafood...and godfather to food scholars around the world, has written most of the 2,650 entries, in itself a stupendous feat.... Everyone seriously interested in food must own this book.... A great achievement."--Corby Kummer, The New York Times Book Review
"It is hard to imagine a more congenial companion than Davidson.... This massive volume is nothing short of the grandest of SMORGASBORDS, a sumptuous BUFFET with more SAVORIES, ZAKUSKI and SWEETIES than your typical state dinner. Davidson spent 23 years working on this book, and one can see why: many of the 2,650 entries are worth a separate volume of their own, if not dozens.... A road map to food with a truly global reach... For serious food historians, this will no doubt become an irreplaceable companion. For those amateurs who are merely fascinated by food and who appreciate lucid and witty writing that seeks to deflate the pretensions of your average gastronome, it will provide hours of amusement."--Time Magazine
"A masterly work with a variety of voices, from the straightforward, almost dry, to the quirky and the witty. It will anchor my other research materials, nudging aside 'Larousse Gastronomique' and Waverly Root's 'Food'.... It's hard not to be awed by 892 pages dense with extremely thorough and well-written entries, enhanced by cross-references and indexes and larded with anecdotes and strong opinions."--Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
"Serendipity is a rewarding way to negotiate this colossal volume. Looking up 'chuck' will lead you to 'chuck wagon,' to 'sourdough,' and to 'sonofabitch stew, a cowboy dish of unusual character'.... Some day the field of food history...will achieve full academic status and respectability. This will be largely thanks to Mr. Davidson's labors and 'The Oxford Companion to Food.'" --Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal
"A culinary sine qua non.... This 892-page tour de force will enlighten you as to the history, cultivation, and flavor of every edible you've ever heard of and hundreds more you never even knew existed." --Men's Journal
"Outstanding.... Davidson deserves the eternal gratitude of researchers everywhere.... Destined to become a classic." --Library Journal
Meet the Author
Alan Davidson is a distinguished author and publisher, and one of the world's best-known writers on fish and fish cookery. In 1975 he retired from the Diplomatic Service--after serving in, amongst other places, Washington, Egypt, Tunisia, and Laos, where he was British Ambassador--to pursue a fruitful third career (his first was in the Navy in World War II) as a food historian and food writer extraordinaire. Among his popular books are North Atlantic Seafood and Mediterranean Seafood. He and his American wife Jane live at World's End in Chelsea, London.
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