Wedding Cakes and Cultural Historyby Simon Charsley, Charsley Simon
Food and its preparation, in particular of so complex an item as a wedding cake, is particularly instructive and vividly illustrates the tradition and traditional values inherent in all foods. At once familiar in form, tradition, and ceremony, it represents a fascination and a range of problems with which anthropologists are only just beginning to work.
The wedding cake is a product of a complex, contingent, and continuing history, which illustrates and challenges theories of "structuralism" and "neo-structuralism." In Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, this fascinating history becomes the basis for a discussion of how use and meaning are involved in the creation of cultural forms. The wedding cake has evolved on a time scale which can readily be encompassed in research and in ways that have been minutely charted in a wealth of successive recipes recorded from the late medieval period and set in Europe, America, and world contexts. In this field at least, the familiar furniture of the contemporary world can be observed taking shape. There can therefore be constructed a base against which to test out old ideas and from which a firmer account of processes of cultural change can be developed.
This fundamental contribution to the history of cakes has much to offer to readers interested in anthropology, material culture, popular ritual and its interpretation, folklore, and food and confectionary. Wedding Cakes and Cultural History is a challenging, yet very readable book which is of interest both for its own distinctive inquiry into cultural change and as an unusual yet accessible introduction to the relativity of culture.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.50(w) x 5.43(h) x 0.28(d)
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >