By Felipe Fernández-Armesto
In Near 1000 Tables, acclaimed foodstuff historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto tells the attention-grabbing tale of meals as cultural in addition to culinary historical past -- a window at the background of mankind.
during this "appetizingly provocative" (Los Angeles Times) ebook, he publications readers during the 8 nice revolutions on the planet background of nutrients: the origins of cooking, which set humankind on a direction except different species; the ritualization of consuming, which introduced magic and that means into people's dating with what they ate; the inception of herding and the discovery of agriculture, possibly the 2 maximum revolutions of all; the increase of inequality, which ended in the advance of haute delicacies; the long-range exchange in foodstuff which, virtually by myself, broke down cultural boundaries; the ecological exchanges, which revolutionized the worldwide distribution of crops and farm animals; and, eventually, the industrialization and globalization of heavily produced meals.
From prehistoric snail "herding" to Roman banquets to special Macs to genetically converted tomatoes, Near one thousand Tables is a full-course meal of amazing narrative, terrific perception, and interesting explorations that would fulfill the hungriest of readers.
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Additional info for Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food
In many cases the practice is rooted in ritual and superstition rather than gastronomy, but not always. A French Dominican in the seventeenth century observed that the Caribs had most decided notions ofthe relative merits oftheir enemies. As one would expect, the French were delicious, by far the best. This is no surprise, even allowingfor nationalism. Tbe English came next, I'm glad to say. The Dutch were dull and stodgy and the Spaniards so stringy, they were hardly a meal at all, even boiled.
Just as there are foods credited with inducing lust, others have been adopted as promoters of chastity. Again, it is usually only by a doctrine of sympathetic magic that such recommendations can be justified. O n a visit to Canterbury in the late twelfth century Giraldus Cambrensis vindicated barnacle geese as Lenten food for clergymen on the false assumption that they reproduced without sex and therefore might be expected to nourish without exciting inappropriate lusts. As we shall see in a moment, modern dietetics were founded, in part, in the early nineteenth century, as a result of an attempt to create a diet conducive to chastity.
Among mineral components of food, iodine is needed to keep goiter at bay, calcium against osteoporosis and iron against anemia. The most conspicuous case in history is that of scurvy, which is a deficiency disease pure and simple, caused by lack of the vitamin C in ascorbic acid.