Anthropologists training to do fieldwork in far-off, unfamiliar places prepare for significant challenges with regard to language, customs, and other cultural differences. However, like other travelers to unknown places, they are often unprepared to deal with the most basic and necessary requirement: food. Although there are many books on the anthropology of food, Adventures in Eating is the first intended to prepare students for the uncomfortable dining situations they may encounter over the course of their careers.
Whether sago grubs, jungle rats, termites, or the pungent durian fruit are on the table, participating in the act of sharing food can establish relationships vital to anthropologists' research practices and knowledge of their host cultures. Using their own experiences with unfamiliar-and sometimes unappealing-food practices and customs, the contributors explore such eating moments and how these moments can produce new understandings of culture and the meaning of food beyond the immediate experience of eating it. They also address how personal eating experiences and culinary dilemmas can shape the data and methodologies of the discipline.
The main readership of Adventures in Eating will be students in anthropology and other scholars, but the explosion of food media gives the book additional appeal for fans of No Reservations and Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.
In Alimentary Tracts Parama Roy argues that who eats and with whom, who starves, and what is rejected as food are questions fundamental to empire, decolonization, and globalization. In crucial ways, she suggests, colonialism reconfigured the sensorium of colonizer and colonized, generating novel experiences of desire, taste, and appetite as well as new technologies of the embodied self. For colonizers, Indian nationalists, diasporic persons, and others in the colonial and postcolonial world orders, the alimentary tract functioned as an important corporeal, psychoaffective, and ethicopolitical contact zone, in which questions of identification, desire, difference, and responsibility were staged.
Interpreting texts that have addressed cooking, dining, taste, hungers, excesses, and aversions in South Asia and its diaspora since the mid-nineteenth century, Roy relates historical events and literary figures to tropes of disgust, abstention, dearth, and appetite. She analyzes the fears of pollution and deprivation conveyed in British accounts of the so-called Mutiny of 1857, complicates understandings of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s vegetarianism, examines the “famine fictions” of the novelist-actor Mahasweta Devi, and reflects on the diasporic cookbooks and screen performances of Madhur Jaffrey. This account of richly visceral global modernity furnishes readers with a new idiom for understanding historical action and cultural transformation.
So close geographically, how could France and England be so enormously far apart gastronomically? Not just in different recipes and ways of cooking, but in their underlying attitudes toward the enjoyment of eating and its place in social life. In a new afterword that draws the United States and other European countries into the food fight, Stephen Mennell also addresses the rise of Asian influence and "multicultural" cuisine.
Debunking myths along the way, All Manners of Food is a sweeping look at how social and political development has helped to shape different culinary cultures. Food and almost everything to do with food, fasting and gluttony, cookbooks, women's magazines, chefs and cooks, types of foods, the influential difference between "court" and "country" food are comprehensively explored and tastefully presented in a dish that will linger in the memory long after the plates have been cleared.
Designed to appeal to students of history and foodies alike, American Appetites, the first book in the University of Arkansas Press’s new Food and Foodways series, brings together compelling firsthand testimony describing the nation’s collective eating habits throughout time. Beginning with Native American folktales that document foundational food habits and ending with contemporary discussions about how to obtain adequate, healthful, and ethical food, this volume reveals that the quest for food has always been about more than physical nourishment, demonstrating changing attitudes about issues ranging from patriotism and gender to technology and race. Readers will experience vicariously hunger and satiation, culinary pleasure and gustatory distress from perspectives as varied as those of enslaved Africans, nineteenth-century socialites, battle-weary soldiers, impoverished immigrants, and prominent politicians. Regardless of their status or the peculiarities of their historical moment, the Americans whose stories are captured here reveal that U.S. history cannot be understood apart from an examination of what drives and what feeds the American appetite.
Judith Farquhar’s innovative study of medicine and popular culture in modern China reveals the thoroughly political and historical character of pleasure. Ranging over a variety of cultural terrains--fiction, medical texts, film and television, journalism, and observations of clinics and urban daily life in Beijing—Appetites challenges the assumption that the mundane enjoyments of bodily life are natural and unvarying. Farquhar analyzes modern Chinese reflections on embodied existence to show how contemporary appetites are grounded in history. From eating well in improving economic times to memories of the late 1950s famine, from the flavors of traditional Chinese medicine to modernity’s private sexual passions, this book argues that embodiment in all its forms must be invented and sustained in public reflections about personal and national life. As much at home in science studies and social theory as in the details of life in Beijing, this account uses anthropology, cultural studies, and literary criticism to read contemporary Chinese life in a materialist and reflexive mode. For both Maoist and market reform periods, this is a story of high culture in appetites, desire in collective life, and politics in the body and its dispositions.
Craving dolphin meatballs? Can't find a reliable restaurant for boiled parrot? Have a hankering for jellyfish omelettes, sows' wombs in brine, sheep's brain pate, or stuffed mice? Look no further than Around the Roman Table, a unique hybrid cookbook and history lesson. A portrait of Roman society from the vantage point of the dining table, kitchen, and market stalls, Around the Roman Table offers both an account of Roman eating customs and 150 recipes reconstructed for the modern cook.
Faas guides readers through the culinary conquests of Roman invasions—as conquerors pillaged foodstuffs from faraway lands—to the decadence of Imperial Rome and its associated table manners, dining arrangements, spices, seasonings, and cooking techniques. With recipes for such appetizing dishes as chicken galantine with lambs' brains and fish relish, Around the Roman Table is ideal for food aficionados who wish to understand how the desire for power and conquest was manifested in Roman appetites.
"There are many misconceptions about the food of ancient Rome that Faas sets out to correct. The result is half cookbook, half history book and is entirely fascinating to both chef and antiquarian alike."—Washington Times
Archaeological case studies that explore the rituals and cultural significance of foods in the southeastern United States
Understanding and explaining societal rules surrounding food and foodways have been the foci of anthropological studies since the early days of the discipline. Baking, Bourbon, and Black Drink: Foodways Archaeology in the American Southeast, however, is the first collection devoted exclusively to southeastern foodways analyzed through archaeological perspectives. These essays examine which foods were eaten and move the discussion of foodstuffs into the sociocultural realm of why, how, and when they were eaten.
Editors Tanya M. Peres and Aaron Deter-Wolf present a volume that moves beyond basic understandings, applying new methods or focusing on subjects not widely discussed in the Southeast to date. Chapters are arranged using the dominant research themes of feasting, social and political status, food security and persistent places, and foodways histories. Contributors provide in-depth examination of specific food topics such as bone marrow, turkey, Black Drink, bourbon, earth ovens, and hominy.
Contributors bring a broad range of expertise to the collection, resulting in an expansive look at all of the steps taken from field to table, including procurement, production, cooking, and consumption, all of which have embedded cultural meanings and traditions. The scope of the volume includes the diversity of research specialties brought to bear on the topic of foodways as well as the temporal and regional breadth and depth, the integration of multiple lines of evidence, and, in some cases, the reinvestigation of well-known sites with new questions and new data.
The importance of the banquet in the late Renaissance is impossible to overlook. Banquets showcased a host’s wealth and power, provided an occasion for nobles from distant places to gather together, and even served as a form of political propaganda. But what was it really like to cater to the tastes and habits of high society at the banquets of nobles, royalty, and popes? What did they eat and how did they eat it?
In The Banquet, Ken Albala covers the transitional period between the heavily spiced and colored cuisine of the Middle Ages and classical French haut cuisine. This development involved increasing use dairy products, a move toward lighter meats such as veal and chicken, increasing identification of national food customs, more sweetness and aromatics, and a refined aesthetic sense, surprisingly in line with the late Renaissance styles found in other arts.
At once a traveler’s tale, a memoir, and a mouthwatering cookbook, Biting through the Skin offers a first-generation immigrant’s perspective on growing up in America’s heartland. Author Nina Mukerjee Furstenau’s parents brought her from Bengal in northern India to the small town of Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1964, decades before you could find long-grain rice or plain yogurt in American grocery stores. Embracing American culture, the Mukerjee family ate hamburgers and softserve ice cream, took a visiting guru out on the lake in their motorboat, and joined the Shriners. Her parents transferred the cultural, spiritual, and family values they had brought with them to their children only behind the closed doors of their home, through the rituals of cooking, serving, and eating Bengali food and making a proper cup of tea.
As a girl and a young woman, Nina traveled to her ancestral India as well as to college and to Peace Corps service in Tunisia. Through her journeys and her marriage to an American man whose grandparents hailed from Germany and Sweden, she learned that her family was not alone in being a small pocket of culture sheltered from the larger world. Biting through the Skin shows how we maintain our differences as well as how we come together through what and how we cook and eat. In mourning the partial loss of her heritage, the author finds that, ultimately, heritage always finds other ways of coming to meet us. In effect, it can be reduced to a 4 x 6-inch recipe card, something that can fit into a shirt pocket. It’s on just such tiny details of life that belonging rests.
In this book, the author shares her shirt-pocket recipes and a great deal more, inviting readers to join her on her journey toward herself and toward a vital sense of food as culture and the mortar of community.
The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in history—and one of the most culinarily inclined. In this powerful and complex concoction of politics, culture, and cuisine, the production and consumption of food reflected the lives of the empire’s citizens from sultans to soldiers. Food bound people of different classes and backgrounds together, defining identity and serving symbolic functions in the social, religious, political, and military spheres. In Bountiful Empire, Priscilla Mary Işın examines the changing meanings of the Ottoman Empire’s foodways as they evolved over more than five centuries.
Işın begins with the essential ingredients of this fascinating history, examining the earlier culinary traditions in which Ottoman cuisine was rooted, such as those of the Central Asian Turks, Abbasids, Seljuks, and Byzantines. She goes on to explore the diverse aspects of this rich culinary culture, including etiquette, cooks, restaurants, military food, food laws, and food trade. Drawing on everything from archival documents to poetry and featuring more than one hundred delectable illustrations, this meticulously researched, beautiful volume offers fresh and lively insight into an empire and cuisine that until recent decades have been too narrowly viewed through orientalist spectacles.
China to Chinatown tells the story of one of the most notable examples of the globalization of food: the spread of Chinese recipes, ingredients and cooking styles to the Western world. Beginning with the accounts of Marco Polo and Franciscan missionaries, J.A.G. Roberts describes how Westerners’ first impressions of Chinese food were decidedly mixed, with many regarding Chinese eating habits as repugnant. Chinese food was brought back to the West merely as a curiosity.
The Western encounter with a wider variety of Chinese cuisine dates from the first half of the 20th century, when Chinese food spread to the West with emigrant communities. The author shows how Chinese cooking has come to be regarded by some as among the world’s most sophisticated cuisines, and yet is harshly criticized by others, for example on the grounds that its preparation involves cruelty to animals.
Roberts discusses the extent to which Chinese food, as a facet of Chinese culture overseas, has remained differentiated, and questions whether its ethnic identity is dissolving.
Written in a lively style, the book will appeal to food historians and specialists in Chinese culture, as well as to readers interested in Chinese cuisine.
Mary Ancho Davis invites everyone to join her at her mother’s table as she recalls her family’s traditions and history and shares special memories from her mother Dominga’s kitchen. From huge cream puffs filled with heavy cream skimmed from the top of raw milk, to recollections of ringing the large iron triangle hanging from a tree branch outside the kitchen door, in Chorizos in an Iron Skillet,Ancho Davis offers wonderful details about life and meals on her family’s Basque ranch.
In this charming cookbook, Mary Ancho Davis traces a path from Old Country traditional dishes to their modern versions as she shares her family’s recipes and details the evolution of Basque cooking in America. A personal cookbook from one Basque family, Chorizos in an Iron Skillet is also an engaging cultural study of culinary traditions that spans several generations of Basque immigration to the American West. With recipes for everything from Chicken with Chocolate and Dominga’s Basque Chorizos to Dried Apricot Pie, these Basque ranch dishes offer a multitude of delicious ideas for down-home cooking.
Illustrated with photographs from the Ancho family, plus helpful advice on ingredients and cooking techniques, Chorizos in an Iron Skillet is the perfect kitchen companion for filling your home with the flavors and aromas of Basque cooking.
When you consider the size of Korea’s population and the breadth of its territory, it’s easy to see that this small region has played a disproportionately large role in twentieth-century history. The peninsula has experienced colonial submission at the hands of Japan, occupation by the United States and the Soviet Union, war, and a national division that continues today.
Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War traces these developments as they played out in an unusual sphere: Korea’s national cuisine, which is savored for its diversity of ingredients and flavor. Katarzyna J. Cwiertka shows that many foods and dietary practices identified as Korean have been created or influenced by its colonial encounters, and she uncovers how the military and the Cold War had an impact on diet in both the North and South. Surveying the manufacture and consumption of rice and soy sauce, the rise of restaurants, wartime food, and the 1990s famine that still affects North Korea, Cwiertka illuminates the persistent legacy of Japanese rule and the consequences of armed conflicts and the Cold War. Bringing us closer to the Korean people and their daily lives, this book shines new light on critical issues in the social history of this peninsula.
2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2017 Association for the Study of Food and Society Award, best edited collection.
The fifteen essays collected in Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop utilize a wide variety of methodological perspectives to explore African American food expressions from slavery up through the present. The volume offers fresh insights into a growing field beginning to reach maturity. The contributors demonstrate that throughout time black people have used food practices as a means of overtly resisting white oppression—through techniques like poison, theft, deception, and magic—or more subtly as a way of asserting humanity and ingenuity, revealing both cultural continuity and improvisational finesse. Collectively, the authors complicate generalizations that conflate African American food culture with southern-derived soul food and challenge the tenacious hold that stereotypical black cooks like Aunt Jemima and the depersonalized Mammy have on the American imagination. They survey the abundant but still understudied archives of black food history and establish an ongoing research agenda that should animate American food culture scholarship for years to come.
Over the years, Boston has been one of America’s leading laboratories of urban culture, including restaurants, and Boston history provides valuable insights into American food ways. James C. O’Connell, in this fascinating look at more than two centuries of culinary trends in Boston restaurants, presents a rich and hitherto unexplored side to the city’s past. Dining Out in Boston shows that the city was a pioneer in elaborate hotel dining, oyster houses, French cuisine, student hangouts, ice cream parlors, the twentieth-century revival of traditional New England dishes, and contemporary locavore and trendy foodie culture. In these stories of the most-beloved Boston restaurants of yesterday and today—illustrated with an extensive collection of historic menus, postcards, and photos—O’Connell reveals a unique history sure to whet the intellectual and nostalgic appetite of Bostonians and restaurant-goers the world over.
What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of waffles, of course, but these staples of breakfast bounty also share an evolutionary function: eggs, seeds (from which we derive flour by grinding), and milk have each evolved to nourish offspring. Indeed, ponder the genesis of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and you’ll soon realize that everything we eat and drink has an evolutionary history. In Dinner with Darwin, join Jonathan Silvertown for a multicourse meal of evolutionary gastronomy, a tantalizing tour of human taste that helps us to understand the origins of our diets and the foods that have been central to them for millennia—from spices to spirits.
A delectable concoction of coevolution and cookery, gut microbiomes and microherbs, and both the chicken and its egg, Dinner with Darwin reveals that our shopping lists, recipe cards, and restaurant menus don’t just contain the ingredients for culinary delight. They also tell a fascinating story about natural selection and its influence on our plates—and palates. Digging deeper, Silvertown’s repast includes entrées into GMOs and hybrids, and looks at the science of our sensory interactions with foods and cooking—the sights, aromas, and tastes we experience in our kitchens and dining rooms. As is the wont of any true chef, Silvertown packs his menu with eclectic components, dishing on everything from Charles Darwin’s intestinal maladies to taste bud anatomy and turducken.
Our evolutionary relationship with food and drink stretches from the days of cooking cave dwellers to contemporary crêperies and beyond, and Dinner with Darwin serves up scintillating insight into the entire, awesome span. This feast of soup, science, and human society is one to savor. With a wit as dry as a fine pinot noir and a cache of evolutionary knowledge as vast as the most discerning connoisseur’s wine cellar, Silvertown whets our appetites—and leaves us hungry for more.
For the past four decades, increasing numbers of Americans have started paying greater attention to the food they eat, buying organic vegetables, drinking fine wines, and seeking out exotic cuisines. Yet they are often equally passionate about the items they refuse to eat: processed foods, generic brands, high-carb meals. While they may care deeply about issues like nutrition and sustainable agriculture, these discriminating diners also seek to differentiate themselves from the unrefined eater, the common person who lives on junk food.
Discriminating Taste argues that the rise of gourmet, ethnic, diet, and organic foods must be understood in tandem with the ever-widening income inequality gap. Offering an illuminating historical perspective on our current food trends, S. Margot Finn draws numerous parallels with the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, an era infamous for its class divisions, when gourmet dinners, international cuisines, slimming diets, and pure foods first became fads.
Examining a diverse set of cultural touchstones ranging from Ratatouille to The Biggest Loser, Finn identifies the key ways that “good food” has become conflated with high status. She also considers how these taste hierarchies serve as a distraction, leading middle-class professionals to focus on small acts of glamorous and virtuous consumption while ignoring their class’s larger economic stagnation. A provocative look at the ideology of contemporary food culture, Discriminating Taste teaches us to question the maxim that you are what you eat.
Early French Cookery introduces the general features of the food prepared for wealthy French households at the end of the Middle Ages. The volume presents over 100 recipes, drawn from actual medieval manuscripts, together with preparation instructions. The authors help place these enticing recipes in context through a short survey of medieval dining behavior, and they give practical menu suggestions for preparing simple meals or banquets that incorporate these delightfully tasty dishes.
Chapters include an overview of early French culinary traditions, foodstuffs that were used, and methods of preparation. Early French Cookery also discusses the equipment of the kitchens and dining rooms that were used, and characterizes those who prepared the food and those who consumed it.
The recipes are set out in a modern format, with quantities given in both metric and standard U.S. measurements. Recipes are grouped by category: appetizers, vegetables, fish dishes, desserts, and so forth.
Early French Cookery concludes with a fascinating look at a day in the life of a contemporary master chef at a duke's court. We watch Master Chiquart organize the purchase, storage, preparation, and serving of the food consumed by a duke and his dozens of family members, courtiers, staff and servants--and all done without benefit of grocery stores, refrigeration, labor-saving electric appliances, or running water.
Early French Cookery will be of interest to a wide variety of people, from those who like to hold unusual parties to those who are interested in the economics of the middle ages.
D. Eleanor Scully is an occasional lecturer at the Stratford Chef School and advisor to Wilfrid Laurier University on Medieval and Renaissance cooking and customs. Terence Scully is Professor of French Language and Literature, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.
Hailed as a classic when initially published in 1961, Eat Not This Flesh was the first book that explored, from a historical and cultural perspective, taboos against eating certain kinds of flesh. Frederick J. Simoons's research remains original and invaluable, the only attempt of its kind to reconstruct the origin and spread of food avoidances while challenging current Western explanations. In this expanded and updated edition, Simoons integrates new research as he examines the use and avoidance of flesh foods—including beef, pork, chicken, and eggs, camel, dog, horse, and fish—from antiquity to the present day.
Simoons suggests that Westerners are too ready, even in the absence of supporting evidence, to cite contemporary thinking about disease and environmental factors to explain why certain cultures avoid particular kinds of meat. He demonstrates how historical and archaeological evidence fails to support such explanations. He examines the origin of pork rejection in the Near East, explores the concept of the sacred cow in India and the ensuing ban on beef, and reveals how some African women abstain from chicken and eggs, fearing infertility.
While no single explanation exists for food taboos, Simoons finds that the powerful, recurrent theme of maintaining ritual purity, good health, and well-being underlies diet habits. He emphasizes that only a full range of factors can explain eating patterns, and he stresses the interplay of religious, moral, hygienic, ecological, and economic factors in the context of human culture. Maps, drawings, and photos highlighting food avoidance patterns in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific provide additional information throughout the book.
While eating is a universal experience, for Singaporeans it carries strong national connotations. The popular Singaporean-English phrase "Die die must try" is not so much hyperbole as it is a reflection of the lengths that Singaporeans will go to find great dishes.
In Eating Her Curries and Kway: A Cultural History of Food in Singapore, Nicole Tarulevicz argues that in a society that has undergone substantial change in a relatively short amount of time, food serves Singaporeans as a poignant connection to the past. Covering the period from British settlement in 1819 to the present and focusing on the post–1965 postcolonial era, Tarulevicz tells the story of Singapore through the production and consumption of food.
Analyzing a variety of sources that range from cookbooks to architectural and city plans, Tarulevicz offers a thematic history of this unusual country, which was colonized by the British and operated as a port within Malaya, but which is without a substantial pre-colonial history. Connecting food culture to the larger history of Singapore, she discusses various topics including domesticity and home economics, housing and architecture, advertising, and the regulation of food-related manners and public behavior such as hawking, littering, and chewing gum. Moving away from the predominantly political and economic focus of other histories of Singapore, Tarulevicz provides an important alternative reading of Singaporean society.
People have long used wild plants as food and medicine, and for a myriad of other important cultural applications. While these plants and the foraging activities associated with them have been dismissed by some observers as secondary or supplementary—or even backward—their contributions to human survival and well-being are more significant than is often realized. Eating on the Wild Side spans the history of human-plant interactions to examine how wild plants are used to meet medicinal, nutritional, and other human needs.
Drawing on nonhuman primate studies, evidence from prehistoric human populations, and field research among contemporary peoples practicing a range of subsistence strategies, the book focuses on the processes and human ecological implications of gathering, semidomestication, and cultivation of plants that are unfamiliar to most of us. Contributions by distinguished cultural and biological anthropologists, paleobotanists, primatologists, and ethnobiologists explore a number of issues such as the consumption of unpalatable and famine foods, the comparative assessment of aboriginal diets with those of colonists and later arrivals, and the apparent self-treatment by sick chimpanzees with leaves shown to be pharmacologically active.
Collectively, these articles offer a theoretical framework emphasizing the cultural evolutionary processes that transform plants from wild to domesticated—with many steps in between—while placing wild plant use within current discussions surrounding biodiversity and its conservation. Eating on the Wild Side makes an important contribution to our understanding of the links between biology and culture, describing the interface between diet, medicine, and natural products. By showing how various societies have successfully utilized wild plants, it underscores the growing concern for preserving genetic diversity as it reveals a fascinating chapter in the human ecology.
1. The Cull of the Wild, Nina L. Etkin
2. Agriculture and the Acquisition of Medicinal Plant Knowledge, Michael H. Logan & Anna R. Dixon
3. Ambivalence to the Palatability Factors in Wild Food Plants, Timothy Johns
4. Wild Plants as Cultural Adaptations to Food Stress, Rebecca Huss-Ashmore & Susan L. Johnston Physiologic Implications of Wild Plant Consumption
5. Pharmacologic Implications of "Wild" Plants in Hausa Diet, Nina L. Etkin & Paul J. Ross
6. Wild Plants as Food and Medicine in Polynesia, Paul Alan Cox
7. Characteristics of "Wild" Plant Foods Used by Indigenous Populations in Amazonia, Darna L. Dufour & Warren M. Wilson
8. The Health Significance of Wild Plants for the Siona and Secoya, William T. Vickers
9. North American Food and Drug Plants, Daniel M. Moerman Wild Plants in Prehistory
10. Interpreting Wild Plant Foods in the Archaeological Record, Frances B. King
11. Coprolite Evidence for Prehistoric Foodstuffs, Condiments, and Medicines, Heather B. Trigg, Richard I. Ford, John G. Moore & Louise D. Jessop Plants and Nonhuman Primates
12. Nonhuman Primate Self-Medication with Wild Plant Foods, Kenneth E. Glander
13. Wild Plant Use by Pregnant and Lactating Ringtail Lemurs, with Implications for Early Hominid Foraging, Michelle L. Sauther Epilogue
14. In Search of Keystone Societies, Brien A. Meilleur
Eating Right in America is a powerful critique of dietary reform in the United States from the late nineteenth-century emergence of nutritional science through the contemporary alternative food movement and campaign against obesity. Charlotte Biltekoff analyzes the discourses of dietary reform, including the writings of reformers, as well as the materials they created to bring their messages to the public. She shows that while the primary aim may be to improve health, the process of teaching people to "eat right" in the U.S. inevitably involves shaping certain kinds of subjects and citizens, and shoring up the identity and social boundaries of the ever-threatened American middle class. Without discounting the pleasures of food or the value of wellness, Biltekoff advocates a critical reappraisal of our obsession with diet as a proxy for health. Based on her understanding of the history of dietary reform, she argues that talk about "eating right" in America too often obscures structural and environmental stresses and constraints, while naturalizing the dubious redefinition of health as an individual responsibility and imperative.
Eating the Ocean
Elspeth Probyn Duke University Press, 2016 Library of Congress GT2850.P76 2016
In Eating the Ocean Elspeth Probyn investigates the profound importance of the ocean and the future of fish and human entanglement. On her ethnographic journey around the world's oceans and fisheries, she finds that the ocean is being simplified in a food politics that is overwhelmingly land based and preoccupied with buzzwords like "local" and "sustainable." Developing a conceptual tack that combines critical analysis and embodied ethnography, she dives into the lucrative and endangered bluefin tuna market, the gendered politics of "sustainability," the ghoulish business of producing fish meal and fish oil for animals and humans, and the long history of encounters between humans and oysters. Seeing the ocean as the site of the entanglement of multiple species—which are all implicated in the interactions of technology, culture, politics, and the market—enables us to think about ways to develop a reflexive ethics of taste and place based in the realization that we cannot escape the food politics of the human-fish relationship.
An insightful map of the landscape of social meals, Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality argues that the ways in which Americans eat together play a central role in social life in the United States. Delving into a wide range of research, Alice P. Julier analyzes etiquette and entertaining books from the past century and conducts interviews and observations of dozens of hosts and guests at dinner parties, potlucks, and buffets. She finds that when people invite friends, neighbors, or family members to share meals within their households, social inequalities involving race, economics, and gender reveal themselves in interesting ways: relationships are defined, boundaries of intimacy or distance are set, and people find themselves either excluded or included.
" . . . provides valuable information for the specialist in American studies, and for the anthropologist or folklorist focusing on food use, and may also be of interest to the general reading audience. With such a wide appeal, the book may not only document the American romance with ethnic foods, but may contribute to it as well."
—Joanne Wagner, Anthropological Quarterly
How do customs surrounding the preparation and consumption of food define minorities within a population? The question receives fascinating and multifaceted answers in this book, which considers a smorgasbord of dishes that sustain group identity and often help to bridge inter-group barriers.
The essays explore the symbolic meaning of shared foodways in interpreting inter- and intra-group behavior, with attention to theoretical problems and the implications of foodways research for public policy. Topics receiving rewarding analysis in this volume include food festivals, modes of food preparation, meal cycles, seasonal celebrations, nutrition education, and the government's inattention to ethnic customs in forumlating its food policies.
Feast or Famine is the first comprehensive account of food and drink in the winning of the West, describing the sustenance of successive generations of western pioneers. Drawing on journals of settlers and travelers—as well as a lifetime of research on the American West—Reginald Horsman examines more than one hundred years of history, from the first advance of explorers into the Mississippi valley to the movement of ranchers and farmers onto the Great Plains, recording not only the components of their diets but food preparation techniques as well.
Most settlers were able to obtain food beyond the dreams of ordinary Europeans, for whom meat was a luxury. Not only were buffalo, deer, and wild turkey there for the taking, pioneers also gathered greens such as purslane, dandelion, and pigweed—as well as wild fruits, berries, and nuts. They replaced sugar with wild honey or maple syrup, and when they had no tea, they made drinks out of sage, sassafras, and mint. Horsman also reveals the willingness of Indians to convey their knowledge of food to newcomers, sharing salmon in the Pacific Northwest, agricultural crops in the arid Southwest.
Horsman tells how agricultural expansion and transportation opened a veritable cornucopia and how the development of canning soon made it possible for meals to transcend simple frontier foods, with canned oysters and crystallized eggs in airtight cans on merchants’ shelves. He covers food on different regional frontiers, as well as the cuisines of particular groups such as fur traders, soldiers, miners, and Mormons. He also discusses food shortages that resulted from poor preparation, temporary scarcity of game, marginal soil, or simply bad luck. At times, as with the ill-fated Donner Party, pioneers starved.
Engagingly written and meticulously researched, Feast or Famine is a one-of-a-kind look at a subject too long ignored in histories of the West. By revealing the spectrum of frontier fare across years and regions, it shows us that the land of opportunity was often a land of plenty.
From dal to samosas, paneer to vindaloo, dosa to naan, Indian food is diverse and wide-ranging—unsurprising when you consider India’s incredible range of climates, languages, religions, tribes, and customs. Its cuisine differs from north to south, yet what is it that makes Indian food recognizably Indian, and how did it get that way? To answer those questions, Colleen Taylor Sen examines the diet of the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, describing the country’s cuisine in the context of its religious, moral, social, and philosophical development.
Exploring the ancient indigenous plants such as lentils, eggplants, and peppers that are central to the Indian diet, Sen depicts the country’s agricultural bounty and the fascination it has long held for foreign visitors. She illuminates how India’s place at the center of a vast network of land and sea trade routes led it to become a conduit for plants, dishes, and cooking techniques to and from the rest of the world. She shows the influence of the British and Portuguese during the colonial period, and she addresses India’s dietary prescriptions and proscriptions, the origins of vegetarianism, its culinary borrowings and innovations, and the links between diet, health, and medicine. She also offers a taste of Indian cooking itself—especially its use of spices, from chili pepper, cardamom, and cumin to turmeric, ginger, and coriander—and outlines how the country’s cuisine varies throughout its many regions.
Lavishly illustrated with one hundred images, Feasts and Fasts is a mouthwatering tour of Indian food full of fascinating anecdotes and delicious recipes that will have readers devouring its pages.
Food Across Borders
Garcia, Matt Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress GT2853.N7F66 2017 | Dewey Decimal 394.12097
The act of eating defines and redefines borders. What constitutes “American” in our cuisine has always depended on a liberal crossing of borders, from “the line in the sand” that separates Mexico and the United States, to the grassland boundary with Canada, to the imagined divide in our collective minds between “our” food and “their” food. Immigrant workers have introduced new cuisines and ways of cooking that force the nation to question the boundaries between “us” and “them.”
The stories told in Food Across Borders highlight the contiguity between the intimate decisions we make as individuals concerning what we eat and the social and geopolitical processes we enact to secure nourishment, territory, and belonging.
Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.
<P>In the 1960s and early 1970s, countercultural rebels decided that, rather than confront the system, they would create the world they wanted. The natural foods movement grew out of this contrarian spirit. Through a politics of principled shopping, eating, and entrepreneurship, food revolutionaries dissented from corporate capitalism and mainstream America.</P><P>In Food for Dissent, Maria McGrath traces the growth of the natural foods movement from its countercultural fringe beginning to its twenty-first-century "food revolution" ascendance, focusing on popular natural foods touchstones -- vegetarian cookbooks, food co-ops, and health advocates. Guided by an ideology of ethical consumption, these institutions and actors spread the movement's oppositionality and transformed America's foodscape, at least for some. Yet this strategy proved an uncertain instrument for the advancement of social justice, environmental defense, and anti-corporatism. The case studies explored in Food for Dissent indicate the limits of using conscientious eating, shopping, and selling as tools for civic activism.</P>
Vegan, low fat, low carb, slow carb: Every diet seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health. But they ignore the diversity of human genes and how they interact with what we eat.
In Food, Genes, and Culture, renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you’re Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps.
Nabhan traces food traditions around the world, from Bali to Mexico, uncovering the links between ancestry and individual responses to food. The implications go well beyond personal taste. Today’s widespread mismatch between diet and genes is leading to serious health conditions, including a dramatic growth over the last 50 years in auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
Readers will not only learn why diabetes is running rampant among indigenous peoples and heart disease has risen among those of northern European descent, but may find the path to their own perfect diet.
Corn, squash, and beans from the Native Americans; barbecue sauces from the Spanish; potatoes and sausages from the Germans: Missouri's foods include a bountiful variety of ingredients. In Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew, Madeline Matson takes readers on an enticing journey through the history of this state's food, from the hunting and farming methods of the area's earliest inhabitants, through the contributions of the state's substantial African American population, to the fast-food purveyors of the microwave age.
Tracing the history of food preparation, preservation, and marketing, while highlighting the cultural traditions that engendered each change, Matson shows how advances in farming methods, the invention of the electric range, the development of cookbooks, and three waves of immigration have profoundly influenced what Missourians eat today. Along the way, she highlights some of the key people, places, and institutions in Missouri's food history: Irma S. Rombauer, author of Joy of Cooking; Stark Bro's Nurseries and Orchards in Louisiana, Missouri, the largest family-owned fruit-tree nursery in the world and the home of Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala apples; St. Louis's Soulard Market, established in 1779 and said to be the oldest public market west of the Mississippi; and Stone Hill Winery, a leader in Hermann's nationally recognized wine- making industry.
By bringing to life the traditions behind the foods we eat every day, Food in Missouri provides a unique perspective on the people who explored and settled the state, showing that Missouri's rich heritage truly is a cultural stew.
Food was incredibly diverse in post–Civil War America. It was an era of gross income inequality, and differences in diet reflected the deep disparities between upper and lower classes, as well as the expansion of a flourishing middle class. In this book, excerpts from a wide range of Gilded Age sources—from period cookbooks to advice manuals to dietary studies—reveal how jarringly eating and cooking differed between classes and regions at a time when technology and industrialization were transforming what and how people ate. Most of all, they show how strongly the fabled glitz of wealthy Americans in the Gilded Age contrasted with the lives of most Americans. Featuring a variety of sources as well as accessible essays putting those sources into context, this book provides a remarkable portrait of food in a singular era in American history, giving a glimpse into the kinds of meals eaten everywhere from high society banquets to the meanest tenements and sharecropping cabins.
Cookbooks offer a unique and valuable way to examine American life. Their lessons, however, are not always obvious. Direct references to the American Civil War were rare in cookbooks, even in those published right in the middle of it. In part, this is a reminder that lives went on and that dinner still appeared on most tables most nights, no matter how much the world was changing outside. But people accustomed to thinking of cookbooks as a source for recipes, and not much else, can be surprised by how much information they can reveal about the daily lives and ways of thinking of the people who wrote and used them. In this fascinating historical compilation, excerpts from five Civil War–era cookbooks present a compelling portrait of cooking and eating in the urban north of the 1860s United States.
Almost immediately, the Civil War transformed the way Southerners ate, devastating fields and food transportation networks. The war also spurred Southerners to canonize prewar cooking styles, resulting in cuisine that retained nineteenth-century techniques in a way other American cuisines did not. This fascinating book presents a variety of Civil War-era recipes from the South, accompanied by eye-opening essays describing this tumultuous period in the way people lived and ate. The cookbooks excerpted here teem with the kinds of recipes we expect to find when we go looking for Southern food: grits and gumbo, succotash and Hopping John, catfish, coleslaw, watermelon pickles, and sweet potato pie. The cookbooks also offer plenty of surprises. This volume, the second in the American Food in History series, sheds new light on cooking and eating in the Civil War South, pointing out how seemingly neutral recipes can reveal unexpected things about life beyond the dinner plate, from responses to the anti-slavery movement to shifting economic imperatives to changing ideas about women’s roles. Together, these recipes and essays provide a unique portrait of Southern life via the flavors, textures, and techniques that grew out of a time of crisis.
Blue Ridge tacos, kimchi with soup beans and cornbread, family stories hiding in cookbook marginalia, African American mountain gardens—this wide-ranging anthology considers all these and more. Diverse contributors show us that contemporary Appalachian tables and the stories they hold offer new ways into understanding past, present, and future American food practices. The poets, scholars, fiction writers, journalists, and food professionals in these pages show us that what we eat gives a beautifully full picture of Appalachia, where it’s been, and where it’s going.
Contributors: Courtney Balestier, Jessie Blackburn, Karida L. Brown, Danille Elise Christensen, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Michael Croley, Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, Robert Gipe, Suronda Gonzalez, Emily Hilliard, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Abigail Huggins, Erica Abrams Locklear, Ronni Lundy, George Ella Lyon, Jeff Mann, Daniel S. Margolies, William Schumann, Lora E. Smith, Emily Wallace, Crystal Wilkinson
“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”—Epicurus
This fascinating book examines the biology and culture of foods and beverages that are consumed in communal settings, with special attention to their health implications. Nina Etkin covers a wealth of topics, exploring human evolutionary history, the Slow Food movement, ritual and ceremonial foods, caffeinated beverages, spices, the street foods of Hawaii and northern Nigeria, and even bottled water. Her work is framed by a biocultural perspective that considers both the physiological implications of consumption and the cultural construction and circulation of foods. For Etkin, the foods and beverages we consume are simultaneously “biodynamic substances and cultural objects.”
The book begins with a look at the social eating habits of our primate relatives and discusses our evolutionary adaptations. It then offers a history of social foods in the era of European expansion, with a focus on spices and “caffeinated cordials.” (Of course, there were some powerful physiological consequences of eating foods brought home by returning explorers, and those are considered too—along with consequences for native peoples.) From there, the book describes “street food,” which is always served in communal settings. Etkin then scrutinizes ceremonial foods and beverages, and considers their pharmacological effects as well. Her extensive examination concludes by assessing the biological and cultural implications of bottled water.
While intended primarily for scholars, this enticing book serves up a tantalizing smorgasbord of food for thought.
Forging Communities explores the importance of the cultivation, provision, trade, and exchange of foods and beverages to mankind’s technological advancement, violent conquest, and maritime exploration. The thirteen essays here show how the sharing of food and drink forged social, religious, and community bonds, and how ceremonial feasts as well as domestic daily meals strengthened ties and solidified ethnoreligious identity through the sharing of food customs. The very act of eating and the pleasure derived from it are metaphorically linked to two other sublime activities of the human experience: sexuality and the search for the divine.
This interdisciplinary study of food in medieval and early modern communities connects threads of history conventionally examined separately or in isolation. The intersection of foodstuffs with politics, religion, economics, and culture enhances our understanding of historical developments and cultural continuities through the centuries, giving insight that today, as much as in the past, we are what we eat and what we eat is never devoid of meaning.
According to public health officials, obesity poses significant health risks and has become a modern-day epidemic. A closer look at this so-called epidemic, however, suggests that there are multiple perspectives on the fat body, not all of which view obesity as a health hazard.
Alongside public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advertisers of the fashion-beauty complex, food industry advocates at the Center for Consumer Freedom, and activists at the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.
Framing Fat takes a bird’s-eye view of how these multiple actors construct the fat body by identifying the messages these groups put forth, particularly where issues of beauty, health, choice and responsibility, and social justice are concerned. Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves examine how laypersons respond to these conflicting messages and illustrate the gendered, raced, and classed implications within them. In doing so, they shed light on how dominant ideas about body fat have led to the moral indictment of body nonconformists, essentially “framing” them for their fat bodies.
From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express takes readers on a compelling journey from the California Gold Rush to the present, letting readers witness both the profusion of Chinese restaurants across the United States and the evolution of many distinct American-Chinese iconic dishes from chop suey to General Tso’s chicken. Along the way, historian Haiming Liu explains how the immigrants adapted their traditional food to suit local palates, and gives readers a taste of Chinese cuisine embedded in the bittersweet story of Chinese Americans.
Treating food as a social history, Liu explores why Chinese food changed and how it has influenced American culinary culture, and how Chinese restaurants have become places where shared ethnic identity is affirmed—not only for Chinese immigrants but also for American Jews. The book also includes a look at national chains like P. F. Chang’s and a consideration of how Chinese food culture continues to spread around the globe.
Drawing from hundreds of historical and contemporary newspaper reports, journal articles, and writings on food in both English and Chinese, From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express represents a groundbreaking piece of scholarly research. It can be enjoyed equally as a fascinating set of stories about Chinese migration, cultural negotiation, race and ethnicity, diverse flavored Chinese cuisine and its share in American food market today.
Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food is a practical food history lesson, an editorial on our use of packaged convenience foods, and a call to arms—of the kitchen variety. Mixing food writing and history, adding a dash of cookbook, author and scholar Ken Albala shares the story of what happened when he started taking food history seriously and embarked on a mission to grow, cook, and share food in the ways that people did in the past.
Albala considers what the traditions we have needlessly lost have to offer us today: a serious appreciation for the generative power of the earth, the great pleasures of cooking food, and the joy of sharing food with family, friends, and even strangers. In Albala’s compelling book, obscure seventeenth-century Italian farmer-nobles, Roman statesmen, and quirky cheesemakers from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries all offer lessons about our relationship with the food we eat.
A rare form of historical activism, Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food is written for anyone who likes to eat, loves to cook, and knows how to throw a great dinner party.
An OSU Press Horning Visiting Scholars Publication.
Hungering for America
Hasia R. DINER Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress GT2853.U5D54 2001 | Dewey Decimal 394.1208691
Millions of immigrants were drawn to American shores, not by the mythic streets paved with gold, but rather by its tables heaped with food. How they experienced the realities of America’s abundant food—its meat and white bread, its butter and cheese, fruits and vegetables, coffee and beer—reflected their earlier deprivations and shaped their ethnic practices in the new land.
Hungering for America tells the stories of three distinctive groups and their unique culinary dramas. Italian immigrants transformed the food of their upper classes and of sacred days into a generic “Italian” food that inspired community pride and cohesion. Irish immigrants, in contrast, loath to mimic the foodways of the Protestant British elite, diminished food as a marker of ethnicity. And East European Jews, who venerated food as the vital center around which family and religious practice gathered, found that dietary restrictions jarred with America’s boundless choices.
These tales, of immigrants in their old worlds and in the new, demonstrate the role of hunger in driving migration and the significance of food in cementing ethnic identity and community. Hasia Diner confirms the well-worn adage, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”
In The Immigrant Kitchen: Food, Ethnicity, and Diaspora, Vivian Nun Halloran examines food memoirs by immigrants and their descendants and reveals how their treatment of food deeply embeds concerns about immigrant identity in the United States. Halloran argues that by offering a glimpse into the authors’ domestic lives through discussions of homemade food, these memoirs demystify the processes of immigration, assimilation, acculturation, and expatriation—ultimately examining what it means to live as naturalized citizens of the United States. Having grown up hearing about their parents’ often fraught experiences of immigration, these authors examine the emotional toll these stories took and how such stories continue to affect their view of themselves as Americans. Halloran covers a wide swathe of immigrant food memoirs, moving seamlessly between works by authors such as Austin Clarke, Madhur Jaffrey, Kim Sunée, Diana Abu-Jaber, Eduardo Machado, Colette Rossant, Maya Angelou, and Jonathan Safran Foer.
The Immigrant Kitchen describes how these memoirs function as a complex and engaging mass media genre that caters to multiple reading constituencies. Specifically, they entertain readers with personal anecdotes and recollections, teach new culinary skills through recipes, share insight into different cultural mores through ethnographic and reportorial discussions of life in other countries, and attest to the impact that an individual’s legal immigration into the United States continues to have down through the generations of his or her American-born families.
The anthropology of food is an area of research in which economic, social, and political dynamics interact in incredibly complex ways. Using archaeological case studies from around the globe, Inside Ancient Kitchens presents new perspectives on the comparative study of prehistoric meals from Peru to the Philippines. Inside Ancient Kitchens builds upon the last decade of feasting studies and presents two unique goals for broadening the understanding of prehistoric meals. First, the volume focuses on the study of meal preparation through the analysis of temporary and permanent kitchen areas. This move to focus "behind the scenes" is aimed at determining how, where, and by whom meals were financed and prepared. Secondly, data from these preparation contexts are used to differentiate between household-level and suprahousehold-level meals in each case study, resulting in more nuanced typologies of daily meals, feasts, and other food-related events. Inside Ancient Kitchens presents an important step in the development of new methodological and theoretical approaches within the anthropology of food and will be of great interest to scholars studying the social dynamics, labor organization, and political relationships underlying prehistoric meals.
Looking at the historic Italian American community of East Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, Simone Cinotto recreates the bustling world of Italian life in New York City and demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children. From generational conflicts resolved around the family table to a vibrant food-based economy of ethnic producers, importers, and restaurateurs, food was essential to the creation of an Italian American identity. Italian American foods offered not only sustenance but also powerful narratives of community and difference, tradition and innovation as immigrants made their way through a city divided by class conflict, ethnic hostility, and racialized inequalities.
Drawing on a vast array of resources including fascinating, rarely explored primary documents and fresh approaches in the study of consumer culture, Cinotto argues that Italian immigrants created a distinctive culture of food as a symbolic response to the needs of immigrant life, from the struggle for personal and group identity to the pursuit of social and economic power. Adding a transnational dimension to the study of Italian American foodways, Cinotto recasts Italian American food culture as an American "invention" resonant with traces of tradition.
Ask children where food comes from, and they’ll probably answer: “the supermarket.” Ask most adults, and their replies may not be much different. Where our foods are raised and what happens to them between farm and supermarket shelf have become mysteries. How did we become so disconnected from the sources of our breads, beef, cheeses, cereal, apples, and countless other foods that nourish us every day?
Ann Vileisis’s answer is a sensory-rich journey through the history of making dinner. Kitchen Literacy takes us from an eighteenth-century garden to today’s sleek supermarket aisles, and eventually to farmer’s markets that are now enjoying a resurgence. Vileisis chronicles profound changes in how American cooks have considered their foods over two centuries and delivers a powerful statement: what we don’t know could hurt us.
As the distance between farm and table grew, we went from knowing particular places and specific stories behind our foods’ origins to instead relying on advertisers’ claims. The woman who raised, plucked, and cooked her own chicken knew its entire life history while today most of us have no idea whether hormones were fed to our poultry. Industrialized eating is undeniably convenient, but it has also created health and environmental problems, including food-borne pathogens, toxic pesticides, and pollution from factory farms.
Though the hidden costs of modern meals can be high, Vileisis shows that greater understanding can lead consumers to healthier and more sustainable choices. Revealing how knowledge of our food has been lost and how it might now be regained, Kitchen Literacy promises to make us think differently about what we eat.
The spicy tang of kimchi, the richness of Korean barbecue, the hearty flavors of bibimbap: Korean cuisine is savored the world over for its diversity of ingredients and flavors. Michael Pettid offers here a lushly illustrated historical account of Korean food and its intricate relationship with the nation’s culture.
Over the last twelve centuries, Korean food dishes and their complex preparations have evolved along with the larger cultural and political upheaval experienced by the nation. Pettid charts this historical development of the cuisine, exploring the ways that regional distinctions and historical transformations played out in the Korean diet—including the effects of wartime food shortages and preparation techniques. Underlying all these dishes are complicated philosophical and aesthetic considerations, and Pettid delves into their impact on everything from the rituals associated with group meals or drinks with friends to the strict rules governing combinations of dishes and ingredients according to temperature, texture, spices, color, and consistency.
Featuring a batch of mouthwatering recipes and over a hundred vivid photographs of a striking array of dishes, Korean Cuisine is an incisive and engaging investigation into the relationship between Korean culture and food that will spice up the bookshelves of foodies and scholars alike.
Although encouraging people to eat more nutritiously can promote better health, most efforts by companies, health professionals, and even parents are disappointingly ineffective. Brian Wansink’s Marketing Nutrition focuses on why people eat the foods they do, and what can be done to improve their nutrition. Wansink argues that the true challenge in marketing nutrition lies in leveraging new tools of consumer psychology (which he specifically demonstrates) and by applying lessons from other products’ failures and successes. The key problem with marketing nutrition remains, after all, marketing.
The Medieval Kitchen is a delightful work in which historians Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, and Silvano Serventi rescue from dark obscurity the glorious cuisine of the Middle Ages. Medieval gastronomy turns out to have been superb—a wonderful mélange of flavor, aroma, and color. Expertly reconstructed from fourteenth- and fifteenth-century sources and carefully adapted to suit the modern kitchen, these recipes present a veritable feast. The Medieval Kitchen vividly depicts the context and tradition of authentic medieval cookery.
"This book is a delight. It is not often that one has the privilege of working from a text this detailed and easy to use. It is living history, able to be practiced by novice and master alike, practical history which can be carried out in our own homes by those of us living in modern times."—Wanda Oram Miles, The Medieval Review
"The Medieval Kitchen, like other classic cookbooks, makes compulsive reading as well as providing a practical collection of recipes."—Heather O'Donoghue, Times Literary Supplement
Although the archaeology of food has long played an integral role in our understanding of past cultures, the archaeology of cooking is rarely integrated into models of the past. The cooks who spent countless hours cooking and processing food are overlooked and the forgotten players in the daily lives of our ancestors. The Menial Art of Cooking shows how cooking activities provide a window into other aspects of society and, as such, should be taken seriously as an aspect of social, cultural, political, and economic life.
This book examines techniques and technologies of food preparation, the spaces where food was cooked, the relationship between cooking and changes in suprahousehold economies, the religious and symbolic aspects of cooking, the relationship between cooking and social identity, and how examining foodways provides insight into social relations of production, distribution, and consumption. Contributors use a wide variety of evidence-including archaeological data; archival research; analysis of ceramics, fauna, botany, glass artifacts, stone tools, murals, and painted ceramics; ethnographic analogy; and the distribution of artifacts across space-to identify signs of cooking and food processing left by ancient cooks.
The Menial Art of Cooking is the first archaeological volume focused on cooking and food preparation in prehistoric and historic settings around the world and will interest archaeologists, social anthropologists, sociologists, and other scholars studying cooking and food preparation or subsistence.
The popular narrative of "globesity" posits that the adoption of Western diets is intensifying obesity and diabetes in the Global South and that disordered metabolisms are the embodied consequence of globalization and excess. In Metabolic Living Harris Solomon recasts these narratives by examining how people in Mumbai, India, experience the porosity between food, fat, the body, and the city. Solomon contends that obesity and diabetes pose a problem of absorption between body and environment. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Mumbai's home kitchens, metabolic disorder clinics, food companies, markets, and social services, he details the absorption of everything from snack foods and mangoes to insulin, stress, and pollutants. As these substances pass between the city and the body and blur the two domains, the onset and treatment of metabolic illness raise questions about who has the power to decide what goes into bodies and when food means life. Evoking metabolism as a condition of contemporary urban life and a vital political analytic, Solomon illuminates the lived predicaments of obesity and diabetes, and reorients our understanding of chronic illness in India and beyond.
Winner, 2018 ASFS (Association for the Study of Food and Society) Book Award, Edited Volume
This collection of new essays offers groundbreaking perspectives on the ways that food and foodways serve as an element of decolonization in Mexican-origin communities.
The writers here take us from multigenerational acequia farmers, who trace their ancestry to Indigenous families in place well before the Oñate Entrada of 1598, to tomorrow’s transborder travelers who will be negotiating entry into the United States. Throughout, we witness the shifting mosaic of Mexican-origin foods and foodways in the fields, gardens, and kitchen tables from Chiapas to Alaska.
Global food systems are also considered from a critical agroecological perspective, including the ways colonialism affects native biocultural diversity, ecosystem resilience, and equality across species, human groups, and generations.
Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements is a major contribution to the understanding of the ways that Mexican-origin peoples have resisted and transformed food systems. It will animate scholarship on global food studies for years to come.
To most of us the food that we associate with home—our national and familial homes—is an essential part of our cultural heritage. No matter how open we become to other cuisines, we regard home-cooking as an intrinsic part of who we are. In this book, Krishnendu Ray examines the changing food habits of Bengali immigrants to the United States as they deal with the tension between their nostalgia for home and their desire to escape from its confinements.As Ray says, "This is a story about rice and water and the violations of geography by history." Focusing on mundane matters of immigrant life (for example, what to eat for breakfast in America), he connects food choices to issues of globalization and modernization. By showing how Bengali immigrants decide what defines their ethnic cuisine and differentiates it from American food, he reminds us that such boundaries are uncertain for all newcomers. By drawing on literary sources, family menus and recipes for traditional dishes, interviews with Bengali household members, and his own experience as an immigrant, Ray presents a vivid picture of immigrants grappling with the grave and immediate problem of defining themselves in their home away from home.
Over the past two decades, the popularity of Japanese food in the West has increased immeasurably—a major contribution to the evolution of Western eating habits. But Japanese cuisine itself has changed significantly since pre-modern times, and the food we eat at trendy Japanese restaurants, from tempura to sashimi, is vastly different from earlier Japanese fare. Modern Japanese Cuisine examines the origins of Japanese food from the late nineteenth century to unabashedly adulterated American favorites like today’s California roll.
Katarzyna J. Cwiertka demonstrates that key shifts in the Japanese diet were, in many cases, a consequence of modern imperialism. Exploring reforms in military catering and home cooking, wartime food management and the rise of urban gastronomy, Cwiertka shows how Japan’s numerous regional cuisines were eventually replaced by a set of foods and practices with which the majority of Japanese today ardently identify.
The result of over a decade of research, Modern Japanese Cuisine is a fascinating look at the historical roots of some of the world’s best cooking and will provide appetizing reading for scholars of Japanese culture and foodies alike.
In today’s fast-paced, fast food world, everyone seems to be eating alone, all the time—whether it’s at their desks or in the car. Even those who find time for a family meal are cut off from the people who grew, harvested, distributed, marketed, and sold the foods on their table. Few ever break bread with anyone outside their own socioeconomic group. So why does Michael Carolan say that that no one eats alone? Because all of us are affected by the other people in our vast foodscape. We can no longer afford to ignore these human connections as we struggle with dire problems like hunger, obesity, toxic pesticides, antibiotic resistance, depressed rural economies, and low-wage labor.
Carolan argues that building community is the key to healthy, equitable, and sustainable food. While researching No One Eats Alone, he interviewed more than 250 individuals, from flavorists to Fortune 500 executives, politicians to feedlot managers, low-income families to crop scientists, who play a role in the life of food. Advertising consultants told him of efforts to distance eaters and producers—most food firms don’t want their customers thinking about farm laborers or the people living downstream of processing plants. But he also found stories of people getting together to change their relationship to food and to each other.
There are community farms where suburban moms and immigrant families work side by side, reducing social distance as much as food miles. There are entrepreneurs with little capital or credit who are setting up online exchanges to share kitchen space, upending conventional notions of the economy of scale. There are parents and school board members who are working together to improve cafeteria food rather than relying on soda taxes to combat childhood obesity.
Carolan contends that real change only happens when we start acting like citizens first and consumers second. No One Eats Alone is a book about becoming better food citizens.
In this intriguing blend of the commonplace and the ancient, Jean Bottéro presents the first extensive look at the delectable secrets of Mesopotamia. Bottéro’s broad perspective takes us inside the religious rites, everyday rituals, attitudes and taboos, and even the detailed preparation techniques involving food and drink in Mesopotamian high culture during the second and third millennia BCE, as the Mesopotamians recorded them.
Offering everything from translated recipes for pigeon and gazelle stews, the contents of medicinal teas and broths, and the origins of ingredients native to the region, this book reveals the cuisine of one of history’s most fascinating societies. Links to the modern world, along with incredible recreations of a rich, ancient culture through its cuisine, make Bottéro’s guide an entertaining and mesmerizing read.
In this gustatory tour of human history, Allen suggests that the everyday activity of eating offers deep insights into our cultural and biological heritage. Beginning with the diets of our earliest ancestors, he explores eating’s role in our evolving brain before considering our contemporary dinner plates and the preoccupations of foodies.
With globalization has come an increased focus on food—where it comes from, how it is transported, who eats it, and what cultural significance it has. This volume brings together ethnographically based anthropological analyses of shifting meanings and representations associated with the foods, ingredients, and cooking practices of marginalized and/or indigenous cultures. Contributors are particularly interested in how these foods intersect with politics, nationhood and governance, identity, authenticity, and conservation.
The chapters cover diverse locales, issues, and foods: the cultural meanings of sinonggi, a thick sago porridge from Sulawesi, Indonesia; the significance of pom, a Surinam dish popular in the Netherlands; the transformation of alpaca meat in Peru; the impact of culinary tourism on indigenous cuisine in Mexico; the re-presenting of minor millets in South India; and the development of cheeses in the Italian Alps. A conceptual essay on food and social boundaries rounds out the collection.
Throughout, the contributors address important questions, including: How are traditional foods “repackaged” in the process of mainstreaming access? What does this repackaging mean for the ways local or indigenous peoples view their traditional food practices? How are local cuisines mobilized in movements to create national images and identities? What tensions emerge between new representations of foods and local cultural meanings?
Together the contributors provide a thoughtful inquiry into what happens when food and culinary practices are moved from the cultural or physical margins, and how such movements can be shaped by—and employed in the pursuit of—political, social, and cultural goals.
Pad thai, pho, bao: the cuisines of Southeast Asia have ardent enthusiasts far beyond their native lands, and are now among the most-consumed dishes in the world. But the familiar take-out menus and thriving storefronts rest atop a compelling history of food, culture, and modernity. Award-winning photographer and writer Michael Freeman now offers here an all-encompassing guide to the cuisines of eight Southeast Asian countries.
Ricelands takes the reader on a colorful and engaging tour of these popular tourist destinations through the richly layered cultures surrounding the various food traditions. Traveling across the landscapes of Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Freeman explores the origins of their respective cuisines, the defining characteristics of authentic dishes, and the evolution of the cuisines as they entered foreign cultures. From birds’ nests gathered in Thailand’s coastal caves to the less familiar dishes of Burma and Cambodia to the pungent durian fruit (and Westerners’ often aghast reactions), the author unearths unexpected treasures and tantalizing facts about Southeast Asia and its social history. The book also examines the cooking techniques, complex spices, and agricultural economies that underpin the countries’ food cultures, and considers how the informal nature of Southeast Asian eating fits into the rhythms of modern-day living.
Vibrantly illustrated and elegantly conceived, Ricelands takes us into the heart of tropical Asia and the delicious foods that define it the world over.
From the arrival of Italian ice-cream vendors and German pork butchers, to the rise of Indian curry as the national dish, Spicing Up Britain uncovers the fascinating history of British food over the last 150 years. Panikos Panayi shows how a combination of immigration, increased wealth, and globalization have transformed the eating habits of the English from a culture of stereotypically bland food to a flavorful, international cuisine.
Along the way, Panayi challenges preconceptions about British identity, and raises questions about multiculturalism and the extent to which other cultures have entered British society through the portal of food. He argues that Britain has become a country of vast ethnic diversity, in which people of different backgrounds—but still British—are united by their readiness to sample a wide variety of foods produced by other ethnic groups. Taking in changes to home cooking, restaurants, grocery shops, delis, and cookbooks, Panayi’s flavorful account will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in ethnic cooking, food history, and the social history of Britain.
“Wearing his twin hats of foodie and social historian, Panikos Paniyi can appall as well as engender salivation on his tour d’horizon of the multicultural history of British food. His book demonstrates convincingly that whether drawing on its former colonial and imperial possessions . . . or on its European neighbors, the openness of British society has truly enriched its diet and produced its present-day variegated cuisine.”—WashingtonTimes
U.S. and World Winner in the Best African Cuisine Book category, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2010
Africa’s art of cooking is a key part of its history. All too often Africa is associated with famine, but in Stirring the Pot, James C. McCann describes how the ingredients, the practices, and the varied tastes of African cuisine comprise a body of historically gendered knowledge practiced and perfected in households across diverse human and ecological landscape. McCann reveals how tastes and culinary practices are integral to the understanding of history and more generally to the new literature on food as social history.
Stirring the Pot offers a chronology of African cuisine beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing from Africa’s original edible endowments to its globalization. McCann traces cooks’ use of new crops, spices, and tastes, including New World imports like maize, hot peppers, cassava, potatoes, tomatoes, and peanuts, as well as plantain, sugarcane, spices, Asian rice, and other ingredients from the Indian Ocean world. He analyzes recipes, not as fixed ahistorical documents,but as lively and living records of historical change in women’s knowledge and farmers’ experiments. A final chapter describes in sensuous detail the direct connections of African cooking to New Orleans jambalaya, Cuban rice and beans, and the cooking of African Americans’ “soul food.”
Stirring the Pot breaks new ground and makes clear the relationship between food and the culture, history, and national identity of Africans.
Etiquette books insist that we never discuss politics during a meal. In Table Talk , Janet A. Flammang offers a polite rebuttal, presenting vivid firsthand accounts of people's lives at the table to show how mealtimes can teach us the conversational give-and-take foundational to democracy. Delving into the ground rules about listening, sharing, and respect that we obey when we break bread, Flammang shows how conversations and table activities represent occasions for developing our civil selves. If there are cultural differences over practices--who should speak, what behavior is acceptable, what topics are off limits, how to resolve conflict--our exposure to the making, enforcement, and breaking of these rules offers a daily dose of political awareness and growth. Political table talk provides a forum to practice the conversational skills upon which civil society depends. It also ignites the feelings of respect, trust, and empathy that undergird the idea of a common good that is fundamental to the democratic process.
Icons of Mexican cultural identity and America's melting pot ideal, taco trucks have transformed cityscapes from coast to coast. The taco truck radiates Mexican culture within non-Mexican spaces with a presence--sometimes desired, sometimes resented--that turns a public street corner into a bustling business. Drawing on interviews with taco truck workers and his own skills as a geographer, Robert Lemon illuminates new truths about foodways, community, and the unexpected places where ethnicity, class, and culture meet. Lemon focuses on the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Columbus, Ohio, to show how the arrival of taco trucks challenge preconceived ideas of urban planning even as cities use them to reinvent whole neighborhoods. As Lemon charts the relationships between food practices and city spaces, he uncovers the many ways residents and politicians alike contest, celebrate, and influence not only where your favorite truck parks, but what's on the menu.
This book explores the idea that table activities--the mealtime rituals of food preparation, serving, and dining--lay the foundation for a proper education on the value of civility, the importance of the common good, and what it means to be a good citizen. The arts of conversation and diplomatic speech are learned and practiced at tables, and a political history of food practices recasts thoughtfulness and generosity as virtues that enhance civil society and democracy. In our industrialized and profit-centered culture, however, foodwork is devalued and civility is eroding.
Looking at the field of American civility, Janet A. Flammang addresses the gendered responsibilities for foodwork's civilizing functions and argues that any formulation of "civil society" must consider food practices and the household. To allow space for practicing civility, generosity, and thoughtfulness through everyday foodwork, Americans must challenge the norms of unbridled consumerism, work-life balance, and domesticity and caregiving. Connecting political theory with the quotidian activities of the dinner table, Flammang discusses practical ideas from the "delicious revolution" and Slow Food movement to illustrate how civic activities are linked to foodwork, and she points to farmers' markets and gardens in communities, schools, and jails as sites for strengthening civil society and degendering foodwork.
The human tongue has somewhere up to eight thousand taste buds to inform us when something is sweet, salty, sour, or bitter—or as we usually think of it—delicious or revolting. Tastes differ from one region to the next, and no two people’s seem to be the same. But why is it that some people think maple syrup is too sweet, while others can’t get enough? What makes certain people love Roquefort cheese and others think it smells like feet? Why do some people think cilantro tastes like soap?
John Prescott tackles this conundrum in Taste Matters, an absorbing exploration of why we eat and seek out the foods that we do. Prescott surveys the many factors that affect taste, including genetic inheritance, maternal diet, cultural traditions, and physiological influences. He also delves into what happens when we eat for pleasure instead of nutrition, paying particularly attention to affluent Western societies, where, he argues, people increasingly view food selection as a sensory or intellectual pleasure rather than a means of survival. As obesity and high blood pressure are on the rise along with a number of other health issues, changes in the modern diet are very much to blame, and Prescott seeks to answer the question of why and how our tastes often lead us to eat foods that are not the best for our health. Compelling and accessible, this timely book paves the way for a healthier and more sustainable understanding of taste.
During the Depression, the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) dispatched scribes to sample the fare at group eating events like church dinners, political barbecues, and clambakes. Its America Eats project sought nothing less than to sample, and report upon, the tremendous range of foods eaten across the United States.
Camille Begin shapes a cultural and sensory history of New Deal-era eating from the FWP archives. From "ravioli, the diminutive derbies of pastries, the crowns stuffed with a well-seasoned paste" to barbeque seasoning that integrated "salt, black pepper, dried red chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin seed, and cayenne pepper" while "tomatoes, green chili peppers, onions, and olive oil made up the sauce", Begin describes in mouth-watering detail how Americans tasted their food. They did so in ways that varied, and varied widely, depending on race, ethnicity, class, and region. Begin explores how likes and dislikes, cravings and disgust operated within local sensory economies that she culls from the FWP’s vivid descriptions, visual cues, culinary expectations, recipes and accounts of restaurant meals. She illustrates how nostalgia, prescriptive gender ideals, and racial stereotypes shaped how the FWP was able to frame regional food cultures as "American."
Glossy magazines write about them, celebrities give their names to them, and you’d better believe there’s an app (or ten) committed to finding you the right one. They are New York City restaurants and food shops. And their journey to international notoriety is a captivating one. The now-booming food capital was once a small seaport city, home to a mere six municipal food markets that were stocked by farmers, fishermen, and hunters who lived in the area. By 1890, however, the city’s population had grown to more than one million, and residents could dine in thousands of restaurants with a greater abundance and variety of options than any other place in the United States.
Historians, sociologists, and foodies alike will devour the story of the origins of New York City’s food industry in Urban Appetites. Cindy R. Lobel focuses on the rise of New York as both a metropolis and a food capital, opening a new window onto the intersection of the cultural, social, political, and economic transformations of the nineteenth century. She offers wonderfully detailed accounts of public markets and private food shops; basement restaurants and immigrant diners serving favorites from the old country; cake and coffee shops; and high-end, French-inspired eating houses made for being seen in society as much as for dining. But as the food and the population became increasingly cosmopolitan, corruption, contamination, and undeniably inequitable conditions escalated. Urban Appetites serves up a complete picture of the evolution of the city, its politics, and its foodways.
We Are What We Eat
Donna R. Gabaccia Harvard University Press, 1998 Library of Congress GT2853.U5G33 1998 | Dewey Decimal 394.120973
The World of Soy
Edited by Christine M. Du Bois, Sidney Mintz, and Chee-Beng Tan University of Illinois Press, 2007 Library of Congress TX558.S7W67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 641.35655
As the most ecologically efficient and economical source of complete protein in human food, soy is gradually attracting more use in the American diet for its nutritional and financial value. Derived from soybean plants--the leading export crop of the United States and the world's most traded crop--soy produced for human consumption is part of a global enterprise affecting the likes of farmers, economists, dieticians, and grocery shoppers. An international group of expert food specialists--including an agricultural economist, an agricultural sociologist, a former Peace Corps development expert, and numerous food anthropologists and agricultural historians--discusses important issues central to soy production and consumption: genetically engineered soybeans, increasing soybean cultivation, soyfood marketing techniques, the use of soybeans as an important soil restorative, and the rendering of soybeans for human consumption.
Contributors are Katarzyna Cwiertka, Christine M. Du Bois, H. T. Huang, Lawrence Kaplan, Jian-Hua Mao, Sidney W. Mintz, Akiko Moriya, Can Van Nguyen, Donald Z. Osborn, Erino Ozeki, Myra Sidharta, Ivan Sergio Freire de Sousa, Chee-Beng Tan, and Rita de Cássia Milagres Teixeira Vieira.