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Food in History by Reay Tannahill
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Food in History (edition 1995)

by Reay Tannahill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1851513,655 (3.86)21
Spanning over half a million years, this lively account describes the world history of food and the way in which food has influenced the whole course of human development. Full of intriguing information and insights, it reveals how pepper contributed to the fall of the Roman empire; how a new kind of plough helped to spark off the Crusades; why the cow became sacred in India; why stir-fry cooking was invented; how the turkey got its name. This book confirms that food is still, as it always has been, not only inseperable from the history of the human race but essential to it.… (more)
Member:meboo
Title:Food in History
Authors:Reay Tannahill
Info:Three Rivers Press (1995), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Nonfiction Wishlist
Rating:***
Tags:2022, 22-06, food, history, history of food, agriculture

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Food in History by Reay Tannahill

Recently added byZiggyF, Studiohalibey, banitacreek, jessjam, cincospenguinos, Elizabeth10, private library
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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Not quite what I was expecting. Thorough but dull and dry. Not something read for pleasure and painful for even the most enthusiastic of food history/anthropology/sociology buffs. ( )
  banitacreek | Jul 28, 2022 |
Not quite what I was expecting. Thorough but dull and dry. Not something read for pleasure and painful for even the most enthusiastic of food history/anthropology/sociology buffs. ( )
  banitacreek | Jul 28, 2022 |
4.5 stars. Does what it says on the cover. The book discusses the history of food in an interesting and easy to read manner. illustrations included. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Read this for my Food in History course at college and really enjoyed it. Here and there it's a bit repetitive, so I gave it the four stars instead of five because the writing could be tightened a bit. However, the author if British and hilarious here and there, some of the footnotes she adds are just her own comments. If you're interested in the development of food, farming, meals, cuisine, etc, from really the dawn of time through the 1980s, I'd pick this up, even if you only wanted to read a particular section on Food in Sumer or Fillet of Pegasus. ( )
  Kristin_Curdie_Cook | Apr 29, 2016 |
I read this book a few years ago (softcover book), and it sits as a treasured book in my collection (I'd like to have a hard cover of it one day). This is a fantastic reference book. It begins where humans began, back in the caves, and gives archeological evidence as well as common sense theories on how certain foods likely came to be, such as yogurt and butter were probably discovered because of the practice of traveling with milk in the dried stomachs of animals. And one thing leads to another. The book is full of fascinating points on the usage, origin and development of all kinds of food, and not just covering the western world. Nearly every country is mentioned, though as the author freely admits, written history needs to be taken with a... grain of salt, so to speak.

I have several food history books in my collection - this one is my favorite that I flip through time and again. ( )
1 vote KVHardy | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A fascinating survey of man's diet from earliest cave dwellers, through the first use of fire to heat meat ... to a doomwatch look at chemical additives, fertilizers, synthetic foods and future world demands. ... Quite fascinatingly relates man's development through history to his food.
added by KayCliff | editNational Housewives Register Newsletter, Hazel K. Bell (Sep 1, 1975)
 
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(Preface): When the idea of Food in History first occurred to me, I was mystified by the fact that no one had already written such a book.
(Prologue): It is an obvious truth, all too often forgotten, that food is not only inseparable from the history of the human race, but basic to it.
In the very earliest times nature was in charge and the problem of the food supply was a great deal simpler than it is now -- although perhaps it would be wiser to say 'must have been simpler', since there are as many theories about prehistory and the pattern of human evolution as there are theoreticians.
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Spanning over half a million years, this lively account describes the world history of food and the way in which food has influenced the whole course of human development. Full of intriguing information and insights, it reveals how pepper contributed to the fall of the Roman empire; how a new kind of plough helped to spark off the Crusades; why the cow became sacred in India; why stir-fry cooking was invented; how the turkey got its name. This book confirms that food is still, as it always has been, not only inseperable from the history of the human race but essential to it.

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