Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal

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Collier Books, 1988 - Cooking - 351 pages
8 Reviews
Winning unanimous praise on its publication and now available in paperback from Grove Press, Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat. Presented as a meal, each chapter represents a different course or garnish. Borrowing from Byron's classic poem "Don Juan" for her title ("Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner"), writer Margaret Visser looks to the most ordinary American dinner for her subject -- corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream -- submerging herself in the story behind each food. In this indulgent and perceptive guide we hear the history of Corn Flakes, why canned California olives are so unsatisfactory (they're picked green, chemically blackened, then sterilized), and the fact that in Africa, citrus fruit is eaten rind and all. For food lovers of all kinds, this unexpectedly funny and serious book is a treasure of information, shedding light on one of our most favorite pastimes.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

A book of essays about our relationship to food, in Western culture. Visser was a classical scholar, and thus extrapolated ideas about common behaviours, and what things like the foods assembled for a ... Read full review

Review: Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal

User Review  - Jada Roche - Goodreads

Dated, but fun. The ending was abrupt and didn't do anything to tie the book together. Interesting to read something that illustrates the coming mistrust (or rather, increasing mistrust) of the food industry. Read full review

Contents

What Shall We Have for Dinner?
11
Our Mother Our Life
22
The Edible Rock
56
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Margaret Visser is the author of three previous books: "Much Depends on Dinner", "Rituals of Dinner", & "The Way We Are". She lives in Barcelona.

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