Since Eve Ate Apples Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Mea

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Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, Jun 29, 2010 - Cooking - 352 pages
3 Reviews
A “funny and fascinating” cultural history about one of our favorite pastimes: eating (The Village Voice).
 
This is a delightful and intelligent look at the food we eat, with a cornucopia of incredible details about the ways we do it.
 
Presented like a meal, each chapter of Much Depends on Dinner represents a different course or garnish, which Margaret Visser handpicks from the most ordinary American dinner: among them corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream. Visser tells the story behind each of these foods and in the course of her inquiries reveals some unexpected treats: the history of Corn Flakes; the secret behind the more dissatisfactory California olives (they’re picked green, chemically blackened, and sterilized); and the fact that, in Africa, citrus fruits are eaten whole, rind and all.
 
For food lovers of all kinds, unexpectedly entertaining book is a treasure of information from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Rituals of Dinner.
 
“Rich in surprising facts, unexpected connections, and a well-documented outrage at what modern technology and agribusiness have done to purity and quality . . . A remarkable amount of information [presented] seamlessly and entertainingly.” —Library Journal
 
 

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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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dark_phoenix54 - LibraryThing

When Visser wrote this book, it was one of the very first ‘food history’ books, spawning a new genre. It’s a very well researched book, and goes into great detail. Vissar’s format is to detail the ... Read full review

Contents

Corn Our Mother Our Life
22
Salt The Edible Rock
56
Butter and Something Just as Good
83
Chicken From Jungle Fowl to Patties
115
Rice The Tyrant with a Soul
155
Lettuce The Vicissitudes of Salad
192
Olive Oil A Tree and its Fruits
224
Lemon Juice A Sour Note
259
Ice Cream Cold Comfort
285
References
323
Index
338
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About the author (2010)

A staple of the food-writing genre that prefigured the current locavore and foodist movements by almost two decades, Margaret Visser’s Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat, and a cornucopia of incredible details about the ways we do it.
Presented as a meal, each chapter of Much Depends on Dinner represents a different course or garnish, which Margaret Visser handpicks from the most ordinary American dinner: corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream. Visser tells the story behind each of these foods and in the course of her inquiries reveals some unexpected treats: the history of Corn Flakes; the secret behind the more dissatisfactory California olives (they’re picked green, chemically blackened, and sterilized); and the fact that, in Africa, citrus fruits are eaten whole, rind and all.
For food lovers of all kinds, this intelligent and unexpectedly funny book is a treasure of information that sheds light on one of our favorite pastimes: eating.

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