Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jun 4, 2002 - Cooking - 272 pages
25 Reviews
In Near a Thousand Tables, acclaimed food historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto tells the fascinating story of food as cultural as well as culinary history -- a window on the history of mankind.
In this "appetizingly provocative" (Los Angeles Times) book, he guides readers through the eight great revolutions in the world history of food: the origins of cooking, which set humankind on a course apart from other species; the ritualization of eating, which brought magic and meaning into people's relationship with what they ate; the inception of herding and the invention of agriculture, perhaps the two greatest revolutions of all; the rise of inequality, which led to the development of haute cuisine; the long-range trade in food which, practically alone, broke down cultural barriers; the ecological exchanges, which revolutionized the global distribution of plants and livestock; and, finally, the industrialization and globalization of mass-produced food.
From prehistoric snail "herding" to Roman banquets to Big Macs to genetically modified tomatoes, Near a Thousand Tables is a full-course meal of extraordinary narrative, brilliant insight, and fascinating explorations that will satisfy the hungriest of readers.

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Review: Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food

User Review  - Cynthia - Goodreads

This book is thoughtful, wide-ranging, iconoclastic, brilliant, elegant, and packed with fascinating, abundantly documented information. It's an exhilarating race through the entire history of where ... Read full review

Review: Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food

User Review  - James Williams - Goodreads

Two of my favourite things, history and food, in a brown paper parcel, tied up in string. Well it's got a browny-goldish dust jacket, anyway, and look, here's a piece of string... No one could accuse ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, the William P. Reynolds Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, is the author of Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration and Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, and London.

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