Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy

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University of Chicago Press, 2001 - Cooking - 442 pages
In Art, Culture, and Cuisine, Phyllis Pray Bober examines cooking through an assortment of recipes as well as the dual lens of archaeology and art history. Believing that the unity of a culture extends across all forms of expression, Bober seeks to understand the minds and hearts of those who practiced cookery or consumed it as reflected in the visual art of the time.

Bober draws on archaeology and art history to examine prehistoric eating customs in ancient Turkey; traditions of the great civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome; and rituals of the Middle Ages. Both elegant and entertaining, Art, Culture, and Cuisine reveals cuisine and dining's place at the heart of cultural, religious, and social activities that have shaped Western sensibilities.

"Using gastronomy as its focus, lacy language as its style, and illustrations to enchant, Art, Culture, and Cuisine researches exactly those subjects from the time of the 'first hominids' to the 15th century. . . . The writing is extremely witty, and the dinner menus with recipes are esoteric, delightful, and mostly doable."—Library Journal

"An ambitious attempt to find culinary echoes of visual and sociological movements throughout history. In sturdy, robust prose . . . the author marches us through every major civilization from prehistory through the late Gothic."—New York Times Book Review

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User Review  - MrsRK - LibraryThing

Fascinating information. I was just confused by her affirmation that the perfumed fat cones Egyptian women used on top of their heads (as portrayed in paintings) were "incense." Unless my understanding of the word incense is incorrect... Read full review

Art, culture, and cuisine: ancient and medieval gastronomy

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Using gastronomy (not "cookery"!) as its focus, lacy language as its style, and illustrations to enchant, Art, Culture, and Cuisine researches exactly those subjects from the time of the "first ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Phyllis Pray Bober is the Leslie Clark Professor Emerita in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College and coauthor of Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture.

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