Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History
Rachel Laudan tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of the world’s great cuisines—from the mastery of grain cooking some twenty thousand years ago, to the present—in this superbly researched book. Probing beneath the apparent confusion of dozens of cuisines to reveal the underlying simplicity of the culinary family tree, she shows how periodic seismic shifts in “culinary philosophy”—beliefs about health, the economy, politics, society and the gods—prompted the construction of new cuisines, a handful of which, chosen as the cuisines of empires, came to dominate the globe.
Cuisine and Empire shows how merchants, missionaries, and the military took cuisines over mountains, oceans, deserts, and across political frontiers. Laudan’s innovative narrative treats cuisine, like language, clothing, or architecture, as something constructed by humans. By emphasizing how cooking turns farm products into food and by taking the globe rather than the nation as the stage, she challenges the agrarian, romantic, and nationalistic myths that underlie the contemporary food movement.
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b c e 400 c e
Buddhism Transforms the Cuisines of South and East Asia
Islam Transforms the Cuisines of Central and West Asia
Christianity Transforms the Cuisines of Europe and
Northern Europe 16501800
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Africa American animals Asia baked barley beans became beef boiled British Buddhist cuisine butter Byzantine cuisine cakes Catholic cuisine century c.e. chap cheese chicken China Chinese Chinese cuisine Christian cities cookbook Cookery cooking culinary philosophy Curry diet dining dishes dried drinks Dutch emperor Empire Europe European feast fermented fish flatbreads flavored flour foodstuffs French cuisine French high cuisine fruits garum ghee global grains Greek grinding high cuisine honey humble cuisines imperial India industrial Islamic Islamic cuisine Japan Japanese juice kitchens maize meal meat Mesoamerica Mexico middling cuisines milk millet mills modern Mongol national cuisines nineteenth century noodles nutritional offered Ottoman cuisine pasta peasants percent Persian Persian cuisine plants poor pork potatoes pounds prepared recipes restaurants rice roast Roman roots sacrifice salt sauces soup Spain spices sugar sweet Taoists taste traditional vegetables Western cuisine wheat white bread wine yogurt