Surveys the history of changing tastes in food and fine dining – what was available for people to eat, and how it was prepared and served – from prehistory to the present day
Since earliest times food has encompassed so much more than just what we eat – whole societies can be revealed and analysed by their cusines. In this wide-ranging book, leading historians from Europe and America piece together from a myriad sources the culinary accomplishments of diverse civilizations, past and present, and the pleasures of dining.
Ten chapters cover the food and taste of the hunter-gatherers and first farmers of Prehistory; the rich Mediterranean cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome; the development of gastronomy in Imperial China; Medieval Islamic cuisine; European food in the Middle Ages; the decisive changes in food fashions after the Renaissance; the effect of the Industrial Revolution on what people ate; the rise to dominance of French cuisine in the 19th and 20th centuries; the evolution of the restaurant; the contemporary situation where everything from slow to fast food vies for our attention. Throughout, the entertaining story of worldwide food traditions provides the ideal backdrop to today’s roaming the globe for great gastronomic experiences.