Clearly, a considerable amount of research has been made before producing this work. It does include a wide array of historical facts and anecdotes on a fascinating topic that is rarely covered elsewhere in such detail.
Sadly, insufficient efforts were given on actually organizing and writing the book. Though sections are devoted to specific topics such as forks, blenders and coffee makers, there is little structure in the material presented. Chronologically and geographically, the reader is constantly shifted from one point to another. One might think that a series of notes were simply attached with word processing software.
The situation is worsened by the numerous self-centered references to the author’s favourite breakfast, to the cup given by her husband featuring the portraits of the US presidents, to her mother, to her children, etc.
In the audio book version, the narrator quite fittingly has a rather maternal voice. The occasional imitations of foreign accents are however poorly rendered and outright annoying.
Overall, this work can hardly be recommended except perhaps (in written format) as a source of information on specific aspects of the cooking universe.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
Don't get me wrong this book had some interesting facts and in particular I really enjoyed the second half and listening to the parts about the history of forks and even sporks was great. I also liked the part about the history of ice and the element of science into cooking and how the kitchen has developed over the years. Other than that though, I’m sad to say that this book really bored me, especially the first part. The narrator, a British woman, was also to my disliking as I found her accent adding to the boredom that I got from the material itself.
Fascinating to read
It's detailed treatment of the subject.
Overall the narration was very well done with one critical flaw. Whenever the narrator would quote a French person or an American she would adopt a French or American accent. This enormously marred the experience. For a few reasons, first in the case of the French accent it made no sense. The person she was quoting wasn't speaking in English. Second, she didn't do this for all accents. Third she did try it once for a Chinese accent and ended up sounding like a bad Indian accent.
The affected accents were **TERRIBLE**
This is a non-fiction piece not a interpretive piece of art. NO NO NO ACCENTS!
Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?
If you are a foodie or food history buff, you will enjoy this book. It's fascinating in its detail of kitchen equipment, appliances, and so on. It reminded me, in a way, of Bill Bryson's "At Home," another excellent book about the history of the home. It's a good read.
I was curious about this book but not expecting to become so engrossed in its culinary history. The story of fire, roasting, knives, spoons, forks, modernist cuisine, and kitchens themselves. All delightful stories that really made me appreciate the craft I practice everyday. Sad thing is that Bee has made me discontent with my American cup measures while sadly so many favorite recipes are not weight friendly. Thanks for an informative and fiery good time Ms. Wilson.
mainly read romances and books for a book club that take me all over the map.
This is a wonderful romp through culinary gadget and cutlery history. Kept me engaged and fascinated by the implications of some revelations the book makes. I would highly recommend this book for cooks and foodies in addition to those who like history.
There is no central character
Her sidebars and infelctions to better illustrate passages
Nothing extreme that required medical treatment. It's a good hisotrical book for gastronomes
I was surprised by what a powerful interest in this subject the narrator Alison Larkin was able to create. I had never thought I would be so interested in forks or other ways we eat before! Alison Larkin brought a clarity and engaging tone to this information that made me want to hear every word!
I believe I would like to hear this book again, and will certainly suggest that my friends listen to it. It is a rare example of sharing facts in a way that the talented narrator makes you eager to hear.
I think my favorite part of the story was discussing breakfast, and how all the different ways of preparing coffee had changed over the years. Once again, Alison Larkin delivered this information in a way that gave it wit and life and made me smile as I learned.
Alison Larkin brings a tone of excitement to even the smallest facts so that I found myself eagerly listening for more. She also brings a voice that is both melodic and clear, and she is able to strike a variety of notes that keeps one interested in the writing.
Most of all Alison Larkin seems to be enjoying the book and the information she shares so that I as a listener was also caught up in her enthusiasm for the subject.
There were several places that I laughed out loud. I never cried, but was almost always smiling at the wit with which the narrator read.
To me, this information packed book was enhanced by having a narrator in Alison Larkin who could bring it alive in a most enjoyable way.
A charming book that tells the history of what we eat through the tools we use to prepare it. The book is written with great charm and good humor and the narration is just right.
History is most often told through politics and commerce. This is history of a different sort, told through the kitchen.
The narrator was engaging, even if the subject was a little dry. I would listen again to pick up details and facts I might have missed.
It reminded me of Bill Bryson's "At Home: A Short History of Private Life." It was full of interesting historical context for everyday items.
I thought it was interesting that the narrator subtly adopted an american, french, or austrailian accent when she was quoting people from those various countries.
It's a little too dense for that... too much information to digest all in one sitting.