We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat | [Bee Wilson]

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

Since prehistory, humans have braved the business ends of knives, scrapers, and mashers, all in the name of creating something delicious - or at least edible. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer and historian Bee Wilson traces the ancient lineage of our modern culinary tools, revealing the startling history of objects we often take for granted. Charting the evolution of technologies from the knife and fork to the gas range and the sous-vide cooker, Wilson offers unprecedented insights.
Regular Price:$22.04
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Since prehistory, humans have braved the business ends of knives, scrapers, and mashers, all in the name of creating something delicious - or at least edible. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer and historian Bee Wilson traces the ancient lineage of our modern culinary tools, revealing the startling history of objects we often take for granted. Charting the evolution of technologies from the knife and fork to the gas range and the sous-vide cooker, Wilson offers unprecedented insights into how we've prepared and consumed food over the centuries - and how those basic acts have changed our societies, our diets, and our very selves.

©2012 Bee Wilson (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Wilson is erudite and whip-smart, but she always grounds her exploration of technological change in the perspective of the eternal harried cook - she's been one - struggling to put a meal on the table. This is mouthwatering history: broad in scope, rich in detail, stuffed with savory food for thought." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (279 )
5 star
 (95)
4 star
 (118)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.1 (246 )
5 star
 (93)
4 star
 (99)
3 star
 (39)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.1 (243 )
5 star
 (100)
4 star
 (90)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-31-14
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    129
    129
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    22
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing history of everyday utensils"

    This was a well-researched and well-presented book about the history of everyday utensils like the fork as well as appliances, kitchen designs, and almost anything pertaining to the preparation of food. Bee Wilson did an excellent job of presenting the material with interesting side notes about cultural changes that were created because of a change in the use of utensils or food preparation.

    Anyone with an interest in anthropology will find this an invaluable resource. Wilson details the usage of utensils not only in terms of their actual intended use but also in terms of their symbolism to society. She explores the choice of chopsticks over the fork, various spoon designs, how an entire society developed an overbite because of their choice of eating utensil, how advertisements for kitchen design were used to encourage women in the United States during war years, why it was considered bad form or a sign of wealth and taste to use one utensil over another, how the KitchenAid stand mixer and the Cuisinart food processor forever changed the way we cook, and why the state of Georgia in the United States is a leading manufacturer of disposable chopsticks for China.

    The narrator, Alison Larken, has a beautiful reading voice and rendered an exceptional performance.

    For anyone looking for an action-packed thriller, this is not the book for you. For anyone interested in anthropology, technological advancements in kitchenware, or why you prefer to use chopsticks over a fork or a fork over chopsticks, grab this book. You will never see your fork, spoon, knife, or chopsticks the same, again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-30-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-30-14 Member Since 2013

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
    254
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    64
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    25
    35
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For the foodie/science geek/history buff in you"

    This is a fun read if you like
    (1) cooking and being in the kitchen, and
    (2) books that explain the origin of things as well as the science and relevant historical facts.

    I do, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator's voice is also very pleasant to listen to. She made me laugh when she did her American and French accents.

    Fun book, neat information, and great narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 07-10-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1467
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    407
    169
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    432
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great information if you play Trivail Pursuit"

    I have read a significant number of books of this ilk. I generally like the book. You lean about the history of this and that -- one of them being the fork. Although this book is packed with interesting information. There is nothing earth moving or should I should say cow moving. If you want to lean many numerous factoids, this is the book for you. For me it was just ok.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Seattle, WA USA 12-18-14
    Sharon Seattle, WA USA 12-18-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    272
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dismal"

    Squeeky-voiced narrator telling rambling, disjointed facts. Decide for yourself if you're going to try the book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 10-24-12
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 10-24-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    298
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    28
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You'll see your kitchen in a new light"

    The book is a collection of historical sketches about various cooking implements. Although neither exhaustive nor comprehensive it manages to entertain and inform.

    There are many books on food history, but this is the first I've found on the history of pots, appliances and flatware. However, the author bites off a little more than she can chew and the writing becomes uneven and erratic. There are simply too many ingredients to do justice to all aspects of cookery.

    You will not learn any recipes from the book, but you will never look at your kitchen the same way again. I learned many fascinating facts (like the fact that Europeans have only had an overbite for about 200 years) and new appreciation for medieval recipes like "beat the eggs enough to tire one or two people." She draws interesting conclusions about how our cultural beliefs shaped the instruments we use to prepare and eat our food. She even makes a convincing argument about how the fundamental differences in Eastern and Western culture play out at the dining table.

    The reader delivers a solid performance in her British accent but she affects American, Southern and French accents for quotes. They are probably artistically authentic but they do not sit well in the ear.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book but it has problems with organization and pacing.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 03-15-14
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

    HELPFUL VOTES
    515
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    460
    371
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    145
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Consider another book"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilbert 12-06-14
    Gilbert 12-06-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Ea"
    If you could sum up Consider the Fork in three words, what would they be?

    Little known facts


    What did you like best about this story?

    The depth of the information


    Did Alison Larkin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Her accent was 'cute' but not what I would have expected from a book that delved into the history of the subject matter.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was slightly annoyed by having to try to figure out the different meanings that are different between british and american. Words have different meanings and connotations, and sometimes I was taken aback by being unfamiliar with the differences...


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the info, but just slightly less due to the way it was presented.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 06-30-14
    Tim United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2010

    My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    721
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    383
    379
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    106
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kitchen Anthropology"

    When I was reading "Consider the Fork", I truly thought that Bill Bryson was the author, but I needed to look back to the cover that Bee Wilson wrote this book about the kitchen and the tools that we use to eat and cook. This is one of my favorite informational books that I've read all year because not only she explains the utensils that we use to feed ourselves, but Wilson also went into the culture where it came from. It was like a kitchen anthropology and how the room revolved overtime. I wished that there was more audiobooks from Bee Wilson because I found her information to be really interesting and not overwhelming at all. This is not a cook book, but it's more like an encyclopedia on the most popular room in any homes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-22-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Better than advertised"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Consider the Fork to be better than the print version?

    I purchased this book half heartedly thinking that it might be interesting. What I found was really excellent. In fact I went and purchased the paper version as well (purest) so that I can reference some of the things Ms. Wilson discusses for further study. This book is presented in such a way that the information is not just dry facts thrown at you in an organized or semi-organized way, the content is well thought out and presented in such a way as to keep the, listener in this case, interested in what is going on. Usually I will blip off during a story as I am doing other things at the time, sometimes a lot of other things, during this book I rarely did and never for very long. I found it particularly interesting how we have and have not "evolved" in the kitchen.
    I recommend this book to anyone interested in food and how we got to where we are.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ivan was particularly interesting and I will be looking him up when I get the chance.


    Which character – as performed by Alison Larkin – was your favorite?

    n/a


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it really kept my interest throughout.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathi Miami, Florida, United States 03-20-14
    Cathi Miami, Florida, United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read for anyone who enjoys cooking!"

    This book really blew my expectations. I love her comfortable style of writing and her witty comments. As I listened to the different chapters, I felt this incredible connection to her as a fellow lover of food. Really worthwhile, my only complaint would be that it did not come with attached pictures of the described contraptions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 24 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.