Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."
In fact, civilization itself began in the quest for food. Humanity's transition to agriculture was not only the greatest social revolution in history, but it directly produced the structures and institutions we call "civilization."
In 36 fascinating lectures, award-winning Professor Albala puts this extraordinary subject on the table, taking you on an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food. With this innovative course, you'll travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras - as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses
I really enjoyed this lecture series. I eating all kinds of food so naturally a cultural history of food would be fascinating to me. What I found most interesting was how food really reflected major historical changes in human history. Professor Abala was also a very lively lecturer who is obviously passionate about the subject matter and passes on that enthusiasm to his listeners. I learned a lot of great facts about where foods come from that will make me look at all kinds of foods with a greater appreciation! Definitely recommend.
Great topic. A lot of territory (cultures) covered, at times glanced at. Professor Ken Albala's kept my interest and well organised.
Professor Ken Albala is well polished and presents in an very engaging way.
I love food and felt I was comfortably well informed about most things food. A Cultural Culinary History just expanded my Universe in a fun way with an incredibly fascinating wealth of information the evolution of this most common necessity.
Food: A Cultural Culinary History is the first I've heard of Professor Ken Albala's work. And I loved it.
Pillage the Pantry
Professor Ken Albala is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject of food and culinary history. I love his tone and just how comfortable he is with a subject that effects us all whether we know how or why exactly. I'll be listening to this Series again. It was that good.
The professor weaves together the story of food, food production, cooking and eating on various peoples' culture since the beginning to agriculture to today's genetically modified foods.
One of the reasons Martin Luther protested the Roman Catholic Church's ban on consumption of animal products during lent was because the geographic region where Luther was located depended on butter as the main cooking fat instead of olive oil.
I liked everything about his presentation. Excellent story teller and educator.
A must listen for anyone who is interested in food, cooking and history.
Definitely one of my favorites. I would love to hear more from Prof Albala!
He's just so darn knowledgeable. I really enjoy his excitement about food - everything is just *delightful*!
I returned to this lecture series over and over.
He was focused and presented the information perfectly.
I would love to see additional lectures on thi subject of culinary history.
I was highly impressed with this book. Not only does it deliver an extensive history on how humans are, it's also one of the best lectures on religion I've ever heard (why religions have dietary restrictions, importance of food metaphors, etc). Thank you.
Great course. Thought-provoking and eye-opening information about one of the basic parts of everyone's existence. Food for the intellect.
This is a comforting trip down well established roads, but there are delightful views along the way. Well worth a listen. Bring paper and pen to write down source materials if you are so inclined.
The lens of food. I'm a huge great courses fan, and this was one of my favorites. It's of course not long enough, and there's not nearly enough focus on Asian cuisine, but it was extremely interesting to follow the development of food preparation from prehistory to the present, and to see all the ways in which food and politics mix. Am planing to listen to it again immediately
"Informative, interesting and entertaining."
I very much enjoyed this book, a good mix of facts with narrative context. Easy to listen to, informative and full of interesting information. I listened to this book for the most part with my 13 year old son. We listened to chunks at a time and both looked forward to the next section.
I really enjoyed the delivery and enthusiasm.
Well worth listening to and highly recommended as a source of both education and entertainment
"The history of food."
A good set of lectures, for which I'm great-full as previous ones were less than engaging, which were brought alive by professor Ken Albala. All round enjoyable and reread-able.
Really interesting lectures. A bit American orientated towards the end but still relevant. Good lecture style, made them very accessible. Well worth listening too. Changed my eating habits!
"I loved this"
I want to go east my way through history right now! An excellent listen. It will make you hungry!
"Food for thought!"
Yes - an enjoyable course
NO - the Great Courses are better taken in separate doses, as one would in a university
Good value for money - a topic of perennial interest and lots of interesting facts for someone who enjoys this type of learning
"Fun lectures on why history is all about food!"
I'd recommend this to any friend with more than a passing interest in food or history. This fat lecture series might look like hard work but author has a light but authoritative approach and he delivers it with engaging enthusiasm and humour.
I know I'm overly interested in food (who isn't?) but the lecturer completely convinced me that human history has mostly been about the changing cultures of food production and cooking (okay, with a little influence of tecnology, religion, weaponry...)
"Excellent summary course, knowledgeable lecturer"
Covers all aspects of the history of food, including the myriad religious aspects which I had not previously considered. Runs roughly up to 2013 and the decline of molecular gastronomy.
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