In this indulgent and perceptive guide we hear the history of Corn Flakes, why canned California olives are so unsatisfactory (they're picked green, chemically blackened, then sterilized), and the fact that in Africa, citrus fruit is eaten rind and all. For food lovers of all kinds, this unexpectedly funny and serious book is a treasure of information, shedding light on one of our most favorite pastimes.
©1999 Margaret Visser; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
Wonderful. Margaret Visser posits a dinner (corn, butter, rice, chicken, ice cream, salad with olive oil and lemon) and then provides a sweeping historical and anthropological view of each component. She not only provides a fascinating, even enthralling, history, but also explores the mythological significance of each food and its role in politics and even war.
It is so fact-rich that with another author, it might sink under its own weight, but Visser’s charming, open style pulls you along. Ice cream is not just ice cream; it’s a history of thermodynamics. Rice is not just rice, it’s the story of political organization. Corn is not just corn; it’s the rise of industrial food.
Toren was the perfect narrator for this. She took what might have been a fact-heavy book and turned it into a fascinating story, pulling you along from fact to fact as if each tidbit was a revelation. She was wonderful.
Published in 1985, it’s slightly dated and should be read in conjunction with Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which takes the history and anthropology and adds a moral core. Absolutely wonderful and highly recommended.
I am extremely dyslexic and if it was not for audio books I probably would never read. I travel a lot and love to have a audio book playing
You want to learn everything there is to know about the food that we eat then pick this book
I really liked that it went through how it is made, to the social implications to the mythology behind the food that we eat.
I like Margaret Vissers' books as a rule, but this entire package is just sad. The narrator mispronounces a lot of English food terms, although she has passable French.
The book;'s contents are simply too scholarly and the quality of the narration too poor to allow me to rate any higher. Read this book - yes, but in paper form please.
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