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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fascinating look at kitchen utensils

There was so much I didn't know about the history of cooking utensils, that I really enjoy knowing. From how forks changed the way we look, to the history of the kitchen aid. She's good at drawing important inferences to larger picture history, which makes this constantly enjoyable.

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  • Performance
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A fresh view on kitchen technology and tools

The narration is excellent. The topic is a fresh view of kitchen technology from roasting spits to sou vide cooking. The author has done her research globally. Although the author is clearly from the UK, she discusses the trends in kitchen technology world wide with special focus on the U.S. and UK with attention paid to the differences in economies, tastes, and social trends driving kitchen tech and tools in different parts of the world. With all the books about the history of food it is nice to get a book focused on the tools we use to prepare it as well. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fake American accent is distracting!

Have you listened to any of Alison Larkin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I intensely dislike the (un)American accent she uses for the American characters in the book. It's utterly distracting and takes away from her otherwise splendid performance.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

fascinating history of cooking and kitchens

I really enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit though I have read a fair amount of history. The reader did a great job.

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  • Phil C.
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 01-22-15

A nice change of pace

I purchased this title based on the recommendation of the Writing Excuses podcast. the subject matter is a little esoteric but the author and the narrator have managed to make it a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

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  • Sharon
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 12-18-14

Dismal

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

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

  • Overall
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  • pmb
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan United States
  • 08-30-14

Great book marred occasionally by the narration

If you could sum up Consider the Fork in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating to read

What did you like best about this story?

It's detailed treatment of the subject.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

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.

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

The affected accents were **TERRIBLE**

Any additional comments?

This is a non-fiction piece not a interpretive piece of art. NO NO NO ACCENTS!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 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. <br/>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.

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  • Cathi
  • Miami, Florida, United States
  • 03-20-14

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.