The story of cuisine and the social history of eating is a fascinating one, and Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat covers all its aspects in this classic history. New expanded edition of a classic book, originally published to great critical acclaim from Raymond Blanc, The New York Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent and more Tells the story of man’s relationship with food from earliest times to the present day Includes a new foreword by acclaimed food writer Betty Fussell, a preface by the author, updated bibliography, and a new chapter bringing the story up to date New edition in jacketed hardback, with c.70 illustrations and a new glossy color plate section "Indispensable, and an endlessly fascinating book. The view is staggering. Not a book to digest at one or several sittings. Savor it instead, one small slice at a time, accompanied by a very fine wine." –New York Times "This book is not only impressive for the knowledge it provides, it is unique in its integration of historical anecdotes and factual data. It is a marvellous reference to a great many topics." –Raymond Blanc "Quirky, encyclopaedic, and hugely entertaining. A delight." –Sunday Telegraph "It's the best book when you are looking for very clear but interesting stories. Everything is cross-referenced to an extraordinary degree, which is great because the information given is so complex and interweaving." –The Independent "A History of Food is a monumental work, a prodigious feat of careful scholarship, patient research and attention to detail. Full of astonishing but insufficiently known facts." –Times Higher Education Supplement
Foreword to the New Expanded Edition by Betty Fussell xiii Preface xv List of Illustrations xvi Acknowledgements xix Introduction 1 Part I: Collecting Gathering Hunting From Fire to the Pot 9 1 COLLECTING HONEY 14 Honey in the Golden Age 14 A Taste of Honey 16 Honey in Legend 18 Honey in Nature and History 21 Honey-Cakes, Spice-Bread, Gingerbread 28 Mead and Sacramental Intoxication 30 2 THE HISTORY OF GATHERING 35 The Ancient Pulses 35 The Symbolism of Beans 40 The Etymology (and Entomology) of Haricot Beans 41 The Holy War of Cassoulet 45 Soya: the Most Widely Eaten Plant in the World 46 Soya: Nutritional Facts and Figures 50 Mushrooms and Fungi 50 Roots 57 Table of Vegetable Nutrition 65 3 HUNTING 66 The Great Days and the Decline of Game 66 Nutritional Facts and Figures about Game 79 Part II: Stock-breeding Arable Farming: Meat, Milk, Cereals The Evidence of Occupied Sites 83 4 THE HISTORY OF MEAT 85 The Birth of Stock-breeding and Society 85 Table of Areas of Origin of the First Domestic Animals 88 Meat-Eating: Likes and Dislikes 89 The Horse, the Spirit of Corn 95 Fat Oxen and Prosperous Butchers 95 5 THE HISTORY OF DAIRY PRODUCE 103 Cheese and Curds 103 Yoghurt: Fermented Milk 108 Butter: the Cream of the Milk 109 The Symbolism of Butter 113 6 THE HISTORY OF CEREALS 114 Cereals as Civilizers 114 The Symbolism of Wheat 117 Table of the Long March of Cereals 118 Imperialist Cereals 119 The Myth of Demeter 126 Everyday Cereals 127 Harvest Festivals 133 Strategic Cereals 134 Rice in the East 139 The Symbolism of Rice 149 Maize in the West 149 Why Maize is Called ‘I Have No More Gumbo’ 159 Why Corn-Cobs are Thin and Small 160 Zuni Legend of Maize Flour 160 From Porridge to Beer 161 The Technique of Brewing Beer 167 The History of Pasta 170 The History of Grain Spirits 176 Part III: The Three Sacramental Foods: Oil, Bread, Wine The Fundamental Trinity 183 7 THE HISTORY OF OIL 185 Olive Oil 185 The Dietary History of Olive Oil 187 Olive Oil in Legend and Symbolism 191 Making Olive Oil 193 Other Oils 196 Margarine 199 8 THE HISTORY OF BREAD AND CAKES 201 The Bread on the Board 201 The Symbolism of Bread and Cakes 207 Four Stages in the Development of Bread-Making 209 The Taste of Bread 210 The Technique of Bread-Making 214 Our Daily Bread 215 Special Cakes for Sundays 218 9 THE HISTORY OF WINE 223 From the Vine to Wine 223 Dessert Grapes 230 The Technique of Wine-Making 231 The Symbolism of Wine 233 The Legend of Dionysus 235 The Proper Use of Wine 236 Cooking with Wine 249 Wine and God 251 A Wine of Revolution 258 Part IV: The Economy of the Markets The Centre of the City 265 10 THE HISTORY OF FISH 268 The Fish of the Ancient World 268 A Who’s Who of Sea Fish 272 The Salmonidae: a family of aristocrats 273 Fishing in Legend 277 Extravagance and Economy in Eating Fish 277 The Symbolism of Fish 281 Uses for Less Profitable Fish 284 The Providential Nature of Salt Fish 287 Drying, Salting and Smoking Fish; an Age-Old Procedure 293 Table of the Nutritional values of Fish 294 Aquaculture and Pisciculture: Fish Farming 294 Blue Europe, or the Common Fish Market 298 From Fishing to Our Plates 301 Table of the Economic and Social Potential of a Common Fishing Zone 302 11 THE HISTORY OF POULTRY 305 Facts about Poultry 305 Choosing Poultry 312 The Symbolism of Poultry 319 Eggs: their Uses and Customs 322 Part V: Luxury Foods The Revels of the Gauls 333 12 TREASURES FROM THE SEA 338 The History of Garum 338 The History of Caviare 339 A Who’s Who of caviare 345 How to Keep Caviare Happy 347 The History of Shellfish and Crustaceans 348 Facts about Crustaceans 356 The History of Shellfish-Farming 359 The Biology of the Oyster 366 The Biology of the Mussel 368 13 THE TREASURE OF THE FORESTS 369 The History of Pork and Charcuterie 369 About Ham 378 Sausages 381 The Symbolism of the Pig 384 The History of Foie Gras 385 Facts about Foie Gras 392 The Symbolism of Liver 393 The History of Truffles 394 Part VI: The Era of the Merchants Making a Good Profit 403 14 AN ESSENTIAL FOOD 414 The History of Salt 414 The Symbolism of Salt 429 The Technique of Winning Salt 430 15 SPICE AT ANY PRICE 433 About Spices 433 The Secrets of Spices 437 Cinnamon 439 Pepper 441 Ginger 446 Turmeric and Cardamom 450 Cloves 453 The Great Trading Companies 458 Nutmeg and Mace 461 Chillies and Sweet Peppers 464 Aromatics and the Imagination 467 Saffron 467 Vanilla 471 Everyday Condiments and Herbs 473 Herbs 478 The Proper Use of Spices, Aromatics and Condiments 481 The Grocer’s Trade 488 Part VII: New Needs: Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea Gluttony and Greed for Gain 493 16 THE LURE OF SUGAR 496 Rum, A Sugar Spirit 504 The Legend of Sugar 505 17 CONFECTIONERY AND PRESERVES 507 18 CHOCOLATE AND DIVINITY 515 Definitions of Chocolate 519 19 COFFEE AND POLITICS 521 Coffee from the Islands 530 Coffee in Legend 532 20 TEA AND PHILOSOPHY 535 Tea in Legend 543 The Symbolism of Tea 544 Part VIII: Orchards and Kitchen Gardens Instructions for the Garden 547 21 THE TRADITION OF FRUITS 558 The Symbolism of the Apple 558 Grafting 561 Dessert Apples 562 Table of Production of Apples in EC Countries, 1982–3 564 Cider and Calvados 567 Pears 572 Plums 575 Peaches 578 The Peach in Legend 581 Apricots 582 The Dietetics of Apricots 584 Cherries 584 The Dietetics of Cherries 585 Strawberries 586 Melons 590 Oranges 593 Growing and Selling Oranges 600 A Who’s Who of Oranges 602 Grapefruit 602 Figs 603 The Symbolism of Figs and The Fig Tree 607 Dates 607 Pineapples 609 Bananas 610 Avocados 612 22 THE EVOLUTION OF VEGETABLES 620 Cabbages 622 Cauliflowers 625 Salad 626 Chicory and Endive 629 Watercress 630 Asparagus 631 Growing Asparagus 633 Artichokes 636 Tomatoes 637 23 THE POTATO REVOLUTION 641 Sweet Chestnuts 645 Potatoes 646 Soufflé Potatoes 653 Part IX: Science and Conscience in the Diet The Hows and Whys of Quality 659 24 PRESERVING BY HEAT 662 Canned Sardines 668 The Technique of Canning 670 Food Preservation 671 Pasteurized Milk 673 25 PRESERVING BY COLD 675 Quick-Freezing 677 26 THE REASSURANCE OF DIETETICS 680 Vitamins 683 Chronology of Dietary Progress 684 27 A REASSURING FUTURE 690 Notes 706 Select Bibliography of Recent English-Language Works 723 Bibliography to Original Edition 729 Index 733
"This book should be in all libraries where history and food are a concern. It gives information that is not available anywhere else. It is well written and fascinating reading." (American Reference Books Annual, 2010) "A History of Food is a concise yet massively entertaining read that looks at the earliest hunter-gatherer societies and moves on to bring readers right up to the modern day. … It goes quite well with a cup of tea and a biscuit, and dipping in anywhere will uncover something delicious." (Heritage Key, December 2009) "The reader will be amazed and fascinated by the dizzying array of details about various foods in this 700-page tome." (Choice Reviews, May 2009) "Classic text … .[Brought] up to date by including 'the latest scientific and technological discoveries' regarding the food we eat." (Contemporary Review, 2009) "This densely informed history ranges from the first bread loaves to the low-down on cauliflowers. Fab for food geeks, it's one to dip into rather than devour in one go." (Metro, December 2008) "The second edition of this dense tome is perfect for the historian on your list." (San Francisco Chronicle, December 2008) "This densely informed history ranges from the first bread loaves to the lowdown on cauliflowers. Fab for food geeks, it's one to dip into rather than devour in one go." (Metro Food Books of the Year, December 2008) "A fascinating study that starts with the era when we are all still living in trees. Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that’s as much as you can ask from any food book." (Independent, November 2008) "Forceful and challenging … A powerful, compelling and readable case against biblical literalism and fundamentalism." (Times Higher Education, November 2008) "Encyclopaedic in scope, the result is never dull … You will find it, I guarantee, unfailingly witty and comprehensively rewarding." (The Glasgow Herald, November 2008) "Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that's as much as you can ask from any food book." (The Independent, November 2008) "A fascinating, enormously impressive work which will delight not just the foodie but anyone in social history." (Tribune, November 2008) "Toussaint Samat presents not just the historical background but the cultural, religious and social impact of food. Extensively researched with quotations from a wide array of historical sources … .Some areas receive more intense scrutiny—wine for example … .A useful source for students or researchers as a strong first reference point and for anyone with a dedicated interest in food history. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries." (Library Journal, November 2008) "First published in France in 1987, the second edition of this dense tome is perfect for the historian on your list. It explores the 10,000-year-old relationship between humans and food, including facts about foie gras, the history of olive oil and the symbolism of poultry." (San Francisco Chronicle, November 2008) "A fascinating study that starts with the era when we were still living in trees (yes, really). Scrupulously thorough and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it promises the reader many a happy hour blissfully contemplating our ancient relationship with our stomachs. And that's as much as you can ask from any food book." (The Independent on Sunday, November 2008) "A fascinating, enormously impressive work which will delight not just the foodie but anyone interested in social history." (Tribune, November 2008) "This excellent guide is an exploration of man's relationship with food from the discovery of fire onwards." (The Independent, October 2008) "This book should be republished and re-titled THE History of Food. It's probably the most remarkable book on the subject I have ever had the pleasure of reading." (Mostly Food Journal, October 2008) Praise for the First Edition: "Indispensable, and an endlessly fascinating book. The view is staggering. Not a book to digest at one or several sittings. Savor it instead, one small slice at a time, accompanied by a very fine wine." (New York Times) "This book is not only impressive for the knowledge it provides, it is unique in its integration of historical anecdotes and factual data. It is a marvellous reference to a great many topics." (Raymond Blanc, Restaurateur Writer) "Quirky, encyclopaedic, and hugely entertaining. A delight." (Sunday Telegraph) "It's the best book when you are looking for very clear but interesting stories. Everything is cross-referenced to an extraordinary degree, which is great because the information given is so complex and interweaving." (The Independent) "A History of Food is a monumental work, a prodigious feat of careful scholarship, patient research and attention to detail. Full of astonishing but insufficiently known facts." (Times Higher Education Supplement)
Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat is an historian, journalist and writer. She has written for a variety of periodicals in France and published over seventeen books on cuisine, history, and French regional culture. Her books on the Loire and Perigord received commendations from the Academie Française and the Academie du Perigord. Her principal historical interest is in the medieval and renaissance culture of Europe, in particular the domestic economy, food and clothing. She pursues her research in association with the École des Hautes Études.
This classic work is an exploration and celebration of man’s relationship with food from earliest times to the present day. Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat tells the story of cuisine and the social history of food taking in fascinating, little-known byways along the journey. For instance, we learn that Aztecs enjoyed chocolate as a drink with chilli and honey; we discover the Iroquois origins of popcorn; we hear about the potential culinary and farming uses of lupin seeds. Toussaint-Samat looks at the transition from a vegetable- to an increasingly meat-based diet, as well as at the relationship between people and what they eat, between particular foods and social behaviour, and between dietary habits and methods of cooking. This new expanded edition includes a foreword by food writer, Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn and Raising Steaks, a new final chapter covering recent developments in food production and consumption around the world, and an updated bibliography. Beautifully illustrated with nearly 70 figures and new color plates, A History of Food will continue to be read and enjoyed by a fresh generation of readers.
"For those of us virtually weaned on this monumental landmark when it was first published, the expanded, updated edition of A HISTORY OF FOOD couldn't be a more welcomed and exciting surprise. While the hefty volume is an indispensable source of valuable facts and information for anyone interested in the worldwide development of numerous foods and the intriguing evolution of man's dietary habits over the centuries, the book also happens to be, quite simply, a wonderful and inspiring read--to be dipped into like a bowl of fresh wild strawberries." –James Villas, former food and wine editor of Town & Country magazine, and author of The Glory of Southern Cooking and Between Bites: Memoirs of a Hungry Hedonist “This amazing and most entertaining book presents anything you might want to know about the cultural history of food forever and everywhere. It’s a great place to find the symbolic meaning of food myths, legends, and revels, not to mention the dietetics of cherries and other nutritious foods. It should be a welcome addition to the library of every food studies scholar.” –Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of What to Eat
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