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    Food is Culture (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) (Hardback) By (author) Massimo Montanari, Translated by Albert Sonnenfeld

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    DescriptionElegantly written by a distinguished culinary historian, Food Is Culture explores the innovative premise that everything having to do with food--its capture, cultivation, preparation, and consumption--represents a cultural act. Even the "choices" made by primitive hunters and gatherers were determined by a culture of economics (availability) and medicine (digestibility and nutrition) that led to the development of specific social structures and traditions. Massimo Montanari begins with the "invention" of cooking which allowed humans to transform natural, edible objects into cuisine. Cooking led to the creation of the kitchen, the adaptation of raw materials into utensils, and the birth of written and oral guidelines to formalize cooking techniques like roasting, broiling, and frying. The transmission of recipes allowed food to acquire its own language and grow into a complex cultural product shaped by climate, geography, the pursuit of pleasure, and later, the desire for health. In his history, Montanari touches on the spice trade, the first agrarian societies, Renaissance dishes that synthesized different tastes, and the analytical attitude of the Enlightenment, which insisted on the separation of flavors. Brilliantly researched and analyzed, he shows how food, once a practical necessity, evolved into an indicator of social standing and religious and political identity. Whether he is musing on the origins of the fork, the symbolic power of meat, cultural attitudes toward hot and cold foods, the connection between cuisine and class, the symbolic significance of certain foods, or the economical consequences of religious holidays, Montanari's concise yet intellectually rich reflections add another dimension to the history of human civilization. Entertaining and surprising, Food Is Culture is a fascinating look at how food is the ultimate embodiment of our continuing attempts to tame, transform, and reinterpret nature.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Food is Culture

    Food is Culture
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Massimo Montanari, Translated by Albert Sonnenfeld
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 144
    Width: 163 mm
    Height: 200 mm
    Thickness: 16 mm
    Weight: 454 g
    ISBN 13: 9780231137904
    ISBN 10: 0231137907

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SOC
    BIC subject category V2: JFC
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: WB
    B&T General Subject: 240
    Ingram Subject Code: CW
    Libri: I-CW
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.6
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15590
    BISAC V2.8: CKB041000
    DC22: 641.3
    BISAC V2.8: CKB030000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    LC classification: TX353 .M718513 2006
    Thema V1.0: WB, JBCC
    Columbia University Press
    Imprint name
    Columbia University Press
    Publication date
    27 November 2006
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Massimo Montanari is professor of medieval history and history of food at the University of Bologna. He has achieved wide recognition for his many searching and thoroughly researched studies of culinary traditions. Since 1979 he has authored and coauthored more than a dozen books, including Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History (Columbia), Food: A Culinary History (Columbia), Famine and Plenty: The History of Food in Europe, and the recent Bologna la Grassa.Albert Sonnenfeld, longtime professor of Romance languages and literature at Princeton and Chevalier Professor of French/Italian at the University of Southern California, is series editor for Columbia University Press's Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History, which has published his translations of Giovanni Rebora's Culture of the Fork and Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari's Food: A Culinary History.
    Review quote
    A worthwhile indulgence. -- Eve Lichtgarn Associated Content 1/9/2007 To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival. -- Tim Morris Wilson Quarterly Winter 2007 Montanari here has provided students of anthropology with a wonderful text... Recommended. Library Journal 2/1/2007 Eloquent and shrewd. -- Ken Hirschkop Radical Philosophy 9/1/07
    Table of contents
    Series Editor's PrefaceIntroductionCreating One's Own FoodThe Invention of CuisineThe Pleasure and the Duty of ChoiceFood, Language, IdentityIndex