24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Kyle E. Kneisl
- Published on Amazon.com
A few years ago, I wrote a paper on the original cuisine of the western hemisphere before European exploration.Prepared for the drudgery of a paper, I checked this book out of the library, expecting myself to be put to sleep by the dryness of the topic.How wrong I was! Ms. Coe's book was stunning in how it broadened my understanding of food. Every chapter is chock full of interesting research and conclusions. Even the index was remarkable for its detail. You will be informed and entertained by amazing stories about what was eaten, how it was eaten, and why it was eaten. You will learn the surprisingly interesting history of corn. You will learn the origins of the algae spirulina, recently come to our health food stores. The fascinating story behind the newly popular grain amaranth will interest you. Many old theories (eg, that certain Mesoamerican indians were cannibalistic), are in one stroke shown to be false. The cuisine of the western hemisphere *IS* the cuisine of the world. The staple foods of Europe and Asia are often Maya/Aztec/Inca in origin. The humble potato and tomato, for instance, DID NOT EXIST *ANYWHERE* in the Eastern hemisphere until they were brought back from the west. Makes me wonder WHAT, exactly, did the Italians eat before they had the tomato?