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Food: A Culinary History: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism) Hardcover – 16 Nov 1999

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From the Bible and ancient Egypt to the 'banquets'of the Middle Ages and the 'McDonaldization'of Europe, Food: A Culinary History covers the immense history of the table throughout the world. Well researched and scholarly, it is essential reading for the historian and the lover of social studies as well as the modern cook and gourmet. -- Jacques P pin Vastly informative... Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari have done a marvelous job of making all these aspects of food history make sense from prehistory to the present. -- Eugen Weber Times Literary Supplement Although written in a sophisticated manner, this is a thorough, up-to-date overview of a universally appealing topic. School Library Journal Now that gastronomy and the culinary arts in general are finally being accepted as legitimate academic subjects, it is time we had available to us a copious and worthy sourcebook. The Flandrin and Montanari Food: A Culinary History is exactly what we have needed. Literally overflowing with facts, anecdotes, and histories, it is a major compendium for those in the profession as well as a delightful store of knowledge for anyone who loves to read. -- Julia Child A massive but tasty compendium called Food: A Culinary History demonstrates that the art of dining has gone through some astonishing changes through the centuries. -- Herbert Kupferberg Parade Magazine Food: A Culinary History is essential reading for students of the rich and influential culinary tradition rooted in the Mediterranean. It is provocative in providing a framework for a more general history of European foodways. Journal of Social History The dense, illuminating, sometimes delightful, occasionally maddening collection of essays and papers introduced and edited by Flandrin and Montanari... aspires to be nothing short of a complete history of man's experience and conduct at the table... A cornucopia of captivating, subtle, myth de-bunking information, research and insight. -- Michael Frank LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW Food: A Culinary History stands as a remarkable achievement. -- Priscilla Ferguson Journal of Modern History

About the Author

Jean-Louis Flandrin is professor emeritus at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes. Massimo Montanari is professor of medieval history and the history of food at the Institute of Paleography and Medieval Studies, University of Bologna.

Inside This Book

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When and how did the eating behavior of human beings diverge from that of other animal species? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Excellent overview of eating habits of Europe 25 July 2000
By cityg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent scholarly look at the eating habits of civilizations of the past leading up to modern Europe. This book covers the history of food from a civilization standpoint, rather than covering it on a food item by item basis. For example, it covers what a people such as the Romans ate and how it was prepared and gathered, rather than tell you everything about the history of asparagus or some other food.
If there were anything I would say against this book, it would be that I would like it to have covered the history of food on continents other than Europe. Though, the book made no claims to cover anything but Europe.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A unique and fascinating historical compendium. 3 Feb. 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Feasts of the ancient and modern culinary dining alike are considered in this extensive survey of food customs and food in different cultures. From the evolution of classic recipes to the origins of foods now known the world over, this provides a lively yet scholarly history of food from prehistory to modern times. Recommended for culinary school collections.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
a great reference 4 May 2000
By Francesca Jourdan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Interesting moments in our history are those that brought us from eating berries to spending time in fast food eateries. This book explains this most important part of our evolution. This is a great reference for those who wish to know more about man's food habits at any moment of its history. Beautifully researched, and easy to read, this book offers details useful for all to know.
Fascinating and Comprehensive 28 Jun. 2015
By O.Chemist - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While very Eurocentric, this book provides amazing insights into human food uses and dietary practices from prehistory to the present. Subtleties in changing food as a reflection of economic and social change and the role of religion in food are all included. A collection of multiple articles will always have high and low points but this is a remarkable compendium.
Read the History 7 Jun. 2015
By jm gale - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Don't expect to read this book all at once. It took me over a year and concentration any time I picked up this tome. The information is invaluable. The book contains essays written by several different people, and covers food from ancient times to early modern times. A writing feat not to be rivaled.
I found the information useful when wanting to convey to others what I am talking about when it comes to my relationship with food.
Eventually I will own a copy. I think the library thought I was never going to give this book back. It is a wealth of information for reference on food and culture. I learned that the Aristocracy of Europe ate birds (fowl) because birds were thought to be closest to God. By consuming fowl flesh, the Noblemen were coming closer to God (also true for Holy Men).
I highly recommend this book if you want to truly understand humans and our relationship to food.
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