Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Two Years In The Making, 22 July 2013
This review is from: The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Back in 1990 a book was published called The Glutton's Glossary. Unsurprisingly, given the title, the book never gelled with the national subconscious. Three years later the book resurfaced, this time in soft back form, as The Gourmet's Guide. Again the world didn't hold it's collective breath. The idea seemed right - a book devoted to definitions of culinary terms, potted histories of dishes and ingredients and menu/wine list terminology - but the reading public seemingly had little appetite for such a guide.
That was then. Tastes in 21st century Britain are much more advanced and people much more open to trying new flavours, new drinks, new restaurants and new cuisines. Arranged from Abernethy biscuits through to zwieback, coincidentally also a term for a rusk or biscuit, over four hundred pages John Ayto's updated version is the perfect companion to the experimental foodie. Subtitled 'word origins of food and drink' this entertaining book revisits the familiar and explores the less familiar in a gastronomic circumnavigation which leaves few stones unturned. At a time when restaurants, celebrity chefs and food experts are falling over one another to discover the next craze or newest ingredient it is going to be a very brave author who will commit himself to extolling the merits of, say, Mongolian cuisine or the dietary advantages of Batavia. However, it is also an advantage to be able to give suitable background information on established cuisines, ingredients etc that may be currently out of vogue but which may be on the verge of rediscovery - the only explanation I can offer to the inclusion of both Black Forest Gateau and the humble vol-au-vent in this book. These aside, I found Mr Ayto's book entertaining, inspiring and informative; tummelberries from the banks of a tributary of the River Tay, fish cake, as a term, originates from 1854, the deep fried Mars bar was first made, allegedly, in Stonehaven near Aberdeen and not Glasgow as I had always presumed. This is a book for dipping into, pick and mix sweet bag style, and savouring whatever gem of knowledge comes out. Having read what the pasty, that pastry enveloped pocket of meat, potato and root vegetables, means in the United States this book is also a very valuable asset when travelling abroad.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: salford

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,944