Food in History (Penguin Cookery Library) Paperback – 28 Nov 1991
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Spanning over half a million years, this describes the world history of food and the way in which food has influenced the whole course of human development.
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If you want to make sure that the characters in your novel are not chomping on an anachronistic tomato, if you want to know what great great granny might have served for dinner or if you are interested in the way in which food and historical events interrelate, I can recommend this book. There are line drawings, notes on sources and an extensive bibliography to take you further. I particularly like the way in which the author weaves the history of food in to the wider historical context. This is a true social history.
Unfortunately, it contains some errors and some of its assertions have been superceded by more modern research. At times the treatment is a little cavalier in style. A lot of the information seems to have been taken from a far better and more interesting book, The Englishman's Food: Five Centuries of English Diet By H Drummond. It is an excellent introduction to the subject however. There are a number of useful illustrations.