Pickled Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World Hardcover – 24 Sep 2001
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"Publisher's Weekly Shephard's straightforward tone and accessible scholarship make for a thorough and intriguing history.
About the Author
Sue Shephard has spent most of her career working in television in England, where she was responsible for cocreating, among other programs, three series about food and culture. She is the author of "Seeds of Fortune" and coauthor of "United Tastes of America." In 2001, "Pickled, Potted, and Canned" was nominated for the IACP Jane Grigson Award. Shephard lives in the southwest of England with her family. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is the most interesting food book I have read. I felt like I was reading a History text from my A level years but I enjoyed it as much as I would normally enjoy a novel.
A very strange reaction.
It doesn't have recipes but it does help those of us who have had a poor food technology education to understand some of the principles of home food preservation.
If you are interested in history or food, it might be the one for you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Louis XIII of France loved [dried mushrooms'] woodland scent so much that he lay on his deathbed in 1643 threading mushrooms onto strings for drying."
A good story, yes. Actual historical fact? It seems unlikely, and without documentation I can't judge the source material.
In chapters devoted to each particular method, she details how, by trial and error and by observation, people have discovered ways of extending the life of foodstuffs well past the natural sell-by date.
This leads to the means by which explorers could subsist independently of the land or sea they were travelling in, thus expanding the boundaries of trade and colonisation.
However, some of the preserving methods brought their attendant disadvantages, such as vitamin deficiencies, like scurvy or pellagra - the ways of combating these are also dealt with in the book.
Ms.Shephard writes in a comfortable, informative style that is neither dumbing-down, nor patronising, but with clear, logical progression within the particular subject - with the occasional illuminating aside to spice things up.
Drawing heavily on historical accounts, she has meticulously researched the subject and presented us with a fine addition to any amateur historian's library.
A very worthwhile read *****
There's no story, theme, or technical depth to "Pickled, Potted and Canned". Within each section, it just repeats over and over the fact that certain foods were preserved with the subject of the section (drying, salt, sugar, etc.). It doesn't discuss how the preserving material works to preserve the food, or how preserving fits into the flow of world history. If you're interested in how preserving works, get "On Food and Cooking" by McGee. It's not focused on preserving but you'll get more than in "Pickled, Potted and Canned". If you're interested in how the development of food preservation affected world history, I don't know what to recommend to you. Maybe another reviewer can make a suggestion.