Winning unanimous praise on its publication and now available in paperback from Grove Press, Much Depends on Dinner is a delightful and intelligent history of the food we eat. Presented as a meal, each chapter represents a different course or garnish. Borrowing from Byron's classic poem "Don Juan" for her title ("Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner"), writer Margaret Visser looks to the most ordinary American dinner for her subject -- corn on the cob with butter and salt, roast chicken with rice, salad dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, and ice cream -- submerging herself in the story behind each food. In this indulgent and perceptive guide we hear the history of Corn Flakes, why canned California olives are so unsatisfactory (they're picked green, chemically blackened, then sterilized), and the fact that in Africa, citrus fruit is eaten rind and all. For food lovers of all kinds, this unexpectedly funny and serious book is a treasure of information, shedding light on one of our most favorite pastimes.
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Food. We spend a good part of every day buying, preparing, eating, and savouring it. Only sleep and work take more time out of our lives. Margaret Visser uses the ingredients of an ordinary meal as a jumping-off point for an engaging, thoroughly researched look into one of our essential obsessions. Did you know that lettuce is a member of the daisy family? That sea salt is cultivated in salt gardens? From a mini-history of Will Kellogg and his corn flakes to the staple dish of the Tibetans (tsampa: barley flour, salted tea, and yak butter), Visser feeds our endless hunger for stories and anecdotes on food that can be shared around the groaning board.
Visser is the author of three other books: The Rituals of Dinner, The Way We Are, and a study of an Italian church, The Geography of Love. In all her work she manages to make sometimes bizarre history utterly fascinating. Aztec cannibals, for instance, were fond of eating something called "man-stew" mixed with maize. Grisly details aside, this fine book will leave you thoroughly sated and ready for an after-dinner cognac. --Mark Frutkin, Amazon.ca
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Book Description Grove Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0802136516
Book Description Grove Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110802136516