Why do we eat the things we do? And how did this come to be the case? Read the fascinating histories behind some of our most common and beloved ingredients.
Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova
From the ancient butter bogs of Ireland to the sacred butter sculptures of Tibet, Khosrova details its surprisingly vital role in history, politics, economics, nutrition, even spirituality and art.
Only Kurlansky, winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, could woo readers toward such an off-beat topic. Yet salt, Kurlansky asserts, has "shaped civilization." A piquant blend of the historic, political, commercial, scientific and culinary, the book is sure to entertain as well as educate.
While this book does not claim that garlic saved civilization (though it might cure whatever ails you), it does take us on a grand tour of garlic's fascinating role in history, medicine, literature, and art; its controversial role in bigotry, mythology, and superstition; and its indispensable contribution to the great cuisines of the world.
Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson
In a recipe book that is part cultural critique and part culinary history, Mendelson reaps nearly 400 fascinating pages from that most elemental of ingredients.