By Felipe Fernández-Armesto
In Near 1000 Tables, acclaimed meals historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto tells the attention-grabbing tale of foodstuff as cultural in addition to culinary heritage -- a window at the heritage of mankind.
during this "appetizingly provocative" (Los Angeles Times) booklet, he publications readers in the course of the 8 nice revolutions on this planet background of foodstuff: the origins of cooking, which set humankind on a direction except different species; the ritualization of consuming, which introduced magic and which means into people's dating with what they ate; the inception of herding and the discovery of agriculture, possibly the 2 maximum revolutions of all; the increase of inequality, which resulted in the advance of haute delicacies; the long-range exchange in foodstuff which, essentially by myself, broke down cultural limitations; the ecological exchanges, which revolutionized the worldwide distribution of crops and farm animals; and, ultimately, the industrialization and globalization of heavily produced meals.
From prehistoric snail "herding" to Roman banquets to important Macs to genetically converted tomatoes, Near 1000 Tables is a full-course meal of striking narrative, exceptional perception, and interesting explorations that would fulfill the hungriest of readers.
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Extra resources for Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food
Nevertheless, an effect similar or identical to that of pit cookery can be procured by using the clay oven usually called "tandoor," or by some such name, in India and the Middle East. Tandoori cuisine is surely a development from pit cookery. In essence, the tandoor is a cooking pit, elevated above ground. Fire is kindled inside it: the aperture at the top has to be broad enough to keep the fire supplied with oxygen but narrow enough to be conveniently sealed with a heavy lid without much temperature loss once the fire has been allowed to die down.
This puts human flesh on the same level as many other foods which we eat not because we need them to stay alive but because we want them to change us for the better: we want them to give us a share of their virtue. In particular, it aligns the cannibals with their real modern counterparts: those who eat "health" diets for self-improvement or worldly success or moral superiority or enhanced beauty or personal purity. Strangely, cannibals turn out to have a lot in common with vegans. The tradition which links them is the subject of this chapter.
Toasts, which the Buriats like to make in grain spirit imported from their sedentary neighbors, were accompanied by songs. The next course was a sheep's stomach filled with cow's milk, sheep's blood, garlic and spring onions, tied with intestines. All the Buriats around the table waited expectantly for me to take the first bite. But I didn't know where to begin. Finally our hostess leaned over and sliced the top off the stomach. The contents had not been fully cooked and blood oozed out onto my plate.