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Food is Culture (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 20. Oktober 2006

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Produktinformation

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Montanari writes engagingly about food in ways the general reader is not accustomed to thinking about it." -- Beth Archer Brombert

"This book is the work of an anthropologist who knows food literature as few others and uses his knowledge as an irresistible invitation to travel through a much frequented and yet not adequately mapped territory." -- Luigi Ballerini

"A worthwhile indulgence." -- Eve Lichtgarn, "Associated Content"

"Montanari here has provided students of anthropology with a wonderful text... Recommended." -- "Library Journal"

"To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival." -- Tim Morris, "Wilson Quarterly"

"A worthwhile indulgence." -- Eve Lichtgarn, Associated Content

"Montanari here has provided students of anthropology with a wonderful text... Recommended." -- Library Journal

"To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival." -- Tim Morris, Wilson Quarterly

"A worthwhile indulgence." -- Eve Lichtgarn, "Associated Content"

"Montanari here has provided students of anthropology with a wonderful text... Recommended." -- "Library Journal"

"To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival." -- Tim Morris, "Wilson Quarterly"

"Eloquent and shrewd." -- Ken Hirschkop, "Radical Philosophy"

A worthwhile indulgence.--Eve Lichtgarn"Associated Content" (01/01/0001)

To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival.--Tim Morris"Wilson Quarterly" (01/01/0001)

Eloquent and shrewd.--Ken Hirschkop"Radical Philosophy" (01/01/0001)

A worthwhile indulgence.

--Eve Lichtgarn"Associated Content" (01/01/0001)

Eloquent and shrewd.

--Ken Hirschkop"Radical Philosophy" (01/01/0001)

A worthwhile indulgence.

--Eve Lichtgarn-Associated Content- (01/01/0001)

Eloquent and shrewd.

--Ken Hirschkop-Radical Philosophy- (01/01/0001)

To read this disarming collection of brief essays is to witness a superbly stocked mind grappling with matters that are vital to human survival.

--Tim Morris"Wilson Quarterly" (01/01/0001)

Synopsis

Elegantly written by a distinguished culinary historian, Food Is Culture explores the innovative premise that everything having to do with food& mdash;its capture, cultivation, preparation, and consumption& mdash;represents a cultural act. Even the "choices" made by primitive hunters and gatherers were determined by a culture of economics (availability) and medicine (digestibility and nutrition) that led to the development of specific social structures and traditions.Massimo Montanari begins with the "invention" of cooking which allowed humans to transform natural, edible objects into cuisine. Cooking led to the creation of the kitchen, the adaptation of raw materials into utensils, and the birth of written and oral guidelines to formalize cooking techniques like roasting, broiling, and frying. The transmission of recipes allowed food to acquire its own language and grow into a complex cultural product shaped by climate, geography, the pursuit of pleasure, and later, the desire for health.In his history, Montanari touches on the spice trade, the first agrarian societies, Renaissance dishes that synthesized different tastes, and the analytical attitude of the Enlightenment, which insisted on the separation of flavors.

Brilliantly researched and analyzed, he shows how food, once a practical necessity, evolved into an indicator of social standing and religious and political identity. Whether he is musing on the origins of the fork, the symbolic power of meat, cultural attitudes toward hot and cold foods, the connection between cuisine and class, the symbolic significance of certain foods, or the economical consequences of religious holidays, Montanari's concise yet intellectually rich reflections add another dimension to the history of human civilization. Entertaining and surprising, Food Is Culture is a fascinating look at how food is the ultimate embodiment of our continuing attempts to tame, transform, and reinterpret nature.

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Amazon.com: 3.2 von 5 Sternen 5 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen One to plow through if you can stay awake. 10. September 2014
Von J. B. Roesset - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Some interesting points to be made but contrary to what the introduction said, that it was user-friendly and non-pedantic, it was just the opposite, an opinion agreed with by fellow students in the short course I did as part of an alumni college program. The kernels of new information were wrapped up in lengthy obtuse language, probably easily accessible to those in the field but not so to us ordinary older age students outside the field. Just like lawyers, businessmen, doctors, etc have their own jargon, so apparently do those in the academic field in which the author was writing, though some of the problem may be attributable to the translation from Italian. Our teacher made the same points in a much more easily understandable and memorable way.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Food is culture 27. November 2009
Von F. Papadopoulos - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is an opportunity for enjoyable and thought provoking reading.
The metaphor of "food as language" proved very versatile for academic purposes.
I have used Montanari's ideas to put together a short introduction to a
Marketing in the Food Sector module. My students can now relate media language with
"food language" in meaningful and imaginative ways.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 31. Dezember 2014
Von Edison Bittencourt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Very interesting to look at food as culture
3.0 von 5 Sternen An academic tasting 2. April 2017
Von George F. Simons - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As an inveterate foodie and interculturalist, I could not resist this title when it landed on my desktop. The title itself was challenging. What it means to say is that, despite the recent surge in "natural foods", food and how we manage and consume it, is a matter of culture, not of nature, whatever the respect and gratitude we owe to Mother Earth for our nourishment.

Montanari addresses his topic from anthropological, historical, literary and geographical perspectives, so this slim volume is neither a juicy cookbook nor an illustrated menu. While nature always lurks in the background, food has been an artifact of culture from prehistoric days, when the invention of fire and transition from hunting and gathering to sedentary agriculture and animal husbandry reshaped our human existence and our mealtimes. The author insists that, "What we call culture takes its place where tradition and innovation intersect.” This is certainly a good description of the history of cooking and eating. It is a fusion that occurs in my kitchen almost every day.

Despite the clear intention of the author’s chosen perspective, it remains quite difficult to extract the human food story with the richness and precision that we might like to have. While contemporary scientific methods and research are giving us ever deeper insight into what our fossil ancestors digested, and while there are hints in literature throughout the ages as well as philosophical treatises and even cookbooks, we can never fully re-experience the actual taste of yesterday's food, even from my fridge. At best, we have clues as to the shifting tastes of our ancestors in the foodstuffs they had access to or preferred, in how these were prepared and seasoned, the contexts in which they were served, and the habits, tools, and manners of consumption. It is down this relatively narrow path of objective observation that Montanari leads us. There is nothing to drool over.

Besides the overall view which this book provides for the history of cooking and eating, we gain insights into how humans met the challenges of seasons and climate to create, preserve, and distribute foodstuffs across time and space. We learn of the role of power, ownership, and class in determining the diets of populations, along with the influences created by trade, commerce and manufacturing. We see the authority of medical thinking and practice at various points in history determining the relationship of diet to health, as well as the religious and philosophical perspectives determining individual and group choices around nutrition and consumption. Perhaps surprising to many readers is how relatively recent is the construction and proliferation of what we identify as natural and regional cuisines and the birth of the sacred concept of terroir.

In short, Food is Culture is a relatively brief academic essay. It surveys the highlights provided by both deliberate studies and offered by the surviving clues from our past, along with a peek into the contents of today’s grocery bag.
26 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Montanari Way 24. November 2006
Von Kevin Killian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As an American boy growing up in France, we had only to hop it down to the local grocery to find the very best terrine. Massimo Montanari, author of a new compendium of his food columns, has written an exciting book about how and why people (especially in the Wrst) became interested in eating as an aesthetic proposition. Just yesterday here in San Francisco, I had the strange experience of having one of Montanari's columns come to life, as at a festive Thanksgiving dinner, someone brought a heaping box of cranberry flavored biscotti, explaining that the Italian bakeries of North Beach made them only at Thanksgiving and Christmas, for there's no market for them at other times of the year.

Exactly, Massimo Montanari would exclaim. One of his chapters shows how once a dish is associated with Christmas, you never see it the whole year round, and some foods (gingerbread for example) have been unfairly stigmatized with this "Christmas branding," although anybody could enjoy a nice piece of gingerbread in any season except that culturally, it would revolt us and most of us, even if we were starving, shipwrecked with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun and the rest of the cast of LOST, on a desert island, most of us would turn up our noses at gingerbread. Brillat Savarin said it best, "Tell me what you eat anbd I'll tell you what you are," but canny old Massimo Montanari turns the good Frenchman upside his head to produce a slew of new apercus.

He knows his history backwards and forewards. When, for example, did Europeans introduce the custom of providing salad, sherbet, or just plain still water between courses? Montanari knows! And, he theorizes: would you ever suspect that the popularity of McDonalds is at least partially due to its providing the atavistic thrill of eating with one's hands, a practice that has been gradually taken from us since its heyday in the Middle Ages?

Even if you think you're not interested in food, this book will make you wonder how much of it is you, and how much of you is it.
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