This English-language edition of L'Histoire de l'alimentation (1996) is an entertaining and informative addition to the study of food and the customs that surround it. The 40 essays comprising this volume were written by historians from various countries and focus primarily on the food history of Europe. The essays are arranged by time period, from prehistoric to modern times, with the bulk of the work concentrating on the medieval period and before. Introductory essays for each section provide a brief overview of the time period and its issues. This is an excellent compilation of consistently well-written articles on a wide range of topics, including the dietary rules of the ancient Hebrews, the origins of the restaurant, and the contribution of Arab cooking to European culture. Recommended for anyone interested in European social history in general and food history in particular. [Bibliographical references and index not seen.]ÄMary Martin, Manchester, NH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
YA-The editors have diligently researched and presented the evolution of food, meals, and eating customs from the first prehistoric hunters to the fast-food chains of today, and show how they all have had an impact on culture in general. The fact that social status, geography, diseases, families, and religion have influenced the history of food is also covered. For example, the Black Plague is credited for the use of individual portions rather than a community plate. The chronologically arranged essays are written by different experts in the fields. While the emphasis is strongly European, some Asian influences are mentioned. Although written in a sophisticated manner, this is a thorough, up-to-date overview of a universally appealing topic.- Myra Tabish, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.