Cooking in Europe, 1650-1850

Cooking in Europe, 1650-1850

Cooking in Europe, 1650-1850

Cooking in Europe, 1650-1850

Synopsis

With fresh interpretations from two new authors, wholly reconceived themes, and a wealth of cutting-edge scholarship, the Fifth Edition of America: A Concise History is designed to work perfectly with the way you teach the survey today. Building on the book's hallmark strengths - balance, explanatory power, and a brief-yet-comprehensive narrative - as well as its outstanding full-color visuals and built-in primary sources, authors James Henretta, Rebecca Edwards, and Robert Self have shaped America into the ideal brief book for the modern survey course, at a value that can't be beat.

Excerpt

The beasts have memory, judgment and all the faculties and passions
of our mind, in a certain degree; but no beast is a cook.

This quip by the eighteenth-century Scottish biographer James Boswell defines the essence of humanity in a way his contemporaries would have found humorous but also thought provoking. It is neither an immortal soul, reason, nor powers of abstraction that separate us from animals, but the simple ability to use fire to transform our daily fare into something more palatable and nutritious. We are nothing more than cooking animals. Archaeological evidence bears this out; it is Homo sapiens, our distant Neanderthal relatives, whose sites offer the earliest incontrovertible evidence of cooking. From those distant times down to the present, the food we eat and how it is prepared has become the decisive factor in the survival of both individuals and whole civilizations, so what better way to approach the subject of history than through the bubbling cauldron?

Growing and preparing food has also been the occupation of the vast majority of men and women who ever lived. To understand humans, we should naturally begin with the food that constitutes the fabric of our existence. Yet every culture arrives at different solutions, uses different crops and cooking methods, and invents what amount to unique cuisines. These are to some extent predetermined by geography and technology, and a certain amount of luck. Nonetheless every cuisine is a practical and artistic expression of the . . .

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