In the Devil's Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food
Deliciously organized by the Seven Deadly Sins, here is a scintillating history of forbidden foods through the ages—and how these mouth-watering taboos have defined cultures around the world.
From the lusciously tempting fruit in the Garden of Eden to the divine foie gras, Stewart Lee Allen engagingly illustrates that when a pleasure as primal as eating is criminalized, t...more
The structure ...more
Allen uses the seven deadly sins as the structure for a discussion on foods both irresistible and forbidden, beginning with a fanciful menu for each section. Not surprisingly, the Lust chapter discusses aphrodisiacs, but it also includes a compelling case for why the apple was the Forbidden Fruit of the Bible - it boils down to Roman vs Celtic Christianity. The tomato's carnal history vs that of its humble, blan ...more
With it’s long bibliography, one would think that the book was well researched. But I had the feeling that some things were more myth than fact; when he got to a bit about absinthe, I knew he was flying blind. (He said that absinthe ...more
There are a number of factual inaccuracies however, despite what looks like a fairly extensive bibliography (a "vomitorium" is not a room where Romans went to throw-up their food at the end of a meal so that they could eat more... a basic google search tells you that this is a common misconception. I mean... how did this get ...more
There is nothing delightful to mention in 'In The Devil's Garden'. For an ardent fan of Microhi ...more
The subject is fascinating - food as taboo trough the history - with all different and colourful anecdotes Bill Bryson usually throws out of his sleeve but this author is not Bryson and he kind of enjoys more in gleefully presenting oddities and nastiness about what people considered delicacies at various points trough centuries. The sheer vo ...more
The book also seemed poorly researched and devoid of information. I suppose the size of the book in comparison to the subject matter should have clued me in.
I received the book as a gift as I'd put it on a to-read wish list without having actually see ...more
A nicely written book, clever and w ...more
I thought the classifications of the foods into the seven deadly sins was weak at best. Usually the author's back story to get them to fit ...more
It's an entertaining enough read, although I could have done with ...more
In the Devil's Garden covers some of those things, but there's a lot of sloppy, imprecise language and conjecture that makes the writing a lot more wishy-washy than it should be. Anecdotes are presented as fact or as representative of a whole culture or time period, rather than clear ...more