Jenn's Reviews > The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World

The Potato by Larry Zuckerman
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's review
May 07, 11

bookshelves: food-social-history
Read from April 20 to May 07, 2011 — I own a copy

This is really a solid book - sort of a gateway book - it purports to be about the potato, but it's really about land tenancy laws, enclosure, the advent of crop rotation, population growth,famine, fuel costs, social history of home baking & the like. The chapter "Women's Work" could be an article to stand on its own. He even gets into discussion of the use of utensils, dishes & pots - and given the late adaptation of forks in the US, and the ongoing use of knives for eating in England - it's no wonder that my granddad, who was born in 1910 to English emigrants to who moved SW Pennsylvania to mine coal, perpetually vexed my grandmother with his ingrained habit of eating off his butter knife. He would always laugh and repeat the rhyme of "I eat my peas with honey..." before switching to a fork to please her.

Fascinating issues raised - highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

04/20/2011 page 130
41.0% "It's not just about potatoes - but the social history of cooking at home & dining - fascinating stuff!"
05/03/2011 page 228
71.0% "The more I read this book - as well as "At Home" - the more I regret not having studied Western European history & literature in as much detail as I did Spanish & Latin American! The entire issue of famine, poverty, social classes, enclosure and even the privileged class of clergy created early in the 19th c appeals to my curiosity greatly. Also fascinated by kitchen culture & social history of dining etiquette."

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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve Food history books can be so fascinating.


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