Angel 's Reviews > Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food

Near a Thousand Tables by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
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's review
Jul 12, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: history, foods-and-epicurious
Read in July, 2003

I read this book back in 2003. Here is what I wrote in my journal at the time:

>>Finished reading Fernandez-Armesto's Near a Thousand Table. This history of food is a book to be savored; it is not fast paced, but it is a book with interesting content. The book is arranged on the basis of major revolutions in food history, but then we get to see how these revolutions affected human history. Some of these revolutions include the concept of cooking, the idea of eating as having ritualistic significance, and the idea of food consumption as a social marker (the concept of haute cuisine falls into this). A particularly interesting idea for me was the author's link between cannibals and vegans. Cannibals in ancient and primitive cultures would consume their slain enemies in order to gain their strength or bravery. Vegans eat vegetables in order to improve their health, and it can also have a spiritual angle. The common idea is that both consume food in order to improve their bodies and spirits. Also interesting to read were the narratives of food travels from one continent to another, and how this shaped history. Overall, this would be a book I would strong recommend. A similar title would be Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. <<

Today, I would add that a book like Cognac, which I have reviewed here, would be in a similar vein as well.
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