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Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Cheese, wine, honey & olive oil--4 of Greece's best known contributions to culinary culture--were well known 4000 years ago. Remains of honeycombs & of cheeses have been found under the volcanic ash of the Santorini eruption of 1627 BCE. Over the millennia, Greek food diversified & absorbed neighboring traditions, yet retained its own distinctive character. In ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 26th 1997 by Routledge (London/NY) (first published 1995)
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Erik Graff
Mar 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: classicists, gastronomicists
Recommended to Erik by: Ares Press
Shelves: history
A labor of love, this history of "food and gastronomy" spans the entire record from prehistory to the present, focusing on the period from 650 B.C. to A.D. 300. "Greece" is also broadly treated, taken to include not only the European peninsula but also all areas occupied by Greeks or Greek-speakers: Asia Minor, the Aegean Islands, Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Cyrene and Italy--as well as those areas with whom they traded foodstuffs and culinary discoveries. This is not a cookbook, but a history of one ...more
dejah_thoris
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Unlike his other books on food history, you can tell Siren Feasts is Dalby's magnum opus. It is INCREDIBLY detailed, which is why it has taken me so long to read because I kept falling asleep while perusing long lists of Greek names for various foodstuffs. So, no, it's not an easy read, but if you're interested in the subject matter, it is worth pushing through the first half of the book to reach the latter half where long lists and conflicting quotations fall away to generalizations of cuisine, ...more
Lindsay Jarvis
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Archaeology and food make a great combination!
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Andrew Dalby (born Liverpool, 1947) is an English linguist, translator and historian who most often writes about food history.

Dalby studied at the Bristol Grammar School, where he learned some Latin, French and Greek; then at the University of Cambridge. There he studied Latin and Greek at first, afterwards Romance languages and linguistics. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1970. Dalby then worked
...more