Rate this book

Words To Eat By: Five Foods And The Culinary History Of The English Language (2011)

by Ina Lipkowitz(Favorite Author)
3.53 of 5 Votes: 4
0312662181 (ISBN13: 9780312662189)
St. Martin's Press
review 1: This is a somewhat repetitive but often enlightening history of food and language (not just the English language, despite the subtitle!). Lipkowitz excels in combining disparate threads from a mostly European past, contrasting the British Isles and the Mediterranean, Romans and Celts, and haute cuisine and peasant food. I enjoyed the interweaving of Christianity's role in our modern American & English food preferences, too. Apples, leeks, milk, meat and bread are featured, but these topics are encompassed by more general discussions of fruit, vegetables (& weeds & foraging), dairy products, and civilization vs. barbarism in Western history.
review 2: This was my favorite of the library new arrivals food trilogy. Lipkowitz writes about language that describes w
... morehat we eat and the history behind these words. Usually there ends up being a barbarian/native influence (in what we now call England on the language that has become English) which is countered by a foreign (Roman, Christian, then Norman) influence. These foreign influences come from Mediterranean regions with richer food traditions than the barbaric north. The richer tradition includes various processing techniques, and more focus on transforming raw ingredients into food. Relatively raw/unprocessed foods predominate in the north. Bread, particularly leavened bread, seems to be the exception to the rule. Apparently, the tradition of fine light risen bread comes from the north. Think yeast and the relationship between brewing (which produces yeast) and baking (which requires it). Good stuff. Worth buying as a word reference. -HG less
Reviews (see all)
Fascinating for foodies and anyone with interests in etymology or languages.
Fun for anyone interested in food, Western European history, and etymology.
Not badly written, but for etymologists only.
That was a tremendous disappointment.
A lot of etymology, which I like.
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)