Review – Food: The History of Taste

Posted July 17, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Food: The History of TasteFood: The History of Taste, ed. Paul Freedman

This is a fairly academic volume, it feels like; it reminded me of reading essays about literature through history or something like that. The chapters are written by different people, so they vary in how fascinating (or not) they might be: I did like the late chapter about the development of restaurants, which added nicely to what I knew from William Sitwell’s whole book on it.

I must admit that given how academic it felt, I kind of zoned out a lot with this, and I ended up continuing to read because it was mildly enjoyable rather than because I was really retaining information. If you’re interested in more vibrant popular-history stuff on the history of food, this isn’t it: the academic feel keeps it rather dry, and at least one of the essays simply regurgitates its sources in huge chunks rather than doing a lot of interpretive work.

It was okay, but not something I’d hold onto myself — but depending on your level of interest and knowledge on the subject, it might be just the thing.

Rating: 2/5

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