In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Thirteen chapters evoke the joy and discovery of reading a menu dotted with the sharp-eyed annotations of a linguist. Jurafsky points out the subtle meanings hidden in filler words like "rich" and "crispy," zeroes in on the metaphors and storytelling tropes we rely on in restaurant reviews, and charts a microuniverse of marketing language on the back of a bag of potato chips.
The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences. With Jurafsky's insight, words like ketchup, macaron, and even salad become living fossils that contain the patterns of early global exploration that predate our modern fusion-filled world. From ancient recipes preserved in Sumerian song lyrics to colonial shipping routes that first connected East and West, Jurafsky paints a vibrant portrait of how our foods developed. A surprising history of culinary exchange—a sharing of ideas and culture as much as ingredients and flavors—lies just beneath the surface of our daily snacks, soups, and suppers.
Engaging and informed, Jurafsky's unique study illuminates an extraordinary network of language, history, and food. The menu is yours to enjoy.
Dan Jurafsky, a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant," is professor and chair of linguistics and professor of computer science at Stanford University. He and his wife live in San Francisco.
This award-winning book, now available for the first time in English in the U.S., presents a cutting-edge approach to food and wine pairing. Sommelier Francois Chartier has spent the better part of two decades collaborating with top scientists and chefs to map out the aromatic molecules that give foods and wines their flavor. Armed with the results of his extensive research, Chartier has been able to identify why certain foods and wines work well together at a molecular level. In this book, he has gathered his findings into a simple set of principles that explain how to create ideal harmonies in food and wine pairings. This new approach to the art and science of food and wine pairing will be an invaluable resource for sommeliers, chefs, and wine enthusiasts, as well as a fascinating read for anyone who is interested in the principles of modernist or "molecular" cuisine. The Canadian edition of Taste Buds and Molecules was a 2011 IACP Award nominee, and the original French-language edition, Papilles et Molecules, was named the Best Cookbook in the World in the category of Innovation at the 2010 Paris World Cookbook Awards, and also won the 2010 Gourmand Award for Canada for Best Design. The book includes a foreword by Juli Soler and Ferran Adria of El Bulli, who worked closely with Chartier in planning the menus at their renowned restaurant.
"How wonderful to have here in my hands the essence of M.F.K. Fisher, whose wit and fulsome opinions on food and those who produce it, comment upon it, and consume it are as apt today as they were several decades ago, when she composed them. Why did she choose food and hunger she was asked, and she replied, 'When I write about hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth, and the love of it . . . and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied.' This is the stuff we need to hear, and to hear again and again."
"This comprehensive volume should be required reading for every cook. It defines in a sensual and beautiful way the vital relationship between food and culture."