The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu

W. W. Norton & Company
8
Free sample

A 2015 James Beard Award Finalist: "Eye-opening, insightful, and huge fun to read." —Bee Wilson, author of Consider the Fork Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu?

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.

Read more

About the author

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.

Read more
4.4
8 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
Read more
Published on
Sep 15, 2014
Read more
Pages
256
Read more
ISBN
9780393245875
Read more
Features
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Cooking / Essays & Narratives
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
"If Catalan superchef Ferran Adria is the leading missionary of molecular gastronomy, Mr. Chartier is his counterpart with a corkscrew."—Globe and Mail

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.

Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Food Rules, and How to Change Your Mind, explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen in Cooked. 

Now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exectuve produces the four-part series based on Pollan's book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth. 

In Cooked, Pollan discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.